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Mahatma Gandhi is son of Africa: Zambian speaker
Published on 6 Jan. 2010 12:16 AM IST
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Mahatma Gandhi is the son of Africa and was also influenced by the principles of non-violence during his days spent in that continent, said Amusaa K. Mwanamwambwa, Speaker of the Zambian National Assembly, here. “He (Gandhi) is the son of Africa. We also share with India the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi,” Mwanamwambwa told IANS on the sidelines of the Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of Commonwealth Countries (CSPOC) Tuesday. “Eventually, I have the right to claim it,” the Zambian leader said after gazing at a photograph of Mahatma Gandhi and reading the words on the caption below it. He was going round an exhibition on parliamentary democracy at Vigyan Bhavan organised by the Lok Sabha Secretariat and had stopped before a photograph of Mahatma Gandhi, with his words below that read: “My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest should have the same opportunity as the strongest. That can never happen except through non-violence.” Mwanamwambwa said Mahatma Gandhi, who spent a considerable period of his early life in Africa, was also inspired by the principles of non-violence in that continent. He said that “tolerance is the basic nature of the people of Africa and India”. Gandhiji’s teachings on non-violence also influenced the Zambian independence movement. Zambia became independent in 1964. The Zambian speaker, who heads a 158-member National Assembly, said his delegation felt “enlightened” to be on the soil of one of the biggest democracies in the world. He said Zambia shares strong diplomatic relations with India. “Way back to 1964, India was one of the five nations that accepted a new Zambia,” Mwanamwambwa said referring to the era just before his country got independence from British rule. He said he is a “frequent” visitor to India and loves to come to the country. The Zambian speaker said his parliament officials have visited India’s Bureau of Parliamentary Studies and Training to learn more about Indian parliamentary democracy. The Commonwealth Speakers’ Conference is one of the best suited platforms to strengthen parliamentary-level diplomacy among Commonwealth nations, said Mwanamwambwa. The conference is from Jan 4-8.

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