Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said Mahatma Gandhi helped bring out the inner strength of people and inspired them with his philosophy, even among those who had never met him.
Martin Luther King Junior and Nelson Mandela’s policies were based on Gandhi’s vision, he said.
Addressing a programme on ‘Relevance of Mahatma Gandhi in the Contemporary World’ at the UNGA, he said that Mahatma Gandhi was at the centre of India’s freedom movement but his philosophy was not just for that.
“He helped to bring out the inner strength of people, and inspired them and even if he had not been engaged in the freedom struggle he would have spent his life on swaraj and self reliance. His vision is before us.
“Through peoples’ participation, jan bhagidari, people are leading such programmes in India, whether it’s the Swachh Bharat Mission or Digital India, people are now leading these campaigns themselves,” he said.
“At a time when everybody is thinking of how to impress, we must remember what Mahatma Gandhi stood for – how to inspire. Mahatma Gandhi never held positions of power, yet he motivates people around the world.
“Millions of people, several nations drew strength from his ideals and attained freedom,” he said.
“Mahatma Gandhi stressed on the real strength of democracy. He taught people to be self-sufficient and not to depend on governments,” he said.
Later Modi along with other leaders jointly inaugurated solar panels atop the UN Headquarters and the Gandhi Peace Park in New York.
A stamp on Mahatma Gandhi was released by the UN on the occasion.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and a number of heads of state, including Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Michael Holness and Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, were present on the occasion