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Gandhi’s secular India continues to be challenged: Manipur Gov

Gandhi’s secular India continues to be challenged: Manipur Gov
Dr. Najma Heptulla
Correspondent IMPHAL, FEB 15 | Publish Date: 2/15/2020 10:29:29 AM IST

Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of an inclusive, secular India continues to be challenged, said Manipur Governor Dr Najma Heptulla, in her speech at a national seminar on ‘Mahatma Gandhi’s inclusive approach to humanity’ held on Saturday at Raj Bhawan, Imphal.

The seminar was organised in commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti.

The Governor said Gandhi’s philosophy and devotion strongly inspired the human rights movements of the 20th century. 

However, today this movement is under renewed pressure in all corners of the world. In many cases, conflict still persists along religious and ethnic lines, often within the borders of nation states, she added. 

Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of an independent India based on religious pluralism was initially challenged by separatist forces based on religion, eventually leading to the partition of India, at a great human cost, she said.

“Today, Gandhi’s vision of an inclusive, secular India continues to be challenged, despite India’s fundamentally multi religious fabric,” she added. 

In this time of uncertainty and disruption, the celebration of Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary was a reminder of the continued relevance of his teachings and of their importance all over the world. 

“Let us, therefore, remind ourselves of what Gandhi ji not only said, but also did,” she said quoting Gandhi’s word “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

“Gandhiji’s teachings also remind us that change often begins at the individual level, and that we all, as human beings, have the capability to change the world through peaceful activism,” Dr Heptulla added.

State chief minister N Biren Singh who also attended the inaugural function of the seminar said that there were many strong weapons that can destroy world by a single press to a switch.

However, Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology for peace and ahimsa saved the world. 

“Whenever ahimsa is there, world will be there and we will remember Gandhiji. Mahatma Gandhi is beacon of peace and apostle of non-violence. He is an Indian but the whole world admires his principles and ideology,” Singh said. 

Dr Acharya Lokesh said that unity in diversity was the fundamental feature of Indian culture.

“With the strength of unity in India’s diversity, if our social and family values are not secured,  India’s future will be in danger,” he said. 

“Adopt a culture of connecting, not dividing. Support the truth and recognize it. For this, we have to adopt Gandhiji’s ideas. The unity in diversity of our country will have to be strengthened by following the principals of Mahatma,” he added.

As part of today’s national seminar, Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti Magazine ‘Aahwaan’ was released. 

Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti is organising peace and harmony conclave in different states of the country to mark the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and will organize 25 national seminars in almost all provinces of the country and last seminar will be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA.

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