Mahatma Gandhi's message of non-violence, respect and tolerance matters today, maybe more than it ever has, a top US official has said as glowing tributes to the global peace icon were paid across America on the occasion of his 152nd birth anniversary.
"We join our friends in India and around the world to celebrate the 152nd birthday of Mahatma Gandhi," US Secretary of State Tony Blinken tweeted on Saturday.
He recalled the remarks of President Joe Biden a week ago during his joint media appearance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Oval Office of the White House.
As the President said, "We're all reminded that his message of non-violence, respect, (and) tolerance matters today, maybe more than it ever has," Blinken tweeted.
India's Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu paid respect to Bapu at the Gandhi memorial in the American Capital.
"The life and legacy of #Gandhiji continue to influence and inspire generations in India, the US and the world," he tweeted.
Early this week, in the run-up to Gandhi Jayanti students from the prestigious Howard University, paid respects at the Gandhi Statue and had an interaction at the Embassy.
"Happy Birthday to the man who taught us that "in a gentle way, you can shake the world"," said Howard University's Bunche International Center, which has organised a lecture on Gandhi and Dr King next week featuring Sandhu as the keynote speaker.
"On what would have been Gandhi's 152nd birthday, may we honour him by finding ways, big and small, to live out his lessons of pluralism and peace," said Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna.
While Mahatma Gandhi never travelled to the United States, it is perhaps the only country that has the largest number of statues and busts of India's father of the nation. The teachings and philosophy of the apostle of peace have deeply influenced America's civil rights movement, in particular, that led by Martin Luther King Jr.
Born on this day in 1869, Mohandas Gandhi devoted most of his life to working for dignity and equality for all people, said America's National Mall and Memorial Services.
"An important influence on Dr. King and Nelson Mandela for his philosophy of peaceful resistance, Gandhi is honoured by a statue in Washington DC near the Embassy of India," it said.
Observing the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, an inspiration for non-violent movements for social change and justice across the world, wrote South Campus Commons of the University of Maryland.
The US Capitol Historic Society said that on this day in 1869, human rights champion Gandhi was born.
"His example of nonviolent protest inspired Martin Luther King Je and the Civil Rights Movement. "To honour Gandhi's impact, Congress sponsored his memorial at the Indian Embassy in the US", it said.
Hundreds of followers of Mahatma Gandhi held prayer meetings and paid floral tributes to the apostle of peace in cities across the United States.
The Indian Consulate in New York led by its Consul General Randhir celebrated Gandhi Jayanti at Union Square Park, in the Big Apple. Consul General, members of the Indian community and American friends paid floral tributes to the Mahatma and recalled his message of peace and non-violence.
Gandhi Foundation USA and Consulate General of India, Atlanta organized an event at The King Center in Atlanta to pay reverential homage to Gandhi. Gandhi Jayanti was also celebrated at the Mahatma Gandhi Statue in Hermann Park, Houston where city mayor Sylvester Turner and Congressmen Sheila Jackson Lee joined the Indian American community in paying tribute to Gandhi.
The local community organized a "Walk for Peace" in Houston, Texas and San Francisco in California. The Indian Consulate in SanFrancisco organised a special lecture by Dr. Shobhana Radhakrishna on "Mahatma Gandhi's Global Pursuit for Truth, Non-Violence and Peace".
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