India won a small but significant victory at the United Nations on Friday with the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously adopting an Indian resolution to declare Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi’s birthday, October 2, as the International Day of Non-Violence.
The government tabled the resolution at the UNGA on May 31 this year to declare the Mahatma’s birth anniversary as a day of non-violence internationally.
Item 44, a resolution in the Culture of Peace segment at the UNGA to commemorate Gandhi”s birthday, received co-sponsorship from 142 member countries of the UN.
The resolution comes into effect from the 62nd session of the UNGA beginning in September. From October 2 this year and every year subsequently, the date will be commemorated as the International Day of Non-violence, the draft declaration states.
The idea was mooted as a small token of recognition for the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi earlier this year at a conference to celebrate the centenary of Gandhiji’s adoption of the satyagraha (non-violent non-cooperation) as a mode of protest.
The Congress party had hosted an international conference in January with participants from 91 countries and 122 international organizations to commemorate the launch of the Mahatma’s satyagraha.
Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs Anand Sharma was nominated by the government to move the resolution at the UNGA.
He addressed the plenary session in New York on Friday night, his office said.
“The wide ranging support (130 co-sponsors) shows the enormous esteem in which Mahatma Gandhi is held internationally,” MEA spokesman Navtej Sarna said.
A 2006 movie, ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai,’ on how the Mahatma’s ideals influenced positive change in a Mumbai crook, was screened at the UN to considerable acclaim.