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Gandhi ideals still relevant: PM

Staff Reporter

Manmohan opens exhibition on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, thanks the Birlas



Some advice: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Rajashree Birla, Aditya Birla Group Director, at `Eternal Gandhi' a Multi-Media Exhibition at Gandhi Smriti in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Thursday that Mahatma Gandhi had a unique place in the world and his ideals of non-violence and "satyagraha'' (non-cooperation) were being rediscovered again and were relevant in the current "highly troubled world''. He was speaking at the inauguration of the innovative Eternal Gandhi Multi-Media Exhibition at Gandhi Smriti here on Tees January Marg.

The Prime Minister, who is also the Chairman of Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, said that the practice of values of peace and brotherhood preached by Gandhi were again gaining ground the world over and countries like Germany, Japan, the United States and Palestine were in the forefront in highlighting such messages.

Dr. Singh, who also saw the exhibition -- which has been put up by the Aditya Birla Group over an area of over 8,000 feet as a tribute to the humanitarian values that the Mahatma epitomised -- appreciated the effort to take the message of the Mahatma across the masses in such a novel manner.

He hoped that the exhibition would stoke an even greater interest in Father of the Nation, not only in India but globally too. "This is now a national property and we are grateful to Birlas for giving this national treasure,'' he said before a gathering comprising Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Aditya Birla, Group director Rajashree Birla, and the director of the Samiti, Savita Singh.

Noting that the Birlas had done a lot for the development of the country, Dr. Singh thanked them for organising the diversified exhibition on the life of Mahatma Gandhi.

Ms. Savita Singh said the idea was to do something for propagating Gandhian thoughts and values and the teachings of the Mahatma. "The eternal journey towards Project Shashwat Gandhi has been one such historical moment when an idea came from Rajashree Birla ... (and) its culmination is this Eternal Gandhi Multi-media Exhibition''.

Ms. Birla, who spearheaded the initiative, said the exhibition was a brainchild of Kumarmangalam Birla and was conceived to pay homage to the Father of the Nation and to give the youth and children of today a sense of history to help them realise at what cost the freedom was won. The project director, Ranjit Makkuni, said the multimedia exhibition -- which is now open to the public between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on all days barring Monday -- was one of the world's first digital multimedia exhibitions and the technology developed does not "merely scan'' Gandhian images, it extrapolates Gandhian ideals to newer domains of information technology and product design, and at higher levels, the creation of meaning in a globalised world.

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