Prime Minister addresses the second meeting of the National Committee of ‘Gandhi@150’ commemorations
GN Bureau | December 20, 2019
The world today is eager to know Gandhi and ready to accept him, and thus it becomes India’s responsibility to keep reminding the world of the abiding relevance of Mahatma and his vision, prime minister Narendra Modi has said.
The prime minister was addressing the second meeting of the national committee on the commemorations of Gandhiji’s 150th birth anniversary, held at Rashtrapati Bhawan. The meeting was presided over by president Ram Nath Kovind. Participants included other members of the National Committee including the vice president, members of the union cabinet, chief ministers of various states, noted Gandhians and others. The prime minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa, the only foreign prime minister to be a member of the committee, also participated in the meeting.
In his address, the president complimented the executive committee, working under the direct supervision of the prime minister, for turning the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Father of the Nation into a ‘Jan Andolan’, with the PM providing personal leadership to initiatives like Swachh Bharat and spreading the Mahatma’s teachings for protecting the environment through initiatives like working towards elimination of single use plastic.
The PM also released and presented to the president a book on commemorative activities compiled by the ministry of culture and an anthology on Gandhiji compiled by the ministry of external affairs. In the anthology, 126 persons of eminence from across the world have written on their experiences with Gandhiji’s teachings. A short film on commemorative activities under taken as part of the global celebrations of ‘Gandhi@150’ was also shown during the meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, Modi acknowledged the suggestions of the members flowing from the first meeting in helping to create a commemorative program that harnesses the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi for Jan Bhagidaari.
He thanked the Portuguese prime minister for taking the time through the year to be personally engaged with the commemorative activities both in India as well as in Portugal.
He underlined the fact that ‘Gandhi@150’ was not just a one-year programme. All citizens need to imbibe Gandhian thought and vision in their lives and take it ahead in the times to come. He further stated that while government commemorations of centenaries are held from time to time, the ‘Gandhi@150’ commemorations have become far more than an occasion. They have become a programme of the common people and a matter of pride for every Indian.
The PM reiterated his earlier message from the Red Fort for all citizens to ‘buy local’. This basic philosophy of Gandhiji for upliftment has the potential to help India develop and progress. He urged all citizens to live by this message till 2022, when the country celebrates 75 years of Independence and even thereafter as a way of life.
Modi mentioned that it was a matter of pride for the country when, during the recently concluded 250th session of the Rajya Sabha, members were encouraged and came forward to speak in their local languages. He stated that even as we work to take Gandhiji’s message global, we must work together to keep the Mahatma’s message relevant in a contemporary form for the common man across the country.
He spoke of how Gandhiji believed that by discharging one’s duties towards the nation and each other faithfully, a human being automatically ensures that the fundamental rights of others are secured. He concluded stating that if everyone walks on this path and faithfully discharges their duties diligently, India’s dreams will be fulfilled.
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