In the Path of Mahatma – India Armenia towards Peace and Non-Violence

150 Years of Mahatma Gandhi

As part of the initiative of the GSDS towards reaching out to different embassies in India to take the message of Mahatma Gandhi in the international realm, the Samiti in association with the Embassy of Armenia in India organized a cultural-exchange programme in Gandhi Smriti on February 10, 2020. The programme was organized as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. H.E. Mr. Armen Martirosyan, the Ambassador of Armenia to India was the chief guest on the occasion. Students from Ashray Adhikar Abhyaan and Summer Fields School, Gurugram took part in the programme.
He introduced to us the key events going on (e.g. Jai Jagat), associated with Mahatma Gandhi to promote peace and how the people around the globe are being part of it. He also told about the Armenian Velvet Revolution of 2018 which is another example of a peaceful protest. He urged the audience to continue their faith in idealism.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Martirosyan said, “It’s rightly said that Gandhi belongs not just to India but to the entire world, and therefore, his thoughts still have a special resonance in all the corners. A leader, statesman, politician, writer, journalist, barrister, philosopher and social activist, he wore several hats in his lifetime and touched upon the lives of billions around the world. Indeed, I would say that there is hardly any country in the world where Gandhiji’s passion for non–violence and his genuine humanism have not inspired people, transcending the divisions of race, religion and ethnicity today. And Armenia is no exception”.
“Gandhiji has left the legacy of teachings of morality, self-sufficiency, forgiveness and non-violence. He lived with his ideals and did not compromise them in the most difficult of times. Today, this integral component of his philosophy ‘idealism’ has regrettably either been assigned to oblivion or grossly misinterpreted. Today, we are losing our faith in idealism and regard it mostly as an abstract philosophy rather than a practical approach to daily life. Idealism is still competitive for the purpose of childhood education, but reality often turns out to be brutally material. This view of the world leads us to constant rivalry and struggle, both domestically and internationally. As a result, the textbook of modern politics becomes The Prince of Machiavelli”.
“Thus, we divide our lives into two compartments: one in which we indulge ourselves in fine theories and sentiments, and another in which we shake off this dream and deal with reality in all its earthly manifestations. The latter diminishes the value of moral education”
The occasion also saw the release of the bilingual Hindi-English Armenian fairy tales book of Hovhannes Tumanyan entitled:”The Golden City”. The book has been translated by Ms. Naira Mkrtchyan with paintings by Narek Khachatryan. Ms. Jill Carr-Harris, from Jai Jagat Golbal Yatra (India to Geneva) also spoke on the occasion.
A mesmerizing performance by the ‘Kayt Band’, virtually took us to the streets of Armenia with their folk music. Along with Shavali, Gorani, and Havkunk, Baghi Pat was a song. The lyrics of the song signified the pain of lovers during war where the soldier didn’t have enough time to feel the happiness of life but he already has to go to war.