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Kenyans join the rest of the world to celebrate the legendary icon Mahatma Gandhi

Kenyans joined the rest of the world in commemorating the birth of the legendary Peace icon of the passive resistance ideology to social oppression and economic exploitation- Mahatma Gandhi.

The auspicious event held at the University of Nairobi commemorated Gandhi’s 153rd birthday with a cross section of leaders paying great tribute to the passive resistance founder who was born at Porbandar, Gujarat India 1869.

The day-long colourful event saw several entertainment dance groups playing Indian songs perform on stage backed by artistic performances.

Speaking at the function attended by several dignitaries who included representatives of the Indian High Commission, former Nairobi Mayor, Prof. Nathan Kahara, and members of the Asian Hindu community in Kenya, the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) Council of Kenya Chairman, Stephen Cheboi said the memorable event provided an opportunity for Kenya and India to forge close working ties.

Cheboi said the day comes just a few weeks after Kenya held peaceful elections and even when the presidential result was contested, it was through peaceful means at the Supreme Court that the matter was concluded with Kenyans back to nation building.

“We want to pay tribute to this great human being and urge world leaders to emulate his gospel of passive non-violent struggle against social oppression, economic exploitation and political subjugation,” said Cheboi.

He said the Council is committed to working with all stakeholders in the society to promote the welfare of humanity in a peaceful and secure environment.

“As Gandhi used to put it, we can disagree on many issues but that need not degenerate into violence,” Cheboi reiterated.

At the same time the chairman of the Rajasthan Association of Kenya, Dr. Sonvir Singh, the main hosts for the event, said the world still remembers Gandhi who would have been 153 years if he was alive today, because of the modesty, simplicity and love for fellow human beings that he extolled throughout his 83 years in life.

“Gandhi was the embodiment of modest simplicity, yet a major crowd puller, winning the respect of many governments around the world including Tanzania’s first President Julius Nyerere,” said Singh, adding that the latter was also a modest and simple leader who shunned wastage and material extravagance that is the preserve of African leaders, leading impoverished third world nations.

Meanwhile, former Nairobi Mayor Prof. Nathan Kahara said he was spearheading peace efforts as Patron of the Kenya Veterans for Peace and the Organization of Retired Soldiers, by extolling and upholding the ideals of Mahatama Ghandi, who even during his assassination by a Sikh fundamentalist, urged a crowd of his supporters to spare the attacker as he did not know what he was doing.

Kahara called for close Kenya-India social and economic ties to build on gains made in recent years, noting that the recent General Election was proof that the country was following in the footsteps of New Delhi, which is the world’s largest democracy.

By Michael Omondi

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