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Gordon Brown wants to write about Gandhi's contribution to world

world Updated: Aug 02, 2009 11:54 IST

Describing Mahatma Gandhi as 'one of the great leaders' of the 20th century, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said he wants to write about the apostle of peace's contribution to the world civilisation.

"I want to write something at some point about the contribution of Gandhi to our civilisation. I think he was one of the great leaders of the 20th century. He didn't seek power, he sought to win by changing people's hearts and minds and he managed to do so," Brown said in an interview to Garavi Gujarat, a leading Gujarati-English bilingual weekly, published on Sunday.

Noting that Gandhi is an inspirational figure for him and for so many people around the world, Brown said, "I have read a lot about how he developed his non-violent faith and how he practised his civil disobedience and how he won support because people could see his moral integrity."

The British prime minister also spoke about his strong links with India, which he plans to visit again soon.

Brown said India is going to have a bigger role in world affairs in the future and Britain is working with it on development of its new educational institutions.

"We want to work closely with India on a whole range of issues like climate change. On financial services, industry, pharmaceuticals and the use of information technology there is growing cooperation between our countries," he said, noting that New Delhi has "a highly respected role in the G-20" as well.

The British prime minister said his strong links with India went back to his childhood days, when he received constant updates from a close relative living in Delhi.

"I have got a great affinity for India. One of my family's closest relations spent a few years as a professor of engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi. I visited it a few months ago and it is a great institution.
"When I was growing up he was in India and his family were in India and they were telling me about all the changes taking place. So I have always had great knowledge about what's happening in India and I continue to retain that contact I had, including a close personal relationship with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is one of the people I admire greatly," Brown said.

During a visit to India in 2007 as Chancellor, Brown was one of the first senior British politicians to call for a "new world order" that recognises India's central role in the global economy. He expressed his commitment to pushing for India's right to a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

Brown said "it is part of our proposals to bring up-to-date the international institutions, including reform of the IMF and the World Bank. It's very important for the world to recognise that the world is changing and people need to know that their role in the world is respected.

"India is going to have a bigger role, and rightly so, in world affairs in the future. In economic and financial decisions but also in security decisions affecting the world and we want to recognise it in our partnership with India and India's important role in the world."