President Ram Nath Kovind expressed his "delight" visiting the Philippines and highlighted the friendship between the two countries in his remarks on the occasion of the unveiling of the bust of Mahatma Gandhi at Miriam College in Quezon City. The President unveiled the bust at the Centre of Peace Education at Miriam College on Sunday. He is on an official state visit to the Philippines and will later fly to Japan.
"Today, I feel honoured to unveil his bust in the Philippines – the land of the brave Jose Rizal. I thank Miriam College for giving a place of respect to Mahatma Gandhi on its campus. Both Mahatma Gandhi and Jose Rizal believed in the power of peace and non-violence. The avenue in New Delhi named after your national hero continues to inspire and motivate us," President Kovind said.
He further said that the venue could not have been more appropriate than among students who will pass through the gates of the college with the message of peace through education and advocacy. "Generations of students who pass through your gates will continue to be inspired by his legacy, of being just and ethical in conduct; compassionate and humble in treating fellow human beings; and standing up and championing truth and truth alone, even in most trying times," added the President.
Honoured to unveil Mahatma Gandhi's bust in the Philippines – the land of the brave Jose Rizal. I thank Miriam College for giving a place of respect to Mahatma Gandhi in its campus #Gandhi150 pic.twitter.com/TwS6G3TIuS— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) October 20, 2019
He also expressed his happiness to hear the rendition of Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite hymn – Vaishnava Jana To Tene Kahiye – by the famous Filipino singer, Grace NoNo. This hymn he said is a fitting tribute to a man who embraced entire humanity as one indivisible family. The Mahatma's hymn describes a good human-being as one who reaches out to those in pain and suffering. "Indeed, the world would be a much better place if only we had such empathy for each other," stated President Kovind.
The bust of Mahatma Gandhi is a gift from the people of India to Philippines. But the Mahatma belongs to all peoples, all cultures and all societies. May he continue to guide us in our shared journey of peace, harmony and sustainable development for all. pic.twitter.com/f4HlFuXDEv— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) October 20, 2019
At the end of his remarks, he once again thanked the administration of the Miriam College for organizing this special event. President Kovind also said that he "will always treasure your (the Philippines's) warmth and friendship" before he departs to his next destination on Monday.