- G20 leaders, in a show of unity and commitment to global peace, gathered at India’s Raj Ghat to honor Mahatma Gandhi, underscoring the significance of his principles in shaping a harmonious global future.
- Indian PM Narendra Modi highlighted the continued relevance of Gandhi’s teachings, stressing their role in guiding diverse nations toward a united and prosperous world, a sentiment echoed by the Prime Minister’s Office on social media.
- Following this tribute, G20 members celebrated their historic unanimous adoption of the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration, symbolizing their collective aim for a brighter and more harmonious global future.
NEW DELHI — In a solemn ceremony at Raj Ghat, the memorial site where Mahatma Gandhi, the global peace icon, was cremated in 1948, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed world leaders, drawing attention to the apostle of non-violence’s lasting legacy.
US President Joe Biden, along with other visiting dignitaries, opted for felt slippers, adhering to the tradition of showing respect by refraining from regular footwear. Other leaders, including British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron, joined Modi in walking barefoot to the marble plinth where an eternal flame burns in memory of Gandhi. Following a Hindu hymn’s soulful rendition, the leaders observed a moment of silence and laid wreaths, paying tribute to Gandhi.
While Modi has consistently expressed admiration for Gandhi’s ideals and vision, the association between the Prime Minister’s Hindu nationalist party and Gandhi is complex. Critics often highlight the party’s nuanced stance on Gandhi’s assassin, Nathuram Godse, who was influenced by Hindu ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. Some right-wing sections view Gandhi’s role in India’s partition critically, feeling he hindered India’s potential to emerge as a state rooted deeply in ancient Hindu traditions.
Interestingly, despite this backdrop, Raj Ghat remains a focal point of reverence. Following Gandhi’s assassination, over a million mourners joined the funeral procession leading to this very location, which over the years has witnessed the cremations of several of India’s prominent leaders.
In an emblematic gesture, visiting leaders received shawls from Modi before an image of the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat, a significant residence of Gandhi’s. The ashram, often integrated into the schedules of foreign dignitaries, has hosted figures like former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and ex-US President Donald Trump.
This G20 summit holds considerable importance for Modi, who is keen to enhance his stature on the global stage, especially with national elections looming next year. His imagery, associated with the summit, has been prominently showcased across India, symbolizing it as a national milestone.
The summit’s conclusion sees President Biden embarking on a state visit to Vietnam, marking another chapter in international diplomacy.
In a symbolic gesture that reflects their commitment to global peace and cooperation, leaders of the G20 nations congregated at India’s revered Raj Ghat today to pay their respects to Mahatma Gandhi, the torchbearer of non-violence and harmony.
Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who hosted the international dignitaries, emphasized that Gandhi’s enduring principles continue to shape the global vision for a united, inclusive, and affluent future. Modi took to social media to share his thoughts, stating, “As diverse nations converge at the Raj Ghat, the principles of Mahatma Gandhi – embodying peace, compassion, and selfless service – guide us towards envisioning a harmonious and prosperous world.”
Indian Prime Minister’s Office further reinforced the sentiment, posting, “With world leaders in attendance at Raj Ghat, the G20 family pays its tribute to Bapu [Mahatma Gandhi], highlighting the universal resonance of his teachings.”
This heartwarming homage comes on the heels of a significant announcement. Yesterday, the G20 members, in a historic move, unanimously adopted the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration. Applauding this development, Prime Minister Modi conveyed his appreciation on social media. “This marks a historic moment with the adoption of the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration. United in consensus and spirit, we, the G20 members, are poised to work in unison for a brighter, more prosperous, and harmonious global future,” he remarked, expressing gratitude to the member nations for their unwavering support and collaboration.