Indians in Qatar celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi – Qatar Post releases commemorative stamp to mark the occasion
Indians in Qatar marked the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi -‘Father of the Nation’ with a special event yesterday, at the Indian Cultural Centre in the presence of a huge number fellow countrymen, including Indian ambassador P Kumaran, Doha Bank Group CEO Dr R Seetharaman and ICC president A P Manikantan among other dignitaries.
The event showcased an exhibition highlighting the life and activities of Mahatma Gandhi. It featured some of the major milestones in his life and his efforts for the freedom of India from British rule.
Students from Indian schools also presented a number of cultural programmes during the event to mark the occasion.
Some other events marking Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary have already been organised by the Indian Embassy during the past few months, including ‘Experiments with Truth’- a photo exhibition at Katara, and a rendition of “Vaishnava Jan Te”, Gandhiji’s favourite bhajan, by Qatar-based singer Abdul Rahim.
Ambassador Kumaran highlighted Gandhi’s contribution to India and the world and remarked that the values practiced by Gandhi are very much relevant even in modern times.
“As we mark the sesquicentennial year of Mahatma Gandhi, several of the principles followed by him are honoured around the world even today. His ideals of non-violence and simplicity are time-tested and followed by many. He used very different and unique methods to fight injustice and oppression. Satyagraha, civil disobedience, non- violence, non-cooperation among others, were his powerful weapons to disagree with authorities as well as to express his innate desire to withstand injustice,” Kumaran added.
He noted that Qatar Post had released a commemorative postal stamp to mark the occasion and thanked the government of Qatar for the honour.
The postage stamp was launched by Hamad Mohammed Al Fahida, Chief Operations Officer at Qatar Post and Indian Ambassador P Kumaran on the eve of Mahatma Gandhi’s sesquicentennial birth anniversary, at an event dubbed “Celebrating Khadi: The Fabric of Freedom” at VCUarts Qatar on Tuesday.
The event also featured an exhibition and fashion show organised in commemoration of Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary and in line with India-Qatar 2019 Year of Culture.
“For us, this is a very special year because it’s India-Qatar Year of Culture and also the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, so we wanted to present something which projects Indian culture, Indian fashion, Indian textile industry and also link it to Mahatma Gandhi in some way,” said Kumaran speaking to the local media.
He also pointed out that Khadi, the favourite clothing of Gandhi is a sustainable and most eco-friendly fabric, and is becoming highly popular around the world.
The event showcased the creative use of the khadi, a fabric deeply associated with Gandhi and which played a pivotal role in India’s freedom movement, thus it has become known as ‘fabric of freedom’.
The exhibition paid tribute to the Father of the Nation while tracing the history of khadi and showcasing India’s vibrant khadi culture over half a century after Gandhi’s death.
Bidapa, a well-known Indian fashion guru and creator of high-profile fashion events, said he had been known for doing khadi shows in India as well as in cities around the world such as London and Tokyo but this was the first time for him to bring such event in the Middle East.
Dozens of khadi creations by some of India’s top fashion designers such as Abraham & Thakore, Rimzim Dadu, Abrar Ali, Bibi Russell, and Hemant Trvedi were met with ovations as models wearing the stunning designs sashayed the runway during the fashion show attended by ambassadors and representatives of diplomatic missions, VIP guests, Indian community leaders and fashion connoisseurs.
The event was organised by the Indian Embassy in association with VCUarts Qatar and the Indian Community Benevolent Forum.
Mahatma Gandhi, born on October 2,1869, is acclaimed internationally for his principles of non-violence. October 2 is also observed as the International Day of Non-Violence.