Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday addressed the United Nations assembly where he paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and spoke widely on his vision, major reforms, teachings and contribution to the Indian social and political system.
PM Modi was speaking at an event– ‘Leadership Matters: Relevance of Gandhi in Temporary Times’–organised by the Indian mission to the UN in New York to commemorate 150th anniversary.
While addressing the event held at the United Nations, PM Modi said that Gandhi’s life was so impressive that it inspired even people who had never met him.
“Gandhiji was an Indian, but he did not just belong to India. Whether it was Martin Luthar King Jr or Nelson Mandela, their beliefs were somewhat influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s vision,” PM Modi said.
PM Modi said that Gandhiji’s life became an inspiration, although he never tried to make an impact with his way of life.
“Today, we are living in an era of ‘How to Impress’ but Gandhiji’s vision was – ‘How to Inspire’,” PM Modi said.
PM Modi said that Mahatma Gandhi “emphasised on the real power of democracy”.
“Today, the definition of democracy has a limited meaning that the people should choose the government of their choice and the government should work according to the expectations of the people. But Mahatma Gandhi showed the direction in which people should not depend on governance and become self-reliant,” PM Modi said.
Further extolling Mahatma Gandhi’ efforts to bring about social reform in India, PM Modi said, “Mahatma Gandhi pioneered a social system that did not depend on the government.”
“It is well known that Mahatma Gandhi brought change. But, all the more, he awakened the inner strength of people and inspired them to bring the change themselves,” PM Modi said.
Mahatma Gandhi has once said– Be the change you want to see in the world.
Projecting himself on the same lines, PM Modi said, “In the last five years, we have given priority to people’s participation. Whether it is Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or Digital India, people are now leading these campaigns themselves.”
“Had not the responsibility of freedom struggle be on shoulders of Mahatma Gandhi, he would have gone ahead with his idea of Swaraj and self-reliance,” PM Modi said.
PM Modi said that this vision of Gandhiji is becoming a great medium to solve big challenges facing India today.
PM Modi said that Gandhi’s principles “act as a guide to protect humanity”.
“Whether it is climate change or terrorism, corruption or selfish social life, these principles of Gandhiji act as a guide to protect humanity. I am confident that Gandhiji showed this way to build a better world. I will prove to be inspiring,” PM Modi said.
“As long as thoughts of Gandhiji continue to be a significant part of humanity, his inspiration and relevance will also remain among us,” PM Modi said.
Apart from mentioning Mahatma Gandhi’s values and their relevance in the current scenario, PM Modi also thanked the UN for issuing a special commemorative stamp on 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.