IBPC Dubai Chairman Suresh Kumar presents a memento to Abdullah Al Saleh. John Varughese / Gulf Today
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent
Emiratis and Indians paid glowing tributes to Founding Father of the UAE the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and India’s Father of the Nation Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi at a function organised by the Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC) Dubai, to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi and ‘The Year of Tolerance’.
Abdullah Al Saleh, Undersecretary of Foreign Trade and Industry at the UAE Ministry of Economy, said that Gandhi’s thoughts and actions have much relevance to address the challenges that confront our countries.
He said, “Mahatma Gandhi was greatly influenced by Tolstoy who believed that there is no room in religion for anything other than compassion. A man of religion will not wish ill to anyone, not even to his enemy.”
He pointed out that Sheikh Zayed and Mahatma Gandhi shared a lot of similarities, irrespective of the fact that they lived in two different eras. “Sheikh Zayed changed the lives of people with his humanitarian works, and by putting great efforts to maintain peace. While Gandhi, who is a global icon for non-violence, worked tirelessly to attain peaceful coexistence,” he said.
Celebrated Emirati poet Shihab Ghanem recounted Gandhi’s friendship with his maternal grandfather and mentioned that his mother was fortunate to meet Gandhi. “Gandhi’s ideals influenced the entire world, while Sheikh Zayed was one of the great leaders of humanity. Let’s hope for a peaceful world, as it was envisioned by Gandhi and Sheikh Zayed,” he said.
Consul General of India in Dubai Vipul said, “Even today in terms of addressing our challenges, Gandhian principles are there for us to help. His teachings are eternal and for generations to come. Everyone will keep believing him and will try to practise what Gandhiji has taught us.”
IBPC Dubai President Nimish Makvana said that Mahatma Gandhi’s values of peace, tolerance and sustainability continue to be relevant and guide the world. The issuance of commemorative stamps in the UAE, as the country is celebrating the Year of Tolerance, has special significance.”
A Walk for Peace and Tolerance will be organised on Wednesday to commemorate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, which falls on Oct.2.
December 2, 1971. On this day freedom — lavish life’s most succulent face — unfolded for the Emiratis. They have always had the best interests at heart not only of the Emiratis, but also of all those who live here and around them.
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