PM Modi: Mahatma Gandhi Inspired Martin Luther King Jr & Mandela

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In his speech at the UN, Prime Minister Modi spoke how Mahatma Gandhi's visions and belief inspired world leaders like Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela

Written By Monica Aggarwal | Mumbai | Updated On:

PM Modi, along with UN chief Antonio Guterres and other world leaders, inaugurated the Gandhi Solar Park and Gandhi Peace Garden at UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday. India hosted a special commemorative event 'Leadership Matters: Relevance of Gandhi in the Contemporary World' to mark the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary. Addressing the occasion, PM Modi shared how Mahatma Gandhi's visions and belief inspired world leaders like Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela, asserting that while Mahatma Gandhi was from India, he did not belong only to his country.

"Even those who had never met Gandhiji were deeply influenced by his life. Whether it was Martin Luther King Jr or Nelson Mandela, the foundation of their beliefs was Gandhiji, his vision," PM Modi said. 

Notably, he also recalled his meeting with Britain's Queen Elizabeth a few years ago, sharing that she showed him a small handkerchief made out of khadi which was gifted to her by Mahatma Gandhi at the time of her wedding. PM Modi further spoke about his government's initiatives that have been launched for the greater good of the citizens of India, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's views and ideologies.

"In the last five years, we have given primacy to people's participation. Whether it's the Swachh Bharat Mission or Digital India, people are now leading these campaigns themselves," PM Modi said.

READ | PM Modi narrates an incident highlighting Mahatma Gandhi's greatness

PM Modi was accompanied by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and a number of heads of state, including Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina, Bhutanese PM Lotay Tshering, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong, Jamaican PM Andrew Michael Holness and New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern, during the occasion. 

In his keynote address at the event, PM Modi spoke about Mahatma Gandhi's contributions to the human cause, his emphasis on the welfare of all (Sarvodaya), championing the cause of the downtrodden (Antyodaya) and concern for environmental sustainability. 

"Everyone knows that Mahatma Gandhi brought change, but it would also be right to say that he had awakened the inner strength of people so they could bring the change themselves. Today we are living in an era of 'How to Impress', but Gandhiji's vision was 'How to Inspire'," PM Modi added. 

READ | Narendra Modi salutes Mahatma Gandhi in a speech at the United Nations

Tribute to Mahatma Gandhi

Marking the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi's 150 birth anniversary, PM Modi along with world leaders, inaugurated the Gandhi Solar Park at the UN headquarters in New York and also released a commemorative stamp issued by the UN.

WATCH | PM Modi inaugurates Mega 'Gandhi Solar Park' in New York

READ | Mahatma Gandhi stamp launched at United Nations: All you need to know

By 2030, 40% Indians will not have access to drinking water