NEW YORK (TIP): The 143rd Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi was celebrated on October 2, 2012, at the Union Square Park, near Gandhiji’s statue, amidst the presence of several followers of Gandhian philosophy and principles, representatives of public sector units, the officers and staff of the Consulate General of India, New York, local political leaders and media persons. As in the past years, the event was organized by the Indian Consulate in collaboration with Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. About 60 persons participated in the function which aroused a lot of interest and enthusiasm amongst the passers-by, who also joined the program
The program began with offering of floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at the statue by the dignitaries and the participants.
Felicitating the gathering on the occasion, Consul General, Mr. Prabhu Dayal, spoke briefly about Gandhism and its relevance in the world today. He quoted the words of Albert Einstein about posterity, wondering that such a man as Gandhi having walked this Earth and also President Obama reiterating his faith in Gandhian principles, would have liked to learn at the dinner table with Gandhi. He recalled Gandhi’s influence on world leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in shaping the non violent movement for freedom and civil rights. He also mentioned that on June 15, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly had declared October 2 to be marked each year, as International Day of Non-Violence in honor of the great leader of India’s Independence movement and proponent of satyagraha and strategy of non-violence. He further said that Gandhism is a way of life that can be adopted by people of all strata of society.
The other speakers, notably Mr. H. R. Shah, Dr. Navin Mehta, Mr. Kenny Desai of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mr. Dhimant Pradyumna . Trivedi, of Bank of Baroda and Dr. Najma Sultana also spoke about Gandhian principles and exhorted the participants about the immediate need to spread the tenets of non violence, peaceful coexistence and harmonious living.
The event concluded with a recital of Gandhiji’s favorite bhajans, namely ‘Vaishnav Jan To” and “Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram” by the music academy of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.