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Get taste of Gandhigiri from January 30

delhi Updated: Jan 25, 2009 10:55 IST
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Come January 30 and you can experience Gandhigiri near you as a group of individuals is set to "Let Gandhi Talk" in a countrywide campaign on the Mahatma's principles of peace and non-violence on his 61st death anniversary.

The campaign--Let Gandhi Talk--is a part of a peace education program "In Gandhi's Shoes" that brings together a first of its kind Gandhi-inspired changes from around the world, cutting across social barriers.

Actor Nandita Das and Kuldeep Singh, the DTC bus driver, who lost his eyes while throwing away a bag containing bombs left by terrorists on his bus in October 2005, thus saving lives of several passengers, will attend the campaign that kicks off from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

The inauguration will be marked by a two-minute silence honouring the Mahatma and a short film on the Father of the nation with the theme--You can kill the man, not the idea.

"I was so surprised to see Gandhi so loved, respected and emulated across the world that I thought it's important that people back home get to see Gandhi and his ideas through the eyes and work of people from other countries and not through the cliched prism of the Indian freedom movement, which only focuses on his political role," says Shailendra Uniyal, one of the founders of the campaign.

"Our project is based on inspiring young people with non- violence using Gandhi's example. There's probably no country and continent where Gandhi's example hasn't inspired positive political, social and environmental change

"People have taken Gandhi's ideas of creative non- violent action to different parts of the world and brought about brilliant innovative solutions to environmental degradation, human rights violations, teenage violence at home and even video games that show non-violent ways of dealing with problems," Uniyal adds.

A large-size replica of Gandhi's footwear -- Khadaun -- will be the attraction of the event in which people can step in and take an oath of non-violence.

The campaign will be conducted in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Lucknow and other cities initially, during which awareness will be created through media, internet and other local partners on the ground.

"Gandhi was one of the most creative persons we ever had. In olden days, violence was an obvious answer to a violent situation. Gandhi thought of non-violence as a solution and proved that it works," says Emmanuel Upputuru, one of the founders of the campaign.

The campaign will also bring different symbols that represent Gandhi across the world in the form of currency notes, postage stamps and statues.

Campaigners will also request the President and the Prime Minister of India, through a nationwide petition, to "Let Gandhi Talk" by printing his messages next to his image on the country's currency notes, Upputuru said.

Symbolising that Gandhi is talking to you, people will hold placards with thought-blurbs consisting of Gandhi's quotes and messages next to his statues, murals and other representations in different cities of the world.

The placard campaign will then be turned into a one-minute film, he added.