(photo:SikkimReporter)Gangtok,October02: “Mahatma Gandhi had always dreamt for a prosperous, healthy, self dependent, self reliant and wealthy rural India. He was more than a human being who sacrificed his whole life for betterment of human being, especially for the weaker section. It is very sad that we are not following the path shown by him. Great personalities like Nelson Mandela described him as a sacred warrior and followed him that enabled him to win the war against racism and communalism. A great follower of non-violence, Gandhiji was a strong believer that mere killing of humans and slaying animals is not violence but hatred for others is the greatest violence.” This was said by Chief Minister Dr. Pawan Chamling at Mahatma Gandhi’s 140th Birth Anniversary programme held in Chintan Bhawan on October 2. Governor Mr. Balmiki Prasad Singh, Ministers, MlAs, Chief Secretary T.T. Dorjee and former Chief Ministers B. B. Goorong and S.M. Limbu, officers and students were present on the occasion.
Students from the Special School for the hearing impaired performing action songs during the Gandhi Jayanti celebration held at Chintan Bhawan
Chief Minister said, Bapu had no greed for power. He handed over freedom to fellow countrymen which should be kept alive. “It is very sad that we are not faithful towards his principles”, he said adding, “to keep the image of our great nation and Bapu’s name we should work to be self reliant and self sufficient”. He quoted Bapu saying, “Bharat Gaon Basani” (India lives in villages).
“We from the very first day of our government have been implementing various plans and projects for development of rural areas. 70% of total budget is being spent for development of rural areas. We are following the footsteps of the greatest leader of the century”, he said and added, “we should develop the feeling of being Sikkimese and also feel proud to be citizens of India”. Today Sikkim is marching towards self reliance. “We have a good position among others (States) in the country but our target is to be the best”, Chief Minister said.
Speaking on the occasion, Governor Mr. Singh said, many countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America achieved freedom by following the way shown by Gandhiji. He lit the fire of freedom among Indians in his own way. He always taught to conquer cruelty, casteism, violence through love. His life was marked by transparency. Are we focused on Gandhiji’s principles, he asked. He expressed happiness that Sikkim Government is solving problems of rural areas by organizing Gram Sabha in every village. It’s a step inspired by Gandhiji’s principle, he opined.
Religious heads of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Jainism and Islam offered prayers at Chintan Bhawan. A 10-minute long documentary ‘Simplicity’ was displayed based on the life of Father of the Nation. Winners of Essay Writing Competition on Quit India Movement and Gandhiji were awarded by the Governor. Action song performed by the hearing and speech imparted students of the special school at Sichey. Dilmaya Subba of Mulukey, Rongli, was awarded Aganwadi Worker Award. UDHD employees were also awarded for their good service.
Earlier in the morning, Governor and Chief Minister garlanded the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at M.G. Marg in the heart of the capital. Ministers, Chief Secretary, MLAs and general public took part in the programme