Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a speech at an event commemorating Mahatma Gandhi's 150th anniversary, narrated an incident which highlighted the greatness and humility of the Father of the Nation.
PM Modi said that a few years ago when he met the Queen of England, she had, with a lot of emotions, shown him a handkerchief made out of khadi, which Gandhi had gifted her during the time of her marriage. Modi said that this only showed that Gandhi was cordial and respectful with even those who he had a difference in principles and those who were against him. He went on to say that this incident highlighted Gandhi's greatness.
Modi said that Gandhi respected people who were against him and wanted good things to happen to those people who opposed him and was fighting the battle to gain independence. Modi went on to say that his desire, determination, and commitment to principles drew Gandhi's attention to seven distortions that everyone should be aware of, which are, Wealth Without Work, Pleasure Without Conscience, Knowledge Without Character, Business Without Ethics, Science Without Humanity, Religion Without Sacrifice and Politics Without Principle.
PM Modi also said that Gandhi's ideas made him a powerful and influential figure, but he never used his qualities to influence anyone, but used them to inspire people, for all the right reasons. He said, "Gandhiji never tried to create influence through his life but it became a source of inspiration across the world. We are living in the era of 'how to impress' but Gandhiji's vision was how to inspire."
PM Modi was speaking at the event titled 'Leadership Matters - Relevance of Mahatma Gandhi in the Contemporary World' and was held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. United Nations General Secretary António Guterres was present, and so were Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Michael Holness and Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern.
The event saw the inauguration of the Gandhi Solar Panel, Gandhi Peace Park and the release of a special stamp celebrating Gandhi on his 150th anniversary.