Tribute to Mahatma Gandhi

The Consulate General of India, Sydney, The International Centre for Nonviolence Australia and Soka Gakkai International Australia

welcome you to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi

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2nd October 2021

Here I am wishing everyone blissful celebration of the birth anniversary of the world’s greatest apostle of Ahimsa and peace, after Budha, Mahatma Gandhi and the International Day of Nonviolence declared in 2007 by the United Nations Organization. Gandhi said and lived ‘Ahhimsa is the highest ideal. It is meant for the brave, never for the cowardly’.

For Gandhi, ahimsa was the expression of the deepest love for all humans, including one’s opponents; this non-violence therefore included not only a lack of physical harm to them, but also a lack of hatred or ill-will towards them. Gandhi rejected the traditional dichotomy between one’s own side and the “enemy;” he believed in the need to convince opponents of their injustice, not to punish them, and in this way one could win their friendship and one’s own freedom. If need be, one might need to suffer or die in order that they may be converted to love (Shepard 4).

On April 6, 1930, after having marched 241 miles on foot from his village to the sea, Mohandas K. Gandhi arrived at the coastal village of Dandi, India, and gathered salt. It was a simple act, but one which was illegal under British colonial rule of India. Gandhi was openly defying the British Salt Law. Within a month, people all over India were making salt illegally, and more than 100,000 were sent to jail; many fell victim to police violence, but none retaliated or even defended themselves (Herman 99-101).

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (Bhavan)

It would be instructive to remember that Kulapati Kanhaiyalal Maneklal Munshi founded the Bhavan a full decade before the advent of Independence. 7th of November 1938 was the beginning of an 'Adventure in Faith'. A faith in India's Past, Present and Future. The founding of Bhavan was based on the preservation and propagation of Bharatiya Sanskriti (Indian culture) and Sanskrit, the mother of languages, the akshaya patra - the inexhaustible reservoir. This unpretentious endeavour was backed by Kulapati Munshi's amazing pragmatism. Over the years from being a modest Indological research institution, it has steadily grown into a comprehensive, co-operative, apolitical, national movement with an international outlook. It seeks to inculcate a value-based life. The promotion of ethical and spiritual values in everything that it does.

The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, an internationally reputed institution dedicated to the promotion of education and culture, is a charitable public trust founded by Dr. K.M. Munshi on november 7, 1938. The founding members of the Bhavan include Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the Republic of India, Shri C. Rajagopalachari, the first indian and last Governor General of India; Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of free India; Sardar Patel, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, several distinguished scholars, statesmen and leaders of modern Indian renaissance. From small beginning, the Bhavan has grown into a great intellectual, cultural and educational movement with 112 Kendras in India, 8 overseas Centres (in United Kingdom, United States of America, canada, Portugal, South Africa, Kuwait, Maxico and Australia) and 280 constituent institutions, besides a number of affiliated colleges.

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Australia (Bhavan Australia)

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Australia was set up in Sydney in August 2003. Bhavan Australia is a chapter of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan which has a worldwide presence. Many governments and local councils in Australia consider Bhavan Australia an ambassador of the Indian culture in Australia and approach us for showcase Indian culture in their multicultural festivals and events.

Essay Competion 2019 Open

Essay Competition: Relevance of Mahatma Gandhi today

Essay topics: 1. Social Responsibility OR, 2. World Peace OR, 3. Environment OR, 4. Non Violence in Action. 5. Human Rights

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