Delivering the valedictory address through a pre-recorded video at the International Webinar on “Gandhi and the World” organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), Shri Naidu said that the world today needs a healing touch and that is what Gandhian ideals can give our world.
The two-day event was organised by ICWA to culminate with the two-year celebrations of Gandhiji’s 150th Birth Anniversary.
Highlighting the timelessness and relevance of Gandhian values, the Vice President said that they acquire greater relevance in a world that is facing new challenges.
Talking about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Shri Naidu said that when the world experienced a similar challenge in 1918 during the Spanish Flu, Gandhiji spoke about the need to understand the pain of all people, especially the poor and the underprivileged.
Calling for empathy and not sympathy towards poor, the Vice President called for extending a helping hand to the needy to mitigate their hardship during these testing times.
He also recalled Gandhi Ji’s advice to follow the norms that needed to be maintained to protect oneself from the global health challenge at that time.
Stating that Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday is recognized and celebrated as the ‘International Day of Non-Violence’ by the United Nations, Shri Naidu stated that peace was an essential prerequisite for progress. “Mahatma Gandhi had showed the world a novel mode of struggle against injustice, a novel way of life through his message of Truth and Non-violence”, he added.
Expressing happiness over the fact that scholars from India and 14 countries were participating in the webinar, Shri Naidu said it underlined the importance of Mahatma Gandhi’s messages, values and teachings and their eternal relevance– cutting across barriers of race, class, creed, gender and geography.
Calling Satyagraha and Ahimsa as the two pillars of the Mahatma’s philosophy, he said that he became a beacon of light for the oppressed in the 20th century and continues to be one even today, 72 years after his death.
Describing Mahatma’s unwavering belief in the innate goodness of humanity, the Vice President said “the universal themes of truth, non-violence and peace are probably more relevant today than ever before”, he added.
The Vice President said that the Mahatma’s greatness lies in his ability and willingness to learn. He not only influenced the world deeply, but allowed the world to equally influence and inspire his ideas
“Mahatma’s views and principles will continue to be the guiding light for overcoming various challenges facing the humanity—from promoting sustainable development and self-reliance to combating terrorism”, the Vice President added.
Quoting Gandhi Ji’s famous line that “there’s enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed”, the Vice President emphasized the need for sustainable development at a time when increasing environmental exploitation is spelling disaster.
Scholars from South Africa, Myanmar, Russia, Singapore, Oman, Sri Lanka, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Uzbekistan and China participated in the event.