The Prime Minister today addressed the second meeting of the National Committee held at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
The meeting was presided over by Hon’ble Rashtrapati ji. Participants of the meeting included other members of the National Committee including Hon’ble Vice President, members of the Union Cabinet, Chief Ministers of various states, noted Gandhians and others. Prime Minister of Portugal HE Mr. Antonio Costa, the only foreign Prime Minister to be a member of the Committee, also participated in the meeting.
In his address, Hon’ble Rashtrapati ji complimented the Executive Committee, working under the direct supervision of Prime Minister, for turning the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Father of the Nation into a ‘Jan Andolan’, with Prime Minister providing personal leadership to initiatives like Swachh Bharat and spreading the Mahatma’s teachings for protecting the environment through initiatives like working towards elimination of single use plastic etc.
The Prime Minister also released and presented to the President a book on Commemorative Activities compiled by Ministry of Culture and an Anthology on Gandhi ji compiled by Ministry of External Affairs. In the anthology, 126 persons of eminence from across the world have written on their experiences with Gandhiji’s teachings. A short film on commemorative activities under taken as part of the global celebrations of ‘Gandhi@150’ was also shown during the meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister acknowledged the suggestions of the members flowing from the first meeting in helping to create a commemorative program that harnesses the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi for Jan Bhagidaari.
PM said that the world today is eager to know Gandhi and ready to accept him. Hence it becomes India’s responsibility to keep reminding the world of the abiding relevance of Mahatma and his vision.
PM thanked the Portuguese Prime Minister for taking the time through the year to be personally engaged with the commemorative activities both in India as well as in Portugal.
Prime Minister underlined the fact that ‘Gandhi@150’ was not just a one year program. All citizens need to imbibe Gandhian thought and vision in their lives and take it ahead in the times to come. He further stated that while government commemorations of centenaries are held from time to time, the ‘Gandhi@150’ commemorations have become far more than an occasion. They have become a program of the Jan Samanya and a matter of pride for every Indian.
The Prime Minister reiterated his earlier message from the Red Fort for all citizens to ‘buy local’. This basic philosophy of Gandhi ji for upliftment has the potential to help India develop and progress. He urged all citizens to live by this message till 2022, when the country celebrates 75 years of Independence and even thereafter as a way of life.
Prime Minister mentioned that it was a matter of pride for the country when, during the recently concluded 250th session of the Rajya Sabha, members were encouraged and came forward to speak in their local languages. He stated that even as we work to take Gandhi ji’s message global, we must work together to keep the Mahatma’s message relevant in a contemporary form for the common man across the country.
PM mentioned how Gandhi ji believed that by discharging one’s duties towards the nation and each other faithfully, a human being automatically ensures that the fundamental rights of others are secured. He concluded stating that if everyone walks on this path and faithfully discharges their duties diligently, India’s dreams will be fulfilled.