Vol 9 - No. 4




Mahatma Gandhi R25 (1 oz 24ct) Gold Coin: 
South Africa

Obama's Hero - Ban's World Compass
United Nations honors Gandhi’ ideals declar
ing Gandhi’s birthday: 
02 October as “International Day of Non-Violence”


“If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be”, a student named Lilly asked U.S. President Barack Obama. “I think that it might be Gandhi, who is a real hero of mine… he's somebody who I find a lot of inspiration in… it would probably be a really small meal because he didn't eat a lot,” replied Obama during discussion with ninth graders in Wakefield High School in Arlington (Virginia, USA) on Sept. 8.

“The America of today has its roots in the India of Mahatma Gandhi and the nonviolent social action movement for Indian independence which he led,” Obama added, according to reports.

Also known as the 'Father of the Nation', Mahatma Gandhi led a non-violent freedom struggle against the British Empire that led to India's independence in August 1947 and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom around the globe.

Reports quoted Obama also saying that Gandhi’s message of non-violence continued to inspire people and political movements across the globe…“Americans owe an enormous measure of gratitude to the Mahatma”…” we must renew our commitment to live his ideals”…

Acclaimed Indo-American leader Rajan Zed, commended Obama in a statement in Nevada (USA) Oct. 2, for expressing “appreciation for the life and lessons of Mahatma Gandhi on the (140th) anniversary of his birth”. The world should look deeper into Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence, his commitment to world peace, and his work for the upliftment of the downtrodden, he added.

Rajan Zed, who is chairperson of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, further said that Mahatma Gandhi was one of the few men in history to fight simultaneously on moral, religious, political, social, economic, and cultural fronts. His life and thought had an enormous impact on the world, and he continued to be widely revered as one of the greatest moral, political, and peace leaders of the twentieth century.

Obama's tribute to Gandhi was significant also in view of the fact that although peace icon Gandhi (1869-1948) never set foot on America, yet he was on Time magazine covers in 1930, 1931, and 1947; Time Person of the Year in 1930; and was runner-up for Time Person of the Century, Zed pointed out.

Zed also thanked search engine Google for replacing “G” in Google in their homepage with Gandhi’s face Oct. 2. Google is the most visited website on the Internet and one of the most powerful brands in the world. Eric E. Schmidt is the CEO.

Rajan Zed is a Hindu and Indo-American statesman who was invited to read historic first Hindu prayers to the Washington State Senate, Nevada Assembly and the Nevada Senate, as well as the United States Senate in Washington DC -- his prayer is transcribed on page S9069 of the Congressional Record. He also read the historic first Hindu prayers in the State Senates of California, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Washington, besides Arizona House of Representatives.

© Google


In a separate message, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Gandhi's message of non-violent struggle is key to facing modern threats.

Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy of non-violence in the face of aggression is an enduring symbol of hope for leaders and grass-roots campaigners alike in defeating the growing number of hostile forces threatening the modern world, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Oct. 2.

In a message marking the third annual International Day of Non-violence, observed on Oct. 2 in honour of Gandhi’s birthday, Ban said that Gandhi understood that a powerful idea could change the world.

“He knew that individuals, working alone and together, could realize what others might dismiss as impossible dreams,” Ban said of Gandhi. “We strive, for example, to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction,” he said.

Ban further noted: “Recent initiatives and meetings, including last week’s (Sept. 24) Security Council summit on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, have improved prospects for reductions in global arsenals.”

The UN Secretary-General underscored the importance of sustaining this momentum, and called on the international community to press for success at next year’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference and beyond.

“The call to non-violence need not apply only to the use of deadly weapons,” he added. “The United Nations and its grass-roots partners have long campaigned to stop the human assault on our planet.”

Greenhouse gas emissions have long threatened the planet, he said, urging activists everywhere “to turn up the heat on world leaders to seal a deal at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December”, according to UN News Service.


Copyright © 2009 IDN-InDepthNews Service



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