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Speech by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj at the inauguration...
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Speech by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj at the inauguration of statue of Mahatma Gandhi to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary on 2 October, 2019 at the India House, Thimphu

Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder. This quote by Jalal ud din Rumi carries a great deal of beauty. It echoes Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology with rare perfection. It stresses upon strength without violence. Fearlessness without ferocity. Bravery without bloodshed. 

Hon’ble Speaker, National Assembly

Minister Tandi Dorji

Minister Namgay Tshering

Hon’ble Members of Parliament

Distinguished Guests

The most lethal weapon Gandhiji created was born in the mind. Satyagraha was an ideology of compassion and forgiveness, unique to anything felt or seen. 150 years ago, the notion of changing a country and breaking a crippling system of oppression was enough to discourage most. The very idea of reshaping an entire country is so immensely revolutionary that to imagine doing so without ferocity or bloodshed would be an impossibility for most at the time. However, it was Mahatma Gandhi’s conviction in his enlightenment which allowed him to liberate a country and its people.

But even beyond India’s own liberation, Gandhiji stood for more than a symbol for his own country. His name travels around the world everyday, so much so that the name ‘Gandhi’ is now a cliché. For Nelson Mandela in South Africa, his name inspired the same compassion and allowed Madiba to come the Father of his Nation. And even beyond South Africa, Gandhi has been responsible for inspiring some of the most powerful leaders within the world including the Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi, John Lennon, Albert Einstein, Will Durant, Martin Luther King Jr. and Steve Jobs.

What Gandhi stood for transcends the barriers of time or circumstance. Satyagraha bleeds into our daily lives, and the commemoration of his 150th birth anniversary serves to honour a philosophy which changed generations.

Commemorating 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth is essential for two primary reasons: communicating the depth of his lessons, it is what India stands for, as a country, which makes our united community across the globe so powerful. We owe our liberation to Gandhiji, and it is pivotal to remind ourselves how our country has accelerated and grown the way it has.

Crucial also to emphasise that Gandhiji’s struggle was more than just one act of discrimination faced at Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, but a multitude of battles against oppression, crystallizing and leading to Satyagraha. What Gandhi sought to overcome was the struggles of civilisations. It is imperative we remind ourselves that while Gandhiji has stood for peace, he undoubtedly stands for so much more. Standing for strength unbeaten, resilience unbroken and courage undefeated.

Will Durant, author and historian had stated that Gandhiji was marked by gentleness, disinterestedness, simplicity of soul and forgiveness of enemies. We have the astonishing phenomenon of a revolution led by a saint.

The notion of a revolution to change a country and its people being led by the simplicity of a saint is why Gandhiji will always ignite that spark of rising above. Of passion. Of control. Of change.

I will end with a sincere thank you to my team, specifically DCM Gaurav Shrestha, Anuja Chakravarty and Krishnendu Banerjee. They deserve full applause. My fulsome thanks as well to Dantak for their association with this project. And of course profound gratitude to Kesang Dorji and to this wonderful audience. It is my conviction that all the hours of hard work and constant planning that have culminated in today’s event will lead to a beautiful conclusion.

I hope that all of you will cherish this day and hold it close to your hearts, today and forever.

Thank you!

Tashi Delek!

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