'Gandhi inspired a whole generation of Americans'
Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr showed to the world that truth or perseverance can be more lasting and effective than power flowing through the barrel of a gun, Indian Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar said.india Updated: Jul 14, 2009 12:58 IST
Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr showed to the world that truth or perseverance can be more lasting and effective than power flowing through the barrel of a gun, Indian Ambassador to the United States Meera Shankar said on Tuesday.
Delivering the 26th Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture in san Diego, California, Shankar said the India's Father of the Nation was influenced by the developments in the United States at that time.
"A remarkable flow of ideas between India and the United States helped shape Mahatma Gandhi's ideas which in turn provided a new paradigm for political movements in the US," Shankar said in her address. The event was organised by the San Diego Indian American Society.
"Henry David Thoreau's idea of civil disobedience influenced the evolution of Gandhiji's concept of 'Satyagraha', or "Truth Force", which became the defining principle of India's freedom struggle moulding a colonized people into a potent movement for freedom," Shankar said.
"Gandhiji and his life in turn influenced and inspired a whole generation of Americans in the civil rights movement, including one of the great American leaders of our time, the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr," she said in her speech.