Gandhi honored with statue
October 13, 2021
Clarksdale Press Register
He is called the George Washington of India, that country is celebrating its 75 birthday of independence this year and the connection of his teaching to the American Civil Rights movement have prompted a bust of him to be placed on the front lawn of the Coahoma County Courthouse.
A bust of Mahatma Gandhi was unveiled in a ceremony attended by more than 200 people last week with the Atlanta Consul General of India Dr. Swati Kulkarni, Indiaspora founder MR Rangaswami and People Shores CEO Murali Vullaganti hosting the event.
“Gandhi is an extraordinary inspirational force across the world. His most important legacy is his technique of non-violent moral activism and his principles of courage, truth, and religious tolerance,” said Dr. Kulkarni.
“His principles provided an impetus for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who followed his operational techniques, she said noting Gandhi led India’s epic freedom struggle against colonialism and Dr. King led America’s epic struggle against racism.
Ragaswami pointed to the new social awakening in the United States and, coupled with the 75th Independence Day of the world’s largest democracy, said it was time to renew ties between his country, the United States and the Delta.
Clarksdale Mayor Chuck Espy and Coahoma County Board of Supervisors President Johnny Newson spoke to the ties between Dr. Martin Luther King’s policy of non-violent protest that was learned from Ghandi. They also talked of the way People Shores has brought jobs and economic freedom to people in Clarksdale.
The bust, commissioned and supplied by the ICCR under India’s Ministry of External Affairs was designed by Indian sculptor Ram Sutar. It is a replica of the bust that is outside of Kulkarni’s consulate in Atlanta.
Crossroads Economic Partnership Executive Director Jon Levingston said the ties between Clarksdale, Coahoma County and India are strong and with efforts of PeopleShores, Mississippi economic development agencies and the Indian consulate in Atlanta, he sees more plans for economic growth and community development.
The event was sponsored by the Crossroads Economic Partnership, a collaboration of the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Authority of Coahoma County, PeopleShores and Indiaspora, a nonprofit organization of global Indian diaspora leaders.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist and political ethicist who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India's independence from British rule and in turn to inspire movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.
Gandhi's birthday, 2 October, is commemorated in India as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence. Gandhi is considered the Father of the Nation in India.
He was imprisoned many times and for many years in both South Africa and India. He was assassinated on his way to a prayer meeting by a Hindu nationalist in January 1948.
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