Statements Statements

151st Gandhi Jayanti Celebrations

151st Gandhi Jayanti Celebrations
Hermitage Durga Mandir
Central Flacq
2 October 2020

REMARKS
High Commissioner Tanmaya Lal

Hon. Prime Minister of Republic of Mauritius,
Hon. Minister of Arts & Cultural Heritage,
Hon. Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries & Shipping,
All the other Hon. Ministers and Distinguished Guests,

भाइयों और बहनों, नमस्कार

It is an honour to be in your midst today and join these celebrations to mark the 151st Gandhi Jayanti here in Mauritius.

Gandhi Jayanti is being celebrated across the world today. But the celebrations here in Mauritius are very special.

In this difficult year for the entire world, it is only in Mauritius that we are able to offer tributes to Gandhiji with such a large participation of people.

This is indeed historic. And this has been made possible entirely by the effective way the Government and people of Mauritius have managed to control the spread of the Covid19 pandemic so successfully. This remarkable achievement of Mauritius is being recognised internationally.

May I take this opportunity to express our great admiration and gratitude to the Mauritian authorities and all the frontline workers who have worked tirelessly and selflessly to make this situation possible.

Excellencies, Friends,

गांधीजी को एक महात्मा के रूप में याद किया जाता है I

वे एक बुद्धिमान और प्रैक्टिकल व्यक्ति थे I

He was a deeply perceptive thinker, constantly looking for practical solutions to change the unjust and discriminatory situations.

वे जन साधारण के प्रतिनिधि थे और साथ ही एक असाधारण नेता भी I भारत के कोने कोने से करोड़ों लोग उनके सादगी भरे जीवन, उनकी ईमानदारी, उनकी निस्वार्थता और उनके मूल्यों के कारण उनमें एक अपनापन पाते थे I

उन्होंने आम आदमी के बल तथा सत्य और नैतिक मूल्यों की शक्ति को पहचाना, उसे संगठित किया और उसका प्रतिनिधित्व किया I यही कारण है कि उन्होंने भारतवर्ष के करोणों लोगों के स्वाधीनता आन्दोलन को अहिंसा द्वारा सफल नेतृत्व प्रदान किया I

आज से १२० साल पहले, पिछली सदी के आरम्भ में १९०१ में साउथ अफ्रीका से भारत की यात्रा के दौरान मॉरिशस में उनके पड़ाव की यादें आज भी ताज़ा हैं I मॉरिशस पहुँचने पर उनका बड़े स्तर पर स्वागत हुआ I

The world was a very different place in 1901. Both Mauritius and India were colonies, as were most other countries. Our peoples were not free. Gandhiji was acutely aware of this unjust situation.

During that visit, Gandhiji’s message to the people of Mauritius, especially about empowerment through education and greater political engagement, was farsighted.

It is now well known how the emphasis on education by the previous generations in Mauritius, who toiled hard to teach their children, empowered and uplifted the people and transformed Mauritius into a big success story in five decades.

May I also recall the special significance that the date of 12 March holds for both our countries. It reminds us of our shared people-to-people ties. 90 years ago, this day, the Dandi Salt Satyagraha led by Gandhiji marked an important chapter in India’s difficult non-violent struggle for independence.

And 52 years ago, on 12 March, Mauritius started its own journey as an independent democratic nation progressing from being a colony to a prosperous, Upper Income economy in such a short time.

Gandhiji’s return from South Africa on 9 January 1915 is now celebrated as the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas every year. Last year at the special Pravasi Bharatiya event held in Varanasi, we were honoured by the presence of H.E. Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth as the Chief Guest.

Excellencies, Friends,

Gandhiji’s popularity cut across continents and he remains a global icon more than seven decades after his death.

2nd October is also now marked every year as the United Nations International Day of Non-Violence by the global community. This reflects the deep imprint his life, his ideas and philosophy and have left on the people of the world.

Ganghiji’s message was not only about non-violent struggle for justice.

Gandhiji worked tirelessly to raise awareness about such basic issues as the need to do one’s own work and dignity of all work.

He laid great stress on cleanliness, sanitation and clean environment and encouraged everyone to make personal efforts in this regard.

He strongly supported local skills and handicrafts; prevention of degradation of environment in our own self-interest and use of sustainable practices including in the economic sphere.

He advocated core values of treating fellow human beings with empathy and care, irrespective of their background and status. And building a more just, equitable and harmonious society.

In all of these efforts, Gandhiji led by example.

Most of these ideas find resonance in the global community today when we talk about Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and face the very real threat of Climate Change.

Gandhiji’s emphasis on non-violent struggle and dialogue also continue to be relevant as the world grapples with violent conflicts and terrorism.

All these challenges that continue to trouble modern societies and nations - whether it is inequity or injustice; sustainable development or climate change; or the fight against terrorism - all of these require a moral force and unity of purpose that Gandhiji brought to his actions and his leadership.

In recognition of Gandhiji’s immense contributions and the continued relevance of his ideas and values, Government of India decided to commemorate his 150th birth anniversary with a series of events across the world over a two year long period, especially to introduce his ideas and thoughts to the younger generation.

It is in this context also that we have partnered with Government of Mauritius on various sets of events to commemorate this anniversary.

May I say with all humility, how greatly we value the gestures of the Government of Mauritius to honour Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy through various events over the year.

Earlier today, we marked Gandhi Jayanti with a solemn ceremony at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute.

Some days back we associated with the Safe Cycling campaign (Pedaler en Securite) and were deeply honoured when Hon. Minister of Youth & Sports and Hon. Minister of Public Service paid tributes to Gandhiji as part of the event.

Last year we associated with Government of Mauritius and the High Commission of Australia on the WorldCleanupDay, where a Tree Plantation ceremony was also organized at the Atal Behari Vajpayee Tower compound to highlight environment protection issues also, as part of our tribute to Gandhiji.

The special postage stamps that have been issued by Mauritius Post marking the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, 100th Anniversary of his arrival in Mauritius and his 100th Birth Anniversary are greatly treasured by us.

पिछले वर्ष ३ अक्टूबर के दिन दोनों देशों के प्रधान मंत्रियों द्वारा मेट्रो एक्सप्रेस और ईएनटी हॉस्पिटल के ऑनलाइन उद्घाटन के अवसर पर प्रधान मंत्री मोदी ने मॉरिशस द्वारा गांधीजी को श्रद्धांजलि दिए जाने को भारत और मॉरिशस के परस्पर सम्मान और मॉरिशस का गांधीजी के साथ विशेष सम्बन्ध होने का प्रतीक बताया था I

On 3 October last year, during the joint e-inauguration ceremony of the Metro Express and ENT Hospital projects, Prime Minister Modi spoke of the mutual regard between India and Mauritius when he referred to Mauritius paying homage to Gandhiji’s abiding memory, and remembrance of its special bond with him.

Excellencies, Friends,

May I conclude by saying that Gandhiji’s moral guidance about so many different issues remains relevant for the modern generation and will continue to inspire in the quest for a more just society; a peaceful, harmonious world, one that can build a sustainable future for mankind.

अंत में मैं आप सब के प्रति एक बार फिर अभिनन्दन और बहुत आभार प्रकट करना चाहता हूँ I

भारत मॉरिशस के जैसे सम्बन्ध और मैत्री का अन्य कोई भी उदाहरण मिलना मुश्किल है I

हमारा यह रिश्ता अटूट है I

जय मॉरिशस जय भारत

धन्यवाद

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