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Follow The Mahatma' March In Netherlands On Gandhi Jayanti

Amsterdam:  People advocating non-violence will join hands with the Indian community in the Netherlands and the Embassy of India to launch a unique campaign titled ‘Follow the Mahatma’ on October 1-2.

Around 1,500 people, from different nationalities, are expected to join the march which will be the first such event to be held on such a large scale in the Netherlands, a press release issued by the embassy said.

A bicycle personally used by Mahatma Gandhi will be displayed at the Grote Kerk in The Hague as part of the activities.

The bicycle has been sent to the Netherlands by the Gandhi Memorial Trust of India as a special gesture, in view of the popularity of cycling and the fact that cycles are part of Dutch cultural heritage, it said.

It is currently part of an exhibition at the Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam.

The ‘Gandhi March’ will be from the Peace Palace to the Grote Kerk in The Hague on October 1, the release said.

An excerpt of an opera titled ‘Satyagraha’ (the instrument of non-violence used by Mahatma Gandhi) composed by renowned musician Philip Glass will be performed at the Grote Kerk by the Korzo Theatre.

Also, a new book in Dutch titled ‘Gandhi – An Illustrated Biography’ published by Lannoo of Belgium and written by Indian author Pramod Kapoor will be released on the occasion where Venu Rajamony, India’s envoy to the Netherlands, will be present.

There is probably no other country in the world, other than India, which has as many streets named after the ‘Father of the Nation’. There are also statues of Gandhi in the cities of the Hague, Amsterdam, and Utrecht, the release said.

October 2, the birth anniversary of Gandhi and has been declared by the UN General Assembly as the International Day of Non-Violence.

“Today, when world peace is being challenged by violence and aggression, these evils affect our communities, our culture and ultimately our identities. Thus, it becomes our responsibility to reinforce peace and non-violence. In order to do this, we should aspire to Follow the Mahatma, and accept the path of truth and non-violence,” said the mission statement of the ‘Follow the Mahatma’ campaign.

It is necessary that as citizens of the world, we all unite and stand up against violence to build a world free of oppression and inspire a culture of peace, it said. 

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