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Global dignitaries in Gandhi sesquicentennial committee

86-year-old Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize winner from South Africa, where Mahatma Gandhi spent his early years, is also in the committee.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Nov 15, 2017, 10.41 PM IST
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Gandhi’s international prominence may have prompted the government to take such a measure
Gandhi’s international prominence may have prompted the government to take such a measure
Former UN secretaries-general Kofi Annan and Ban-Ki-Moon and ex-US vice-president Al Gore are among members in a committee that will suggest how India should commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, nationwide and internationally.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi added 11 foreign dignitaries to the national committee he heads for commemoration of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi set up last month, which includes 150 Indians.

Gandhi’s international prominence may have prompted the government to take such a measure. The UN General Assembly had in 2007 declared Gandhi’s birth anniversary as the International Day of Non-Violence.

86-year-old Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize winner from South Africa, where Mahatma Gandhi spent his early years, is also in the committee. He was the African to hold the position of Bishop of Johannesburg and Archbishop of Cape Town and fought a long battle against apartheid. Former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori and Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Costa are also in the panel. Costa is of Goan origin and is known as ‘Lisbon’s Gandhi’.

Apart from Gore, the first Hindu member of the US Congress, Tulsi Gabbard also will be in the panel. Long-time US peace activist, Bernie Meyer, known as ‘The American Gandhi’ has also been included in the committee. Meyer wears a dhoti and carries a walking stick to emulate Gandhi during his tours of the US, UK and Canada. Initially, a 150-member national committee was set up in October, Modi’s chairmanship, to decide on how Gandhi's 150th anniversary could be celebrated in abefitting manner to propagate the message of the Mahatma.

This Committee included the chief ministers of all states, representatives from across the political spectrum, Gandhians, thinkers and eminent persons from all walks of life.
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