IMPHAL, Oct 2: The National Cleanliness Day was widely observed in the state on 142nd birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi today.
The state level observation was held at Gandhi Memorial Hall, Imphal with Governor Gurbachan Jagat as the chief guest and Chief Minister Okram Ibobi as the president.
Speaking at the occasion, Governor Gurbachan Jagat stated that the day is observed to mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, who led the nation in its struggle for freedom from the British yoke using non-violence (ahimsa) as his most powerful weapon. October 2 has also been observed as International Day of Non-violence since 2007.
Mahatma Gandhi belongs to the whole world and to all generations. He stands tall in the gallery of great world leaders and thinkers. His profound humanism is his message. An apostle of truth and non-violence, a symbol of indomitable human soul-power, Gandhiji firmly stood for the cause of the downtrodden and oppressed not only in India but also in other parts of the world. He lived and died for peace and welfare of mankind. His philosophy of non-violent agitation and civil disobedience not only led his own country to independence but also influenced political activists of many persuasions throughout the world. His “novel mode of mass mobilization and non-violent action” brought down colonialism, strengthened the roots of popular sovereignty, of civil, political and economic rights, and greatly influenced many a freedom struggle and inspired leaders like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. He won the affection and love of billions of people all over the world and from both friends and foes alike and he b
ecame the Mahatma – Great Soul – because of his doctrine – Ahimsa. He will be remembered as one of the greatest spiritual forces of all times. The present generation should try to imbibe the virtues of tolerance and humanism from him so that it will usher in a new era of hope and prosperity in our lives, he asserted.
The Governor also maintained that Gandhiji was vehemently against hatred between man and man. He, once, observed that he could not live when the atmosphere was marred with violence and hatred. What he wanted was the bridge, that connects place to place not walls that divide man from man. Transcending the social barriers of caste, creed, colour, language and religion, Gandhiji tried to build a peaceful world order and ensure universal brotherhood and friendship. Peaceful co-existence was his perennial message.
Gandhiji regarded the political independence of India as a beginning of real freedom, that is, economic freedom of the country. He wanted to work for an India in which the poorest should feel that it was their country and also an India in which all communities should live in perfect harmony. There could be no room in such an India for the curse of untouchability or the curse of intoxicating drinks or drugs. Women should enjoy the same rights of men. This is the India of Gandhij`s dreams, Gurbachan added.
Chief Minister Okram Ibobi also stressed on the important ideals of Mahatma Gandhi such as peace, non-violence and cleanliness which were instrumental in the freedom movement of the country.
He also appealed to the people to follow the footsteps Mahatma Gandhi to usher in an era peace, development and progress.
The National Cleanliness Day was also observed in all districts of the state by the district administration concerned and also by various social organizations.
Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee also observed the Gandhi Jayanti with MPCC president G Gaikhangam as the chief guest.