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Fiji Celebrates Gandhi Jayanti

As the largest democracy in the world celebrated the birthday of ‘The Father of the Nation’ yesterday, so too did our Indian diaspora and many Fijians who were inspired by
03 Oct 2016 11:00
Fiji Celebrates Gandhi Jayanti
Bhagwanji Bhindi yesterday lit the diya with Indian High Commissioner to Fiji Vishvas Sapkal(back). Photo: Shahani Mala

As the largest democracy in the world celebrated the birthday of ‘The Father of the Nation’ yesterday, so too did our Indian diaspora and many Fijians who were inspired by his legacy.

Gandhi Jayanti is a festival celebrated in India and elsewhere around the world to mark the occasion of the birth of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, known as Mahatma Gandhi.

Indian High Commissioner to Fiji Vishvas Sapkal paid tribute to the civil rights leader who formed the Quit India, a movement which demanded an end to the British Rule of India during the colonial period.

“He taught everyone to raise their voice against injustice and violence,” Mr Sapkal said.

“Gandhi led India to independence.

“He was the preeminent leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India.

“Employing non-violent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

“He showed his strengths to the world.”

And change the world he did too. His non-violent resistance known as the Satyagraha, (insistence on truth) philosophy was also said to have inspired the likes of Martin Luther King Jnr during the United States Civil Rights Movement.

Satyagraha has been used in many scholarly and political teachings and has been given due praise by academics and politicians around the world.

“He told every common man that no matter what work you are doing, you must fight for your right and freedom,” Mr Sapkal said.

“He played a very important role by gathering people from all over India to contribute towards the freedom of India.”

Mr Sapkal said they appreciate work of Mahatma Gandhi leading India towards independence.

Gandhi Jayanti is a national holiday in India.

Gandhi was assassinated in 1948, aged 78.

One of his many inspirational quotes was: You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

At the Indian High Commission in Suva, chief guest at the celebration, Bhagwanji Bhindi, lit the diya with a candle to symbolise respect for Gandhi.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: shahani.mala@fijisun.com.fj



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