Gandhi anniversary reflects on relevance of tolerance and harmony

By Vijay Badhwar

Parramatta City Council celebrated Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary at Jubilee Park in the City enclosed by tall buildings all around, thankfully softened by a line of trees in the park akin to an oasis in a concrete jungle. The park, itself, teemed with life with children running around in the setting Sun, weaving around scores of strollers strewn in front of chairs belonging to parents who had picked up their young ones, may be, after a tiring day at work.

There were a few hundreds of the Indian community from the 27,000 population of Indian ancestry in the City, according to the Lord Mayor. The stage, set by the side of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue installed last year, looked more like a temple, decorated by waves of marigold garlands.

Favourite bhajans of the Mahatma played in the background, dance groups performed to ”˜Vaishnav Jan To’, also with dance items from an indigenous dance group with the theme of their connection with the land.

Parramatta City Council Lord Mayor Bob Dwyer said that the celebration of Gandhi anniversary was significant for community across the globe as it raised awareness towards a culture of peace, tolerance and understanding. The occasion provided a reminder of enduring relevance of Gandhi’s  philosophy of non-violence during protracted conflicts. “It remains an inspiration for all us,” he said.

India’s Consul-General in Sydney, Manish Gupta, said that Bapuji’s statue installed last year was a great connect not only for the Indian community but for present and future generations of ideas Gandhi stood for.

“He was born in India but belonged to the larger mankind. It was not a simple freedom for India Gandhi ji fought for; rather, it was more about social and economic emancipation of masses. His philosophy continues even to inspire many world leaders.

“It is more important to to recognise the relevance of his thoughts and philosophy in upliftment and self sustenance of villages with sustainable way of consumption. Gandhi ji recognised the social evil present in India at the time against women, hence brought them to the forefront in the freedom struggle for their rightful place in the society,” Mr Gupta said.

There was award distribution by Mr Dwyer and Mr Gupta to participants in the competition with the theme, Peace and Harmony in multicultural Australia, Climate Change and Environment.

The celebrations continued with children in Gandhi caps from Darcy Road Public School and several classical dance performances.

Short URL: