Gandhi's 148 birth anniversary commemorated in China

Gandhi's 148 birth anniversary commemorated in China

Mahatma Gandhi's favourite bhajans and quotes today resonated in the sprawling Chaoyang Park in central Beijing where people from all walks of life gathered to commemorate his 148th birth anniversary.

While a cultural team from the Indian Embassy here sung Vaishana Jana, the famous bhajan included in Gandhi's daily prayer, a batch of Chinese school children dressed in green and white with red scarfs recited some of his most popular quotes of Gandhi compiled by their school.

Some of the Gandhian quotes read by the Chinese school children included "the weak never forgive: Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong", "Strength does not come from your physic but from indomitable will", "Greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated".

The statue of Gandhi carved by China's acclaimed sculptor and artist Yuan Xikun was installed in the park in 2005, providing an opportunity for all his admirers to pay homage to him.

Besides Gandhi, Yuan had also sculpted the bust of Rabindranath Tagore which is displayed in the museum attached to the park. A large gathering of Indian diplomats, including Charge d'affaires B Wilson Babu and Chinese admirers of Gandhi and Indian expats attended today's event.

In his speech, Babu said Gandhi's novel advocating for non-violent actions brought down colonialism, greatly influenced freedom struggle and inspired several world leaders such as Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela in their fight. In due recognition of Gandhi's enduring legacy, October 2 has been designated as the International Day of Non-Violence by UN, he said.

While Gandhi's philosophy and ideals are all the more relevant in today's world filled with strife, the values espoused by him provided a way forward to build a just and equitable world, Babu said.

To commemorate the Gandhi Jayanthi and International Day of Non-Violence, the Centre for Gandhian and Indian Studies (CGIS), Fudan University on September 28 conducted a lecture and a round-table conference on the theme - 'Gandhian Thought and International Relations Today'.

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