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Ambassador's speech on 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi

Posted on: October 03, 2018 | Back | Print

Speech by Ambassador

Your Excellency Sheikh Mohammed Said al-Kalbani, Minister of Social Development of the Sultanate of Oman

Dignitaries from Government of Oman
Colleagues from the Diplomatic Corps
Sister Shivani
Members of the Indian community
Distinguished Guests


Good evening!

I am delighted to welcome you all to this special event to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and to observe the United Nations International Day of Non-Violence. This event has been organized by the Indian Embassy in association with Raja Yoga Center for Self-development.

Today, we commence the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the great apostle of peace and non-violence, and the Father of the Indian nation. Each year, 2nd October is observed as the International Day of Non-violence the world over. This was a decision taken by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007. The Resolution was co-sponsored by over 140 countries and adopted by consensus, reflecting the universal respect that Mahatma Gandhi commands and the enduring relevance of his humane philosophy.

I believe that the deep desire for peace and for a better tomorrow for our future generations is universal. Sadly, many parts of the world remain conflict-ridden and a sizable population deprived of basic needs. New threats to peace, harmony and stability have emerged.

As traditional instruments of preserving peace are found to be inadequate, we need to look for new instruments. We can find inspirations from the messages and teachings of Gandhiji.

In Oman, we are fortunate to have a leader like His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, who has made Oman an oasis of peace. Under His Majesty’s leadership, the Sultanate of Oman continues to play a major role in promotion of global peace.

Gandhiji’s guiding principles of Ahimsa (non-violence), Satyagraha (force born of truth) and Sarvodaya (upliftment of all) remain as relevant today as they were a century ago.

Gandhiji was a firm believer in the power of love and non-violence. He said - “The power based on love is a thousand time more effective and permanent than the one derived from the fear of punishment.”

He also said - “non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man”.

For Gandhiji, the means were as important as the ends. He said - “There are many causes that I am prepared to die for, but no causes that I am prepared to kill for.”

Today is an occasion for all of us to reaffirm our resolve to live by the values and ideals espoused by Mahatma Gandhi.

In our event today, we have already witnessed the release of commemorative Indian stamps. Shortly after my remarks, we will see a special video on messages from the life of Mahatma Gandhi, followed by video of a devotional song from daily prayer of Mahatma Gandhi, in the voice of popular Omani singer Haitham Mohammed Rafi. This will be followed by a fusion/ medley version of Bhayan which was released earlier today by Prime Minister. This combines contribution by artists over 40 countries. Today’s celebration will be completed with a message of peace presented by Sister Shivani, a renowned motivational speaker.

We are encouraged to see such a large gathering at this event. We hope that you will find the programme meaningful and enriching.

I would like to convey my special thanks to His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed Said al-Kalbani, Minister of Social Development of the Sultanate of Oman, for gracing this occasion as its Chief Guest.

I also thank Sister Shivani, dignitaries and Officials from Government of Oman, fellow ambassadors and colleagues from diplomatic corps, members of Indian community and distinguished guests from Oman, for joining us.

I am also happy to announce that today’s celebration is only the beginning of a two year-long celebration to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Over the next two years, the Embassy will organize, with cooperation and support of Government of Oman and other organizations, several events and activities to spread Gandhiji’s message of peace and non-violence. These will include online quiz competitions, exhibition of Khadi products, a vegetarian food festival, screening of documentaries, talk show, interaction with schools students, and planting of trees on World Environment Day. We look forward to active participation by all of you in these events and activities.

I once again thank you all for joining us today.

Thank you.