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‘Gandhi’s concept of non-violence interconnected with philosophy, politics and action with morality’

Mahatma Gandhi’s concept of non-violence is interconnected with philosophy, politics and action with morality, India’s High Commissioner to Canada Ajay Bisaria has said, stressing that many of his ideas foreshadowed the movements the world now has to fight issues like climate change and sustainable development.

Speaking at a virtual meeting to mark the 151st birth anniversary of Gandhi, Bisaria also pointed out that his legacy inspired several national projects in India like the Swach Bharat mission and the Clean India mission.

The Gandhian concept of non-violence is interconnected with philosophy, politics and action with morality, he said on Saturday.

“Many of Gandhi’s ideas foreshadowed the movements we now have for fighting issues like climate change and sustainable development,” he added.

Bisaria said Gandhi inspired many world leaders, including the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.

Barack Obama, the former US President, saw Gandhi as an inspiration and had his portrait hanging in his office, the Indian diplomat said.

He stressed the global relevance of Gandhian concept of non-violence as “not just a philosophy and a political strategy, but as a means of achieving justice and change.” Recalling his experiences in Pakistan, Bisaria said two years ago, when the Indian High Commission in Islamabad organised an event to commemorate 150 years of Gandhi’s birth anniversary, they feared that no Pakistani citizen would join the celebration.

“This was because Pakistan was dismissive of Gandhian legacy,” said Bisaria, who served as India’s envoy in Pakistan.

The mission invited one person, who was influenced by Gandhian thought, he said.

“Eventually, a large number of Pakistani citizens joined the celebration and appreciated a discussion on Gandhi’s legacy,” he said.

Dr Clayborne Carson from Standard University and Dr Fazal Devji from Oxford University, who is also the author of the book titled ‘The Impossible Indian: Gandhi and the temptation of violence’, lauded Gandhi’s legacy during the panel discussion which was organised jointly by the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Council of Ottawa and the Carleton University in Ottawa.