MUSCAT – An online celebration was organised by Embassy of India in association with Raja Yoga Center for Self-Development, to celebrate 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and United Nations International Day of Non-violence on October 5, 2020. This was the grand finale event of two year long Gandhi @150 celebrations organised by Government of India. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining the norms of social distancing, the event was held online. The event could not be held on 2nd October due to the official mourning declared by Oman government on passing away of HH Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, Emir of Kuwait.
The event started with a welcome address by Ambassador of India to the Sultanate of Oman, H.E. Munu Mahawar, where he spoke about universal relevance of ideas of Mahatma Gandhi, such as Peace and Non-Violence. Ambassador paid tributes to great statesman and peacemaker Late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said and stated that Oman, under the leadership of HM Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik, continues to move forward on the path of peace and harmony. Ambassador also mentioned various events organised by the Embassy under Gandhi @150 celebrations and thanked people and the government of Oman, expatriates and Indian community for their wholehearted support.
H.E. Sheikh Khalifa bin Ali bin Issa Al Harthy, Undersecretary for Diplomatic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sultanate of Oman, extended his warmest greeting via a video message and stated that violence cannot resolve any conflict. He expressed peaceful resolution of conflicts in the world is an inherent principle of Oman’s foreign policy and stated that Oman and India share strong relationship marked by mutual respect and trust. In addition, messages and greetings from other Omani dignitaries, Ambassadors and Pravasi Bharatiya Samman awardees from Indian diaspora were also played.
A short video showcasing glimpses of all the activities that were carried out in Oman, under Gandhi @150 was screened during the event. The Embassy in the run up to 151st Birth Anniversary Mahatma Gandhi, organized various events this year. An online painting competition for all residents of Oman, a poetry competition in all the Indian schools across Oman and an Online Gandhi Quiz Competition was organised. The Embassy officials paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and planted trees in the Embassy premises on October 2. The winners of painting and poetry competitions and Online Gandhi Quiz were also announced during the event.
The internationally acclaimed motivational speaker, Sister B.K. Jayanti Kirpalani delivered the keynote address on the theme of ‘Sailing through Turbulent Times’ and mesmerised the audience as she spoke on sailing together through non-violence and compassion to navigate these uncertain times. The participation of large number of people in the online celebration attested to the global relevance and popularity of Mahatma Gandhi’s message of Peace, humanity and non-violence.