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Experiment with looks: Living the Gandhi way

He and eight others were arrested for protesting against the Vietnam War, in Washington DC.From then on, he continued his struggle to make the world a better place.

punjab Updated: Sep 28, 2018 11:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Gandhi,Mahatma Gandhi,Barnie Meyer
81-year-old Barnie Meyer, an American national, who bears a striking resemblance to Mahatma Gandhi. (HT Photo )

He looks like Gandhi, dresses like Gandhi and spreads Gandhi’s teachings. Meet 81-year-old Barnie Meyer, an American national, who bears a striking resemblance to Mahatma Gandhi.

In Chandigarh to participate in NGO Yuvsatta’s global youth peace festival, Meyer says that though he started dressing like Gandhi only a few years ago, his first experiments with truth and non-violence were in the 1960s when he raised his voice against the Vietnam War.

He and eight others were arrested for protesting against the Vietnam War, in Washington DC.From then on, he continued his struggle to make the world a better place.

In 2001, when he was on a fellowship in the United States of America, when he was asked to dress up as Gandhi for a felicitation ceremony.

“It wasn’t my idea. The organisers of the ceremony were honouring hardworking people and they wanted me to surprise them in Gandhi’s attire,” he recalls. The idea was a success and after that Meyer frequently started dressing and preaching as Gandhi.

“In 2004, Dr Shivam from Aurangabad, noticed me and invited me to India to spread Gandhi’s values,” he says, adding, “After that, I started frequenting India.”

He association with Yuvsatta started in 2009. “I have been coming to Chandigarh every year since 2009 for the Global Youth Peace Festival,” says Meyer.

He has authored a book titled, ‘The American Gandhi’ where he explores the concept of violence.

“While working as a peace activist, I saw Gulf wars, Vietnam war, and many violent crimes. I always questioned myself— Why are people violent? This book is an answer to that question.”

Recently, the government of India appointed Meyer as a member of an international committee to look after 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi worldwide. Along with him, Bishop Desmond Mplio Tutu, Ban Ki-Moon and A l Gore are also part of the prestigious committee.

First Published: Sep 28, 2018 11:34 IST