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Events  >  2006 > Gandhi Jayanti Frankfurt 2006 - Keynote speech by Arjun Singh

Unveiling of Gandhi Bust - Speech by Arjun Singh,
Minister for Human Resource Development

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As I unveil the bust of Mahatma Gandhi here in a peaceful corner of the great bustling city of Frankfurt in the heart of Europe, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of pride mixed with humility. I am proud that I was fortunate to see him and I feel humbled that it is my privilege to dedicate to the people of Germany, this bust of one of the greatest human beings who have ever walked on this earth. We Indians also call him Bapu, the Father of our Nation, but he was truly a universal apostle of peace and non violence who proved that it was possible even in such tormented times as ours to defeat a mighty enemy not with weapons of violence but with an insistence on human rights and an appeal to the goodness and justice that reside in all of us. Both India and Germany have seen enormous suffering and violence in the last century and the life, the message and the method of the Mahatma are particularly relevant to both our nations. Gandhi never believed in any clash of civilizations - he was convinced to the innermost of his soul that all men were brothers and therefore equal. He believed that the right means were just as important as the right ends. For lesser mortals like us it may be difficult to live upto his life and teachings but in these dark times of aggression, terror, suspicion and intolerance, it is perhaps only the timeless vision of Mahatma Gandhi which keeps showing us a path of hope, love and reconciliation as an unfailing beacon. I do hope that the visitors to this tranquil corner would pause a little when they would see this bust of the noble-souled messenger of non-aggression, peace and brotherhood and would wonder, as Einstein said, whether such a man of flesh and blood did really walk on our earth.


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