Celebrating 150 Years of Mahatma Gandhi

November 26, 2018 Rayburn House Office Building, Capitol Hill

Indiaspora co-hosted 150 Years of Mahatma Gandhi, a celebration on Capitol Hill spearheaded by the Embassy of India in partnership with several community organizations, including the Gandhi Memorial CenterHindu American FoundationAJC – Global Jewish Advocacy, The Art of Living Foundation, U.S.-India Business CouncilJITO USABAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, JAINA, JAIN Society of Metropolitan Washington, and US-India Friendship Council.

The occasion was marked by a lighting of the diya and remarks by India’s Ambassador to the U.S, Navtej Sarna, who will be retiring at the end of the year, and and Members of Congress, including Congressman Ami Bera (CA-7), soon to be the longest-serving Indian American member in Congress, who paid tribute to the strength of Gandhi’s resistance and his life of public service; Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-6), who mentioned Hinduism was the second most practiced religion in Arizona and applauded the spirit of the Indian diaspora; and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-8), one of the Indian American members in Congress who acknowledged that he would not be be serving in Congress today if it weren’t for Gandhi’s impact. See videos of all of their remarks on our Facebook page.

Indiaspora also had the opportunity to discuss the work we have done to spread Gandhi’s message of nonviolence, including hosting a series of nationwide film screenings of a revolutionary documentary, From India with Love by first-time director Mandar Apte in response to hate violence against the Indian community in 2017. The film documents a group of diverse Americans who travel to India for a modern-day pilgrimage that follows in the footsteps of Martin Luther King, Jr. You can read more about the screenings and watch the film and learn about the movement.

We also want to give special thanks to Congresswoman Robin Kelly and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi for co-writing a Congressional letter of support for the 150 Year Commemorative Postal Stamp Initiative to honor Mahatma Gandhi’s worldwide legacy, including his role in inspiring Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement in the U.S.

Read some of the media coverage in The American Bazaar, India Abroad, News India Times, and Indica News (see details below).

150 Years of Mahatma Gandhi

Several of the photos above are courtesy of the Embassy of India’s press release.

The American Bazaar, “Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations begin in Washington with a Capitol Hill event.” Geeta Goindi, November 29, 2018.

India Abroad, “Year of the Mahatma kicked-off on Capitol Hill: Event heralding year-long commemoration of Mahatma’s 150th Birth Anniversary draws lawmakers, diplomats and community members.” Aziz Haniffa, December 1, 2018.

Indica News, “US Capitol pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on 150th birth anniversary.” November 29, 2018.

News India Times, “Mahatma Gandhi’s life and legacy celebrated on Capitol Hill.” November 28, 2018.