Watch: Dubai's Burj Khalifa Lit Up With Mahatma Gandhi's Image On His 150th Birth Anniversary

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 03 October 2019, 12:20 AM
Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the world's tallest skyscraper.
Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the world's tallest skyscraper.

Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper, paid an LED tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary.

On the occasion of #GandhiAt150, @BurjKhalifa paid a wonderful tribute to Mahatma Gandhi...thanks to @emaardubai and their team for their efforts," the Indian consulate in Dubai tweeted on Wednesday.

Gandhi, long-held as the spiritual leader and father of the country, led the subcontinent to independence from Britain in 1947.

His non-violent, passive resistance movement inspired civil rights groups fighting discrimination around the world.

His writings, his spoken words and vignettes from his life -- Mahatma Gandhi was the refrain in the farthest corners of India on his 150th birth anniversary on Wednesday as tributes poured in and parties jostled to stake claim to his legacy.

From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and from schools big and small to the beaches of Dandi, there were multiple odes to the man whose ideas and ideals were instrumental in shaping India's freedom struggle and post-Independence journey.

An outpouring of tributes, marches and commemorative events marked the day that saw customary ceremony and grandstanding but also genuine remembrances of the Mahatma and efforts to understand his profound contribution to society.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Modi led the nation in paying rich tributes to the father of the nation at his memorial in Rajghat.

Observing that Gandhi envisioned Indian nationalism as one that was never narrow or exclusive, Modi proposed what he called the 'Einstein Challenge'.

"How do we ensure the ideals of Gandhi are remembered by future generations? I invite thinkers, entrepreneurs and tech leaders to be at the forefront of spreading Gandhi's ideas through innovation," Modi wrote in the New York Times, in an article titled 'Why India and the World Need Gandhi'.

"We pledge to continue working hard to realise his dreams and create a better planet," he said on Twitter, adding that the nation expresses its gratitude to Gandhi for his everlasting contribution to humanity.

Modi also travelled to Gujarat to address a gathering in the Sabarmati Ashram.

"I'm satisfied that on the occasion of #GandhiAt150, we're witnessing the fulfillment of his dream of 'Swachh Bharat'. I feel lucky that on this occasion when India has successfully stopped open defecation, I'm here at the ashram," Modi wrote in the visitors' book.

Modi also released commemorative Rs 150 coins on occasion of Gandhi's birth anniversary.

At a 'Swachh Bharat Diwas' programme in Ahmedabad, Modi declared that India is now open defecation-free.

When he launched the ambitious Swachh Bharat (Clean India) campaign after becoming the prime minister in 2014, he had announced October 2, 2019 as the day India will be open defecation free, citing how Gandhi had laid immense stress on cleanliness and wanted the countrymen to pursue it.

Modi said sanitation, conservation of environment and animals were dear to Gandhi.

The Congress, which has seen over the years a gradual appropriation of some of its stalwarts by the BJP, launched a counter-drive with its president Sonia Gandhi taking a swipe at the Modi government, saying the Mahatma would have been pained by what has happened in India over the last few years.

In a show of strength, perhaps the first since the Congress' Lok Sabha poll debacle in May, Sonia Gandhi as well as her children, former party chief Rahul Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, were out on the streets accompanied by thousands of party workers.

While Rahul Gandhi led a march of party workers to Rajghat, Sonia Gandhi waited at the memorial to address the workers and Priyanka Gandhi was in Lucknow.

First Published: Thursday, October 03, 2019 12:10 AM
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