The Hague, October 2 (newsin.asia): Bangladesh’s envoy in Holland Riaz Hamidullah has said that Mahatma Gandhi showed that, in a gentle way, you can shake the world. In his tribute on Gandhi Jayanti Day, Hamidullah said: “It is a distinct privilege to remember a most transformative and inspirational figure in contemporary history, Mahatma Gandhi. His was a life for the rights and dignity of every individual, through his unwavering belief in non-violence. His aim was to win over the hearts and minds who those of who transgress.”
“His was a life full of calmness – courage – compassion, in the face of any form of oppression, provocation or intimidation. And, in his characteristic way, he employed an exceptional level of humility and empathy to reach his views to the masses.”
“As a teenager, my modest introduction to Gandhiji was courtesy his fabled autobiography, The story of my experiments with truth. As I passed my High School exam in Bangladesh, I accosted an octogenarian Gandhian in rural Bangladesh. Two decades later, while I was on a diplomatic assignment in Delhi, I came across the veteran Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande.”.
As I stand in 2020 in the Hague for instance, I wonder, how would a youth connect with Gandhji today?
Surely, it will be through what he spoke out on so many occasions. Those transcend boundaries, cultures, societies and nations. Indeed, through his timeless reflections.
As one would carefully de-configure, through all that he spoke about or did or stood for throughout his life, he actually laboured to inculcate in the minds of individuals, the culture of peace, through education, sustainable economic and social development, respect for human rights, equality of men and women, democratic participation, harmony, tolerance and solidarity.
Last year, I was a witness to the deliberations on the Culture of Peace Manifesto in New York. It asks every individual, anywhere, to pledge “in my daily life, in my family, my work, my community, my country and my region, to”:
Respect the life and dignity of each human being without discrimination or prejudice; Practice active nonviolence, rejecting violence in all its forms; Share my time and material resources in a spirit of generosity to put an end to exclusion, injustice and political and economic oppression; and Defend freedom of expression and cultural diversity;
I believe, this is where Ghandhiji’s philosophy connects eminently with Agenda 2030 for sustainable development that all our leaders have signed in to.
Seven decades since his departure, in contemporary global settings in Asia, Africa or Europe, his values encourage millions of women, youth, and the disadvantaged to advance equality, fairness, harmony, peace, and stability.
That is where the people of Bangladesh drew their strength from during their movement for emancipation, freedom and liberalism, in so many senses.
We are reminded of his evergreen words: “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”