Gandhi com­mem­o­ra­tive events: June 6 and 7


THE High Com­mis­sion of In­dia, South Africa, with the sup­port of the In­dian Min­istries of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs and Cul­ture, the In­dian Coun­cil for Cul­tural Re­la­tions and the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg Gandhi Me­mo­rial Com­mit­tee, will be host­ing a se­ries of events on June 6 and 7 in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg to com­mem­o­rate the 125th an­niver­sary of the birth of Satya­graha.

In­dia’s Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs Min­is­ter Sushma Swaraj will inaugurate a spe­cial twosided bust of Ma­hatma Gandhi at the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg Rail­way Sta­tion on Thurs­day. She will inaugurate a Digital Mu­seum on Ma­hatma Gandhi as well.

She will also jointly re­lease com­mem­o­ra­tive stamps on In­dian and ANC stal­warts, Pandit Deen­dayal Upad­hyaya and OR Tambo, as well as re­lease com­mem­o­ra­tive coins on Gandhi.

A cof­fee ta­ble book on Gandhi, which en­cap­su­lates quotes by world lead­ers and em­i­nent per­son­al­i­ties on the rel­e­vance of Gand­hiji’s mes­sage of peace in the 21st cen­tury, will also be re­leased.

An event high­light will in­clude a re-en­act­ment of the his­toric train jour­ney un­der­taken by Gand­hiji 125 years ago. The train will be draped in Khadi, es­pe­cially im­ported from the Khadi and Vil­lage In­dus­tries Com­mis­sion In­dia, as a mark of re­spect to Gandhi, who in the early 20th cen­tury started a na­tion­al­ist move­ment for home­spun cot­ton cloth in re­ac­tion to for­eign im­posed fab­ric sold at ex­or­bi­tant rates.

The two-day com­mem­o­ra­tion ac­tiv­i­ties will also in­clude a Youth Sum­mit on June 6, where 20 di­as­pora youth from Africa and five from In­dia will be spe­cially flown to Pi­eter­mar­itzburg to speak on the rel­e­vance of Gand­hiji’s mes­sage of peace to the youth of to­day.

The Gandhi-Man­dela Youth Sum­mit is ex­pected to con­clude with the adop­tion of a res­o­lu­tion.

There will also be a mini film fes­ti­val on Gand­hiji, fea­tur­ing, among oth­ers, the Os­car-win­ning film Gandhi by Richard Attenborough, all of which will be screened free for the public. The com­mem­o­ra­tion will also in­clude an ad­dress by Min­is­ter Swaraj at the Pi­eter­mar­itzburg City Hall, on the evening of June 6, made his­toric also by Gandhi, who ad­dressed the venue more than 100 years ago in 1912.

The Pi­eter­mar­itzburg City Hall and sta­tion, as well as the Gandhi statue at Church Street, will be lit up in na­tional colours on June 6 as a mark of re­spect to the father of the In­dian na­tion.

Next year will be the 150th birth an­niver­sary of Gandhi, which will be com­mem­o­rated in In­dia over a two-year pe­riod, spot­light­ing the rel­e­vance of Gand­hiji’s mes­sage in mod­ern times.

A na­tion’s cul­ture re­sides in the hearts and in the soul of its peo­ple. Ma­hatma Gandhi

In­dia’s Min­is­ter of Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs, Sushma Swaraj.

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