Today is the birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who died in 1948. Better known as Mahatma Gandhi, he championed non-violent protest in South Africa and India. His life and work inspired many, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Aung San Suu Kyi who is currently living in confinement in Myanmar where this week many monks were killed non-violently protesting for free elections.
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
The United Nations General Assembly declared today to be the first International Day of Non-Violence. The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said, “May it help spread Mahatma Gandhi’s message of non-violence to an ever wider audience, and hasten a time when every day is a day of non-violence.”
Sonia Gandhi addressed the General Assembly as well, saying “the remarkable personality we honour today,” a man who achieves complete non-violence, “is not a saint”. He is “truly a man.” It’s a great reminder that our heroes are people first and thus wonderful role models.