The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today unveiled a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Roma Street Parklands, Brisbane. Speaking on the occasion, he noted how the organizer of the event, Mr. Hemant Nayak, had recalled that Shri Modi was keen on having this statue installed even from the days when he had not yet become the Chief Minister of Gujarat. He thanked Mr. Nayak for correcting the perception that some people had, that he had begun to mention Mahatma Gandhi only after becoming Prime Minister. He added that he never thought his suggestion (of having such a statue installed) would become reality, or that he would have the good fortune of unveiling it, and he considered this moment to be no less than a divine message.
He said it was no ordinary being, but an era, that had been born on October 2nd, (1869) at Porbandar. He said Gandhiji is relevant even today to the world. He referred to the problems of global warming and terrorism that had been discussed in the just-concluded G20 summit at Brisbane, and said Gandhiji`s life gives us the answers.
The Prime Minister said the tendency of human beings for several centuries had been to exploit nature. However, Mahatma Gandhi always showed us that we have no right to do so. He would not accept a full glass of water, if he needed half a glass; and he would use the reverse side of used envelops to conserve paper. The Prime Minister said that if the world follows Gandhi`s examples, a lot can be done for the environment.
The Prime Minister said that for Mahatma Gandhi ahimsa (non-violence) was an article of faith - he was against even verbal violence. He said the world can be healed if we all imbibe his message, of respecting one and all.
The Governor of Queensland Paul de Jersey and Lord Mayor of Brisbane Councillor Graham Quirk were present on the occasion.