PM feels the necessity of Gandhian approach in today’s divisive world
New York: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina feels that Mahatma Gandhi’s humanitarian ideals and principles would triumph over all divisiveness and establish an equitable world where hatred and bigotry leading to terrorism and violent extremism are dividing mankind more than ever before.
"We’re living in a world where hatred and bigotry are leading to terrorism and violent extremism are dividing the humankind more than ever before. Gandhiji’s philosophy of life and his unwavering support for all peoples can unite us today to meaningfully and effectively address formidable challenges of global concerns like hunger, poverty and impacts of climate change," she said here on Tuesday.
Sheikh Hasina said this while addressing the celebration programme of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi titled 'Leadership matters- Relevance of Mahatma Gandhi in the contemporary World' Indian mission to the UN held at ECOSOC Chamber of the UN Headquarters, the UNB reported.
She said Mahatma Gandhi, a true patriot, a statesman and a saint, dedicated his life to humankind and he was a beacon of hope, a light in darkness and a saviour in despair.
"His brilliant and mesmerising leadership showed the world that an individual could bring earth-shaking social and political change in a non-violent way," Hasina said.
She mentioned that selfless love and affection for people, regardless of social standing, caste, colour, creed or religion earned him the title ‘Mahatma’.
"His principles of tolerance, non-violence and harmonious coexistence would continue to guide us as we seek to build nations," she said adding, "In fact, his ideals of diversity are cherished and celebrated all over the globe, wherever democracy is practised."
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh is proud to have Gandhi Ashram Trust in Bangladesh since 1946. It follows the Gandhian philosophy of rural development, peace and social harmony, and works for the rural poor with particular focus on women. "As I pay my tribute to Ghandiji, I fondly recall my father and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who took inspiration from him during his formative stage of leadership."
She said that Gandhiji’s love for common people and ideals of non-violence contributed to shaping Bangabandhu’s vision of struggle against oppression and tyranny by the then Pakistani rulers against the peace-loving Bangalees.
In the face of provocations, she added, Bangabandhu remained unmoved and committed to the principles of non-violence.
The Prime Minister said Bangabandhu declared the independence of Bangladesh in the early hours of March 26, 1971 and called for armed struggle against the Pakistan occupation military when they unleashed an unprecedented genocide against the unarmed civilians in Bangladesh. Whenever I look at Bangabandhu’s charismatic leadership, his sacrifice and struggle for people, I find a great degree of similarity with Mahatma Gandhi."
Hasina said Bangladesh is currently hosting almost 1.1 million Rohingyas, who fled violence and atrocities in Myanmar.
"Despite resource constraints and other serious challenges, our decision to shelter such a huge number of Rohingyas emanated from our conscience driven by love for humanity – a virtue we see in Bangabandhu and Mahatma Gandhi."
Presidents and Prime Ministers of seven countries, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, South Korean President Moon-Jae-in, New Zealand Prime Jacinda Ardern also spoke on the occasion.