On his final day in Uganda, Vice President Hamid Ansari paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi’s statue at the source of river Nile in Jinja.
Ansari planted a sapling after offering flowers in Jinja, which is a hub of the Indian community in Uganda. The source of Nile is also the place where part of Gandhi’s mortal remains were immersed.
The bust was installed by the Indian government and inaugurated by then Prime Minister I K Gujral in 1997. The plaque below reads: “Universal apostle of peace and non-violence whose ashes were immersed in the River Nile in 1948.”
The vice president was received by Jinja MP Moses Balyeku and Mayor of Jinja municipality Majid Batambuze.
Ansari is in Uganda as part of his two-nation visit to the African continent. He visited Rwanda during the first leg of his tour.
This is India’s first bilateral visit to Uganda since 1997 and seeks to further engage India with Africa.
Gandhi’s thoughts remained one of the dominating elements in Ansari’s several addresses, including the one at the University of Rwanda, where he emphasized the shared link of anti-colonialism struggle and fight against discrimination.
“India owes an unforgettable debt of gratitude to Africa’s role in inspiring our struggle for national liberation. It was on this continent that Mahatma Gandhi developed and first practiced the concepts of non-violence and peaceful resistance that won India its freedom,” he had said.
Soon after departing from India, VP Ansari, while interacting with reporters on board the special aircraft had said, “One does not have to reiterate the role played by him and he is a very strong link between India and Africa. And, we are going to the source of the River Nile in Jinja where his bust is installed.”
President Yoweri Museveni also hailed the role of Gandhi in South Africa and the spirit of non-violence and peace that continues to inspire people in India and Africa.
Ansari was accompanied by wife Salma, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla, four MPs – Kanimozhi, Ranvijay Singh Judev, Ranee Narah and P K Biju among in the two-nation visit.
(With inputs from PTI)