Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Gandhi is a real hero of mine

Said President Barack Obama during his interaction with 9th Graders of Wakefield High School, Arlington, Virginia on September 8, 2009.

Today is 'Gandhi Jayanti' - the 144th birth anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948) popularly known as ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ or better still as ‘Father of the Nation’. In 2007, the United Nations declared 2nd October as the International Day of Non-Violence, as a mark of respectful tribute to a person who dedicated his life practicing the principles of non-violence, equality or oneness, and truthfulness.
President Barack Obama (White House)

President Barack Obama - also winner of the Nobel Peace prize (2009) - when asked, during his Interaction Meet, by a student of Wakefield High School "If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? The President replied : "Dinner with anyone dead or alive? Well, you know, dead or alive, that's a pretty big list. You know, I think that it might be Gandhi, who is a real hero of mine. Now, it would probably be a really small meal because -- (laughter) -- he didn't eat a lot. But he's somebody who I find a lot of inspiration in. He inspired Dr. King, so if it hadn't been for the non-violent movement in India, you might not have seen the same non-violent movement for civil rights here in the United States. He inspired César Chávez, and he -- and what was interesting was that he ended up doing so much and changing the world just by the power of his ethics, by his ability to change how people saw each other and saw themselves -- and help people who thought they had no power realize that they had power, and then help people who had a lot of power realize that if all they're doing is oppressing people, then that's not a really good exercise of power. So I'm always interested in people who are able to bring about change, not through violence, not through money, but through the force of their personality and their ethical and moral stances. And that's somebody that I'd love to sit down and talk to". (Source : White House Press Office)
Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary-General

In his message on this occasion, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said : "Today we celebrate the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi and his resonant legacy of non-violence.  Gandhi showed the power of peacefully opposing oppression, injustice and hatred.  His example has inspired many other history-makers such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Václav Havel, Rigoberta Menchú Tum and Nelson Mandela.  Their message to each of us is to champion human dignity, reject intolerance and work for a world where people of all cultures and beliefs live together on the basis of respect and equality". 

He concluded his message by saying : :On this International Day of Non-Violence, I call on global citizens everywhere to be inspired by the courage of people like Mahatma Gandhi. Turn your back to division and hatred; stand up for what is right and just.  Work with your fellow women and men for a world of lasting justice, peace and prosperity for all".
“Non-Violence,” a sculpture by Karl Fredrik Reutersward,
sits permanently outside UN Headquarters in New York

Some links and pictorial illustrations of his personality are given below :
Rabindranth Tagore on Mahatma Gandhi

The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi
by R.K. Prabhu & U.R. Rao 
My Mahatmaship

Top world leaders and authors from different fields have said and written volumes about Mahatma Gandhi but his own "An Autobiography" Or "The story of my experiments with truth" provides the deepest insight into his philosophy and thought. 

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