India striving to live up to Gandhi’s legacy: Pema

TOKYO (Japan), Jul 5: India, under the initiatives of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “is striving hard to live up to the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, who showed the world that Satyagraha or truth, and Ahimsa or nonviolence, can be marshalled to create a more just world,” Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu said.
Pema said this while sharing his views on the topic of ‘Liberation and democratization in Asia: Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi’ during the fourth leg of ‘Samvad – Symposium on shared values and democracy in Asia’, which was held here on Thursday.
The symposium was organized jointly by the NIKKEI Inc, the Japan Foundation, the Nakamura Haijime Eastern Institute of Japan, the Vivekananda International Foundation, and the International Buddhist Confederation, with support from the Japanese foreign affairs ministry.
“The values of liberty, equality and fraternity enshrined in our constitution have been derived from the teachings of Lord Buddha, which Gandhiji too propagated,” Pema said.
“Gandhiji’s thoughts and actions inspired many great leaders across the world, like Martin Luther King Jr, Lech Walesa, Nelson Mandela, Ho Chi Minh, Gedong Bagus Oka, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Dalai Lama, and so on.
“Today, we are people of different nationalities, with different lifestyles, but what binds us is the fact that the roots of our civilizations are in our shared philosophies, history and heritage. Spreading from India to Central and Southeast Asia, China, Korea, and Japan, Buddhism has played a central role in the spiritual, cultural, and social life of Asia. I am a practicing Buddhist and we have a large population practicing Buddhism in Arunachal Pradesh. Arunachal is home to the world’s second largest monastery in the form of Tawang Monastery,” he said.
Enumerating Modi’s initiatives, he said, “Working with the guiding principle of ‘Antyodaya’, we are working towards delivering governance to the last person. Today, when the world is confronted with evils like terrorism, hatred and rising neo-colonialism, Gandhiji’s legacy becomes even more relevant.”
The closing address was delivered by Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, who said, “The foundation of democracy lies in the hearts of people of India and Japan.”
The symposium concluded with a video address by Modi, emphasizing principle of ‘Sarvajanhitai sarvajansukhai’ (let all be happy and welfare of all). (CMO)