NRIpress.com press release
of Mahamta Gandhi addressed Ontario crowd
at Gandhi's birth day celebrattion
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Oct. 02, 2009
Paul Singh/Rita Verma
NRIs and Canadian in Ontario, Canada celebrated the 140th birthday
of Nonviolence leader Mahatma Gandhi's birthday at McMaster University's
Downtown Centre on Main Street, 7th annual peace festival.
During the celebrations, Rajmohan Gandhi, a historian, biographer
and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi said:
The consul general of India, Preeti Saran, who was one of several
speakers at the 17th annual peace festival said:
- Mahatma Gandhi's message is more important today than ever
before as nations across the world continue to grapple with
the threat of conflict, violence and terrorism" said Preeti
Saran, consul general of India.
- As long as there is a temptation to resort to violence in
the human mind, Mahatma Gandhi's message of nonviolence will
tug at our hearts."
Mrs. Saran assumed charge as Consul General of India in Toronto
on November 23, 2008. Prior to coming to Toronto, Mrs. Saran served
in various capacities in Moscow, Dhaka, Cairo and Geneva.
Interestingly, hundreds of peace demonstrators-white, black and
other communities took part and walked through downtown Hamilton
to nonviolence, peace and justice. After the walk, the people
enjoyed a vegetarian lunch
Mahatma Gandhi was an apostle of peace and the father of India
as a nation. He was born on October 2, 1869 at Porbandar in Gujurat,
The United Nations General Assembly declared October 2 as the
International day of non-violence.
Toronto, Oct 09, 2009
The City of Hamilton celebrated Mahatma Gandhi’s 140th birthday
on October 3, 2009. It is a tradition in that has been carried on
for 17 years thanks to the efforts a McMaster University Professor,
Dr. Rama Singh and many of his friends and associates. This festival
also marks the International Day of Non-Violence (October 2) and
is sponsored by McMaster University Centre for Peace Studies, India-Canada
Society and the City of Hamilton. The purpose of the festival is
to keep the main message of Gandhi alive to promote harmony and
peace in the community and to resolve problems through dialogue.
The theme of this year’s festival was “Swadeshi”,
the Economics of Self-Reliance. In his struggle to gain Independence
of India from the British Colonials, Gandhi had advanced the idea
Swadeshi and boycott foreign made goods, which was creating poverty
in India and depriving people of meaningful jobs.
Nearly 350 people gathered at McMaster University Downtown campus
in Hamilton, joined by the chief guest of the event, Dr. Rajmohan
Gandhi, who is historian, biographer and a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.
He talked about the Gandhi’s prin¬ciple of "Swadeshi".
An example in Hamilton would be campaigns to encourage buying lo¬cal
food rather than depending on imported supplies from the south.
He also said people who are seri¬ous about peace must play a
role in eradicating suspicion and preju¬dice between Muslim
and non-Muslim worlds. He said current tension in the world, in
some ways, is more troubling than ani¬mosities during the Cold
War. The fight then was between govern¬ments, whereas today
anxieties are between people. He said, "Many in the so-called
Muslim world feel the western world is against them. They think
some¬thing is wrong with the western world. In many parts of
the western world there is a deep feeling against Muslims as a people
... not just about the governments, but about the people of those
countries. People who are serious about peace must play a role in
building bridges between both sides”.
One positive local example of bringing sides together is an ambitious
and successful "peace project" at the Six Nations Re¬serve.
Teacher Suzie Miller, from Emily C. General Elementary School in
Ohsweken, told the crowd about a pen-pal program between pupils
at her school and children attending other Caledonia-area schools.
"Having kids write to each other helps them understand each
other," she said. This reduces the mistrust that has been simmering
in the Caledonia and Ohsweken communities near Hamilton for several
years as a result of property disputes between Native and non-Native
Preeti Saran, consul general of In¬dia also spoke at the Festival.
She said, "Gandhi's message is more im¬portant today than
ever before as nations across the world continue to grapple with
the threat of con¬flict, violence and terrorism" and added
"As long as there is a temptation to resort to violence in
the human mind, Mahatma Gandhi's message of nonviolence will tug
at our hearts!'
The Gandhi Peace Festival also featured music, children’s
dances, multi-faith prayer and peace walk around the downtown core.
The festival ended with free vegetarian lunch provided by a local
In addition to the Festival, there was the 12th Annual Mahatma
Gandhi Lecture at McMaster University presented by Professor Rajmohan
Gandhi, which centered on the personality of Gandhi and his childhood
memories of his grandfather Mahatma Gandhi. He emphasized that had
a complex character and created many effective strategies to counter
the British schemes of domination. He had developed the strategy
of “Satyagrah”, the power of Truth and Non-cooperation.
He led the famous Salt March in 1930 to produce Sea Salt, which
was banned by the British to collect high taxes through their monopoly.
He walked 400 km through villages spreading the message of non-cooperation
and non-violence and gathering support of thousands of people in
The Centre for Peace Studies maintains a website for Gandhi Festival,
which has information on Gandhi and the publications of Gandhi Peace
Festival for this year and previous years.
cc Dr. Rama S. Singh, Professor, McMaster University