Antwerp, BELGIUM: The Office of Tibet, Brussels attended a high powered Gandhi Jayanti celebration in Antwerp, well known diamond cutting city in Belgium. Organised by the Honorary Consulate General of India, Mac A. Huybrechts, the event was attended by Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Kris Peters, Governor of Antwerp Province Ms Cathy Bers, Indian Ambassador to the EU Ms Gaitri Issar Kumar and many other high dignitaries and diplomatic corps.
The celebration began with chanting of Gandhi’s favourite prayers, including ‘Vaishnav Jan to’ and ‘ Raghupati Raqhav Raja Ram’ – accompanied by tabla.
]Speeches were made by the Indian ambassador, Madam Governor and the Key Note address by the Deputy Prime Minister, among others.
All eulogised Gandhi’s commitment to satyagraha and Ahimsa. All contended that his principles are all the more relevant in the current, what many called, as ‘troubled times’.
It was followed by series of presentation of garlands and flowers at the Ganghiji’s bust which stands in a park just outside the provincial government’s office and the Indian Honorary Consulate General. After the high powered guests and the diplomatic corps, Representative Tashi Phuntsok was called upon to do the honours. He adorned a Tibetan scarf on the garland before putting on Gandhiji’s statue.
Mr Pramod Kapoor’s book, ‘Gandhi: An Illustrated Biography” was also launched. Speaking at the the ceremony, he read an excerpt on Dandi Yatra, illustrating how extreme violence was challenged by extreme non-violence: The classic episode of satyagrahis being downed by brutal police lathis, replaced by another batch of 20 disciplined volunteers marching forward unwaveringly towards the stockade of salt farm.
The Representative was accompanied by Secretary, Thutop Namgyal to the Gandhi Jayant celebrations.
-Report filed by Office of Tibet, Brussels-