Indian Overseas Congress celebrates 151th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi


“Dr Sam Pitroda has launched the urdu version of 1st Arabic book about Gandhi written by Abdul Nabi Al Shola, Former Minister of Kingdom of Bahrain”

Manama: Indian Overseas Congress (IOC) Bahrain Chapter has celebrated online the 151th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, reiterating the importance of Gandhian legacy and ideals for a better future. IOC Chairman and technocrat Sam Pitroda inaugurated the webinar. Former Minister, Kingdom of Bahrain, and AlFanar Investment Holding Chairman Abdulnabi AlShoala’s book on Mahatma Gandhi was released by Sam Pitroda

During the online seminar. The speakers emphasised that today, there is global reverence for Gandhi because the world is realizing that his vision of peace and equality, and his method of non-violence are more relevant today than in his times.

Oscar Fernandes

Gandhi is more relevant to the world than ever before: Sam Pitroda Speaking on the occasion, Sam Pitroda, who was advisor to ex-Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, said: ‘In celebrating the 151st birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, it’s good to remember the values of simplicity and honesty. Today, Gandhi is more relevant to the world than ever before. The world is going through a major crisis, not just because of the coronavirus (COVID-19), but also because of rising movements around the world. We are all connected for the first time in history; this has never happened before. This connectivity is very different, as it is hyper-connectivity and bringing the world’s library at your doorstep. It is possible for a small kid in a remote village to visit the Guggenheim Museum or see Bahrain as if he or she has been there. This kind of connectivity brings about decentralization, democratization, and demonetization. We all know Gandhian values, but may find them difficult to practice. What was important to him was truth and absolute truth, and love for others irrespective of race. He believed in freedom, justice, inclusion and democracy. All these things are very fundamental. Somehow, in modern life, we have lost track of these human values. Everybody is being judged by a different set of parameters, whether due to money, power, or position. Humanity has been put on the backburner. Today is a good time to reflect on Gandhian values within us. Each of us must dig inside ourselves and see what these things mean to us. There are two things that matter: first is the planet. We are all connected as human beings by natural resources. We must take care of our planet—it doesn’t need us; we need it. The second thing is people. Today, truth is not practised. We need people who can sacrifice and love. Diversity is given to us by nature. Diversity is at our core. That’s the beauty of human civilization. Today’s message has to be for each one of us to look inside, practice Gandhianvalues. If we don’t, we don’t deserve to celebrate his birthday. We must be more Gandhian in our heart. Irrespective of what wealth we have, it is about simplicity, humanity, concern for our planet, and love.
Time now to infuse his values and ideals: Abdul Nabi Al Shola

Bahrain’s former minister of Labour and Social Affairs Abdulnabi AlShoala said: ‘In 2007, the entire family of nations through a UN resolution decided to celebrate this day as the International Day of Non-violence. It reaffirms the principle of non-violence, which is what Gandhi spent his life to promote. Gandhi served humanity and human causes. He advocated for human values and rights. He became and remains to be a beacon of hope and source of inspiration to people all over the world. He remains one of the most inspirational figures in this world. The teachings of Gandhi go beyond his successful leadership. His achievements and teachings make him a world hero, as they are universal. The principle of non-violence is one of his biggest contributions to the world. Every day shows what he said is true. We can vouch for that in the region today in the Middle East, which is marked by widespread violence. In today’s polarized society and violent world, looking at the present state of affairs, the teachings of Gandhi are more needed and more relevant today. Gandhi becomes all the more pertinent in our time. It is a desperate time now to infuse his values and ideals. His contributions to the world are huge, lasting and relevant. This month, in 1969, more than 50 years ago, I visited India for the first time. I was supposed to be there for just a few days, but that visit turned out to be for more than four years. When I landed, India was celebrating 100 years of Gandhi. I developed a deep appreciation of his teachings, which led to my book, which was published and launched on the celebrations of his 150th birthday. The Urdu edition of the book has coincided with the 151st anniversary, and the Malayalam edition is being launched right now. The English and Hindi editions are in their final stages, and will hopefully be released at the end of the year despite the COVID-19 crisis. The Arabic original versions are now out of stock, and the third edition is in the process of printing. This is another demonstration of the relevance of his teachings in the Arab world.

Gandhian values bring about changes in our lives: Oscar Fernandes Indian politician and senior Indian National Congress leader Oscar Fernandes said: Mahatma Gandhi is as relevant today as he was from the days he fought for freedom, and will continue to be relevant in the days to come. Gandhi was an NRI, and then he returned to India in 1915; from that time, he took the task of bringing Indians together. When he travelled around the county, he found poverty, hunger, unemployment, problems for farmers, and plenty of struggle, He said that it is not enough to have independence, but that we must also find employment for people and provide education for everyone. His dreams have come true. Gandhi wanted villages to rule themselves. When Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister, he said that he shall make the villages rule themselves and the central government will be providing all finance required. He was able to bring about change to the lives of the people. I once met with a great leader and freedom fighter. When I met him, he was writing, and after a while, he looked at me and said, “Oscar, I am writing a story of unsung heroes. We have a record of all freedom fighters, but nobody has spoken of the unsung heroes.” This brings me to a story, of a procession led by seven young girls. It was a huge procession, led by a seven-year-old girl, while the seventh child was 13 years old. The police stopped them, but the first child said that she would not stop. She was carrying the congress flag. Police warned her that they would shoot her if she proceeded, and the elders came and told the child to turn around. The child refused, and continued to take steps forward. The police then went on and shot her down. As she fell down, she passed the flag on to the second child, who moved forward. Police warned her as well and told her to leave or they will shoot her too. The girl said that she will follow her sister, and she was eventually shot down. She too passed on the flag to the third girl. This continued and the flag came to the seventh child, with the other six children on ground, dead. The seventh child looked behind her, and she saw nobody behind. She still went forward and was shot in the chest. When the child was falling to the ground, she held the flag tight to her chest. This is how Gandhi’s struggle took the country to the stage of achieving freedom. In 1947, India got its freedom. Within six months, Gandhi left us. His task was achieved. He achieved for the nation, and left the task for all of us to realize the rest of his dream. We have a long way to go, but we have come to a stage of being world leaders today. Within a decade, India will be one of the top-most countries in the world.

Gandhian ideals are for the world: Mohammed Mansoor

Indian Overseas Congress President Mohammed Mansoorsaid: Mahatma Gandhi is one of the greatest leaders of our country and known for his struggle for India’s Independence, and he was called Father of the Nation. His principle of truth and non-violence are just not limited to India, in fact, the whole world follows him and his teachings. Under the leadership of Dr. Sam Pitroda, IOC has started multiple charity and social program and in just a short duration, has managed to create a lot of impact in the Indian Diaspora abroad. Bahrain is a home to many Indians and expatriates alike, and this happens only due to the dedicated love, attention by the ruling family, under the wise leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, who is a pioneer and under his supremacy, we have enjoyed the goodwill relationship, also catered by Prime Minister His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister. IOC along with KHK Heroes Foundation an initiative of His Highness Shaikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Khalifa have joined hands for a united cause, helping those most vulnerable during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

AICC Gen: Himansu Vyas

Secretary in charge of IOC said Mahatma Gandhi was a great leader who fought not only against the British rule but also against the evils of society. He worked for the poorest of the poor. Mahatma Gandhi showed that his life was his message.

Secretary IOC, Middle East Incharge: Dr. Arati Krishna

said as we celebrate Gandhi Jayanthi, the thoughts and teachings of Gandhiji are relevant to this day. When we see strife divisive tendencies erupting in India and around the world and pose seemingly intractable problems,it’s important to remember the twin pillars of Gandhian thoughts : Ahimsa and Satygaraha.Let’s resolve on this day to fight injustice and discrimination through peace,nonviolence and the power of truth.

Daily Tribune & 4pm News Paper Md, Unni Krishnan