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By Ravi R Ponangi

Atlanta, GA: New Ambassador of India to US Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Atlanta Consul General of India, Dr. Swati Kulkarni paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Historical site, Atlanta in the presence of a large number of Atlanta community. Ambassador Shringla and Consul General of India (Southeast) in Atlanta Dr. Swati Kulkarni laid wreaths at the feet of a giant statue of Mahatma Gandhi located in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Historical Site. This was the very first visit of Ambassador Shringla outside Washington. He presented his diplomatic credentials to President Donald Trump in White House on January11.

Ambassador and Consul General  at the Gandhi statue

Gandhi Foundation of USA (GFUSA) hosted a solemn prayer meeting to mark 71st death anniversary (Punya Tithi/Martyrs Day) of Mahatma Gandhi on Wednesday, January 30 at Gandhi statue in King center, Atlanta. The Gandhi Foundation of USA was founded on October 26, 1997. The purpose of the Foundation was to create and promote educational & informational programs to inform the general public on the non-violent philosophies and practices of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Since then GFUSA is organizing various programs/projects to awaken the collective consciousness of the people towards the effectiveness of nonviolence and peaceful techniques of Gandhi-King.


After laying wreaths at the feet of Mahatma Gandhi statue, Ambassador addressed the gathering. Remembering Mahatma Gandhi, Ambassador said my first event in Atlanta was to pay homage to our great leader and father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated 71 years ago in 1948 on this day. He said it was fitting that he came to Atlanta to the home of another great leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He complimented Indian community and Gandhi foundation for setting up a grand six-foot, four-inch bronze Gandhi statue in the hallowed grounds of Dr. King. He said it was very unique occasion and significant that we gathered here today as we are also celebrating this year 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, 90th birth anniversary of Dr. King and 60th anniversary of Dr. King’s visit to India.

At the Ebenezer Church

Ambassador further said it was no coincidence that great leaders Gandhi and Dr. King are linked. Because Dr. King derived lot of idealism and philosophy of nonviolence from Mahatma Gandhi and led a great struggle for emancipation of different communities of America. The ideals, principles, values which Gandhi stood 100 years ago is as much valued today as it was a century ago. The world continues to revere Mahatma Gandhi. He is a great leader of India and world. His philosophies and power of ideas had a tremendous impact on generations of people in India and abroad.

Earlier, Antony Thaliath executive director of USA welcomed the gathering and Raj Razdan introduced the Ambassador. Welcoming the gathering, Antony Thaliath executive director of USA said “we are honored to have His Excellency Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Ambassador of India to United States to observe with us Gandhi’s death anniversary, in the hallowed grounds of world’s foremost Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

The Homage session ended with singing of Mahatma Gandhi favorite bhajan “Vaishnava Janato”.
Then, Ambassador, CGI and community “walked in Peace” to the King Crypts and laid wreaths as homage to both Dr. King and his wife Coretta Scott King. Ambassador and CGI also visited Ebenezer Baptist Church, Gandhi Room, King Room and Rosa Parker Room in Freedom Hall where officials from King Center received dignitaries.


' Feb-13-2019