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'Gandhi a man of all times and places'

world Updated: Oct 16, 2009 01:07 IST

A resolution recognising the contribution made by Mahatma Gandhi through non-violence to promote world peace was on Thursday unanimously passed by the US House of Representatives, with American lawmakers describing him as a "man of all times and places".

"While much has been said about the great works of Gandhi's life, it is important that we never forget that without Gandhi, the fates of what is now the world's largest democracy, India, and the oldest democracy, the United States, would likely be far different," said Congressman Eni Faleomavaega in his speech on the floor of the House.

The resolution on Gandhi to recognise his 140th birth anniversary was introduced by Faleomavaega and several of his colleagues in June this year.

"Though his life was cut tragically short by an assassin's bullet, his legacy is seen in the over 1.5 billion people who inhabit the free and independent countries of the Indian subcontinent and by our own embrace of the principles of nonviolent political action, unity and religious tolerance within the United States," he said.

Mahatma Gandhi served as an inspiration for a movement that ended the rule of the British Raj and created a free and independent Indian state, he said.

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said Gandhi believed and developed the distinctive philosophy of non-violence. This philosophy has influenced so many great figures of world history from Nehru to the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. to Aung San Suu Kyi, she said.