“In India, he is lovingly referred to as Bapu, which means father. In a spiritual sense, he is a guiding light for all of us. His ideas have persisted over time as a tool of social change, non-violent ways of life and humanism,” said Justice Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud, the Chief Justice of India, as he led tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his 154th birth anniversary in London on October 2.
“Bapu's legacy extends far beyond the boundaries of India. His ideas have inspired countless individuals and people’s movements around the world, transcending cultural and geographical barriers. His philosophy continues to influence and guide those who strive for a more equitable and just society,” he said.
Marked the world over as the International Day of Non-Violence, Gandhi Jayanti celebrations resonated among the British Indian diaspora in London at the Gandhi statues at Tavistock Square and Parliament Square. Maharashtra’s Minister for Cultural Affairs Sudhir Munganitwar, among the special visiting guests at Tavistock Square, reflected upon the enduring legacy of the Mahatma.
He said: “This day is marked the world over as the International Day of Non-Violence because of the mantra of ahimsa given by Mahatma Gandhiji.
“He also gave India the mantra of self-reliance through the use of the spinning wheel (charkha) as a tool for change.”
Alpesh Patel, the president of the India League, made a powerful statement against extremist and separatist forces as he obliquely referenced the recent incident involving pro-Khalistan extremists blocking the gurdwara visit of Indian High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami in Glasgow.
Patel said: “We must build bridges of compassion over rivers of mistrust and erect lighthouses of reason on shores of ignorance. As president of the India League, Your Excellency, I must on behalf of British citizens apologise to you if you have ever felt unwelcome in the United Kingdom by any actions of any British citizens here.
“They are wrong minded. You and the people of India are most welcome in this country.”
MORE LIKE THIS…
The Indian High Commissioner, who addressed both Gandhi Jayanti gatherings in London, delved into the deeper meanings behind the favourite bhajans of the Father of the Indian nation that continue to inspire to this day.
“He taught us how to fight against injustice and cruelty, peacefully. We remember him for that and for winning India its freedom,” said Lord Meghnad Desai, who led the proceedings at the Gandhi statue in Parliament Square.