Address by Governor at the Gandhi Jayanti Celebrations at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the Gandhi Jayanti Celebrations at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai at 1030 hrs on Tuesday, 2 October 2018
Justice Shri Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari, retired Judge of the Bombay High Court, Dr Ushaben Thakkar, Honorary Secretary, Mani Bhavan, Dr Suhas Pednekar, Vice Chancellor, University of Mumbai, Dr Smt Shashikala Wanjari, Vice Chancellor, SNDT Women’s University, distinguished invitees, senior government officers, today’s artists and coordinators, officers and staff of Raj Bhavan and Universities, ladies and gentlemen,
At the outset I extend a warm welcome to each one of you to Raj Bhavan, Mumbai.
It was wonderful listening to the noble thoughts of Justice Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari Ji and Dr Smt Ushaben Thakker on the eternal values of Mahatma Gandhi and the relevance of Mahatma Gandhi in the present times.
I personally thank Justice Dharmadhikari Ji and Dr Usha Thakkar for honouring our invitation and sharing their valuable thoughts on Mahatma Gandhi.
I also appreciate the artists who performed the programme ‘Bhavanjali’ as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.
The National Film Heritage Mission also deserves our compliments for putting up the National Film Archives Exhibition, befitting the occasion.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Before arriving for this programme, I visited Mani Bhavan, the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi. I am feeling deeply inspired by my visit to Mani Bhavan.
Seventy years after the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi left this world, his ideals have become a part of India’s collective living heritage.
Countries of the world have adopted Gandhian ideals and found them valid and more relevant today than ever in the past.
Today I recall the words of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on the demise of Mahatma Gandhi.
Pt Nehru had said and I quote: “The light is gone and yet it will shine for a thousand years” (unquote).
How prophetic those words were. The world has witnessed revolutionary changes in social, political and economic arena during the last 70 years. Yet, the importance of Gandhian principles of truth, non-violence, morality and ethics remain integral to our national consciousness.
While launching the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan on this day in the year 2014, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi had made two appeals.
The first was to achieve the goal of a Clean India by 2nd October 2019, to coincide with the 150th Birth Anniversary of Gandhiji.
The second goal was to promote Make-in-India that would enhance the manufacturing capability of our nation.
We are just one year away from the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, and yet we have to traverse a long distance to achieve the cherished goal of our Hon’ble Prime Minister to make India neat and clean by next year.
I will call upon all organizations, government and private, banks, public undertakings, non-governmental organizations, schools, colleges and Universities to give a renewed impetus to the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan in the State and in their organizations.
In my capacity as Chancellor of 20 universities in the State having nearly 3 million students, I am proud to say that many of our universities implemented the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan with dedication and commitment.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Gandhiji highlighted the necessity of self-reliant villages to achieve equity and sustainability in economic growth.
‘Swavalambana and Swaparipalana’ was his cherished dream.
Gandhiji wanted people to go back to the villages. Today however, people are turning their backs on the villages. We must reverse this trend by empowering and developing villages.
The 73rd constitutional amendment was aimed at creating viable and responsive people’s elected bodies and ensuring adequate representation for weaker sections like SCs, STs and women in the local bodies.
The 73rd amendment has ensured election of over 10.5 lakh elected women representatives out of total 28.5 lakh representatives in country’s three-tier rural panchayats. This has led to a strong foundation for their participation in decision making at the local levels.
The second principle of the constitutional amendment pertained to devolution of powers. Kerala and Karnataka have devolved all powers to the gram sabhas. Devolving all 29 powers will help our villages realize the dream of Sampoorn Gram Swaraj.
Let us on this occasion, assimilate the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and strive to build a clean, green and self-sufficient Bharat. I pay my respects to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri and thank each one of you for your presence.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra