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Indian High Commissioner on campus to celebrate 150th anniversary of Gandhi's birth

Published: 5 June 2019
Mrs Ghanashyam
Her Excellency The Indian High Commissioner to the UK

The Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Her Excellency Mrs Ruchi Ghanashyam, visited the University of Southampton on 5th June to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi which is in October this year.

As part of the celebrations, she planted a memorial tree on campus with Professor Mark Spearing, the University’s President and Vice-Chancellor (Interim). They were joined by Lord Patel of Bradford and the Sheriff of Southampton, Councillor Susan Blatchford. 

This event followed the launch of the University’s India Centre in March 2019 and further reflects the University’s commitment to strengthening relationships and increasing research partnerships in India.

This is one of only two such ceremonies to be held by the Indian High Commission in the UK and Southampton is a particularly poignant location as Mahatma Gandhi landed in the town when he first came to the UK in November 1888.

Her Excellency Mrs Ghanashyam said: “I couldn’t be more delighted to be here today on this very historic occasion when we are marking the 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi in the place where he first landed in England and where so many of his views were formulated. On this world environment day we acknowledge the contribution that Gandhi, as one of the world’s first environmentalists, made to the cause of a good clean environment that we are all trying to work for today. In this day and age Gandhi’s message for sustainable development, for a clean environment and for living within the means of human beings without taking too much from nature couldn’t be more relevant. In this 150 years of Gandhi and the 100th year of this University I think this is a landmark occasion that we plant this tree today to always remind us of Mahatma Gandhi and his message.”

Mark Spearing said: “It is a great pleasure to dedicate this tree to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi on the anniversary of 150 years since his birth. You cannot overstate the contribution that Gandhi has made to the world, he is without doubt one of the most significant figures of the 20th century. Without his contribution India wouldn’t be the world’s largest democracy and one of the greatest powers in the world. I give enormous credit to Gandhi particularly for his approach to achieving his aims of an independent India through peaceful means, through non-violent means. In an increasingly fraught world I think it would be really good for us all to remember that.”

 

Tree Planting
Mrs Ghanashyam planted a memorial tree with Professor Mark Spearing

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