Mahatma Gandhi comes alive at U.N, speaks on education


When the United Nations celebrated the International Day of Non-Violence on the occasion of the Indian leader's birth anniversary, Mahatma Gandhi made a special visit there to speak about the importance of education.


On October 2, which is Gandhi's birthday, the world observes the International Day of Nonviolence. The day provides an opportunity to "disseminate the message of non-violence, especially via education and public awareness," as stated in the General Assembly resolution from June 2007 that established the observance.

The resolution reaffirms "the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence" and the desire "to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence".


A special life-size hologram of Gandhi was projected during a panel discussion organised on Friday by India's Permanent Mission to the UN and UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) at the UN headquarters here to commemorate the International Day of Non-Violence, marking Gandhi's birth anniversary on October 2.


The panel discussion featured India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, CEO of The King Center, Atlanta Bernice King and youth representative and digital education transformation champion Princess Hayu of Indonesia.

The discussion, moderated by UNESCO MGIEP Director Anantha Duraiappah, was focussed on 'Education for Human Flourishing'.

It was part of the Ahinsa Lecture Series and kickstarted the 10-year celebration of UNESCO MGIEP. It was for the first time at the UN that a life-size hologram of Mahatma Gandhi led the panel discussion, a statement said.

A voice-over accompanying the Gandhi hologram shared the iconic leader's thoughts on education.

"Literacy is not the end of education or even the beginning. By education, I mean an all-around drawing out of the best in the child and the man, body, mind and spirit. By spiritual training, I mean education of the heart," Gandhi said.


Ahead of the panel discussion, a message by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was read out.

In his message, Guterres said Gandhi's life and example reveal a timeless pathway to a more peaceful and tolerant world, as the UN chief called on the international community to walk this path together, in solidarity, as one human family.


Director of the Mahatma Gandhi Digital Museum in Hyderabad Birad Yajnik told the event's audience that the hologram was the second edition of the Gandhi hologram in 4k.

He recalled that the making of the hologram was a process that started in 2018 when Ambassador Kamboj was in South Africa.


In 2019, in association with the MGIEP, a dialogue with a hologram of Gandhi was envisioned. Ananda and his team researched the collected works of Gandhi and his thoughts on education.