Indian High Commission in association with India League observed Mahatma Gandhi's death anniversary on 30th January 2019 at Russell Square in the honorary presence of the High commissioner of India in the UK, Her Excellency, Ruchi Ghanashyam, Lord Ranbir Singh Suri, MP Virendra Sharma, Mayor of Camden Councillor Jenny Headlam-Wells among other representatives of the Indian diaspora.
Mahatma Gandhi, who is also known as India's 'father of the nation' was assassinated on this day in 1948 by Nathuram Godse. Gandhi is well known for his freedom struggle not just in India but also for his agitations in South Africa. Chairman of India League, C B Patel, in his speech said-
“We thought of building Gandhiji's statue towards the end of 1966, at a time when India was neither that strong nor that famous on a global front.
We're grateful to the Camden Borough Council leadership for gifting this beautiful location for this statue in perpetuity for no payment”
Floral tributes were offered to Bapu followed by the observance of two-minutes of silence. Coming forward, Her Excellency Ruchi Ghanashyam said how the world and India lost Gandhi only in the physical esssence and how his ideas continue to live with us.
“The ideas of Gandhi and the ideals that he espoused, the struggles that he fought, the flame of inspiration and freedom that he lit, that was not extinguished. It lives on today.
At a time when we are facing troubles around the globe where we don't know the kind of value systems are driving our society and people, the thinking of Mahatma Gandhi, his philosophy of non-violence and his very unique struggle method called 'Satyagraha'- It is the struggle to enforce the force of truth. Those ideals are as relevant today as they were in his days.”
Camden Councillor Jenny Headlam-Wells in her speech said-
“It was on this unfortunate day that one of the great leaders of the world Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated. I am very proud to join you all today to remember the 71st death anniversary of a remarkable man who symbolises peace and humanity for us all”
“The message that Gandhiji has given not just to the Indians living in India but to the whole world, it was irrespective of caste, creed, gender and religion about the values and morals one should follow,” said Virendra Sharma MP for Ealing Southall.
Girls from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Centre in the UK later performed a beautiful rendition of Mahatma's favourite bhajan 'Raghupati Raghav' while two Japanese friends of the Nipponzan Myohoji sect of Buddhism presented a musical folk performance.