Gandhi's non-violence contributed to shaping Bangabandhu's vision of struggle against Pakistan: Sheikh Hasina
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said that Mahatma Gandhi's love for common people and ideals of non-violence contributed to shaping Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's vision of struggle and peaceful movement against oppression by the then Pakistani rulers against peace-loving Bengalis during the country's freedom struggle in 1971.
"Gandhi ji's love for common people and ideals of non-violence contributed to shaping Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib's vision of struggle, non-cooperation and peaceful movement against oppression and tyranny by the then Pakistani rulers against the peace-loving Bengalis," she said at the 'Relevance of Mahatma Gandhi in the Contemporary World' programme at UN headquarters here.
"He (Sheikh Mujib), however, declared the independence of Bangladesh on March 26, 1971, and called for armed struggle against the Pakistani military dictators when they unleashed an unprecedented genocide against the unarmed civilians in Bangladesh," she remarked.
Hasina described Mahatma Gandhi as a true patriot, statesman and a saint and dedicated his life for humankind.
"He was a beacon of hope and light in darkness and saviour in despair. His brilliant and mesmerising leadership showed the world that an individual could bring social and political change in a non-violent way," she said.
Hasina said that Mahatma Gandhi believed in people's power and his ideals of diversity are celebrated all over the world wherever democracy is practised.
"Gandhi ji believed in people's power, which rests on individuals and who are their own masters. His principles of tolerance, non-violence and harmonious co-existence continue to guide us as we seek to build nations. His ideals of diversity are cherished and celebrated all over the globe wherever democracy is practised," she underlined.
India hosted the event at the UN to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of the Mahatma, which underlined the continuing relevance of Gandhian thoughts and values in today's world.
World leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and South Korean President Moon-Jae-in were also present at the occasion in New York. They inaugurated a 50 kilowatt 'Gandhi Solar Park' and unveiled a special commemorative stamp to mark the occasion.