SRINAGAR: Saying that the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi are much more relevant today than these were before, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday said the biggest tribute to the ‘father of the nation’ would be to work for creating a society free from confrontation, violence and acrimony.
Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the National Committee for celebrating 150th Birthday of Mahatma Gandhi next year, the chief minister said unfortunately over the years the level of intolerance and lack of accommodation among each other has increased and the need is to inculcate the values of tolerance, amity and reconciliation among the people, particularly younger generation.
The meeting held at New Delhi was chaired by President, Ram Nath Kovind and was attended by Vice President, M. Venkiah Naidu; Prime Minister, Narendra Modi; Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh; Former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and other national leaders.
Mehbooba Mufti suggested celebrating 2019, the 150th birthday of Mahatma, as the year of peace, tolerance and non violence. This, she said, would be the biggest tribute to Mahatma Gandhi who, she said, lived and died for these values and principles. She suggested special youth engagement in the country to educate them about varied aspects of Mahatma’s life and his dealing of situations.
The chief minister suggested instituting special scholarships, fellowships and other academic incentives to further explore the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and take these to the present generation which she said desperately needs the same.
Referring to the special relation Mahatma had with Jammu & Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti said during the turbulent phase of 1947 it was the visionary personality of Mahatma Gandhi who recognised the ray of hope among the people of the State. It was this trust in the people of the state that they stood up to defend their centuries old value system even at the cost of their lives.
“That trust in our people needs to be carried forward to get the State out of a situation in which this ray of hope seems to have been eclipsed”, she said in her address while stressing the need for reconciliation and outreach in the State to end the cycle of violence which has taken a heavy toll of its youth.
It may be mentioned here that next year, 2019, marks the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi who was born on October 02, 1869 at Porbander, Kathiawad in now Gujarat.