Tributes to Mahatma Gandhi
Young India asked several members of the United States Congress
to reflect upon the 75th Anniversary of the Salt March and the inspiration which
Gandhi has provided them.
Congressman Gary L. Ackerman (D, NY-5), Democratic
Co-Chair of the Congressional India Caucus
the Salt March
Today’s newspapers are regularly filled with headlines referring to
India’s advancements in business, technology, science and entertainment,
so it is difficult to believe that only 75 years ago today Mahatma Gandhi
led 78 activists on the famous 200 mile long march to protest the British
The 23 day journey demonstrated
to the world the power of civil disobedience and encouraged countless followers
across India to defy British colonial rule by the simple act of making salt.
The genius and simplicity of Gandhi’s protest is considered the turning
point in the struggle for Indian independence.
Here in America, Gandhi’s
non-violent methods were adopted by Dr. Martin Luther King as African-Americans
struggled for civil rights in the 1960’s. Dr. King’s efforts led
to significant changes to ensure that all Americans are equal under the law.
As we reflect on the
75th anniversary of Gandhi’s historic march, we can see examples across
the globe of the power of his ideas wherever people peacefully pursue change
or fight injustice.
Holt (D, NJ-12)
Salt March on March 12, 1930 had repercussions far outlasting the immediate
goal of protesting British Salt taxes for India. With this protest and his
general philosophy towards non-violent civil disobedience, Gandhi inspired
generations of people to seek change in their own lives. In these days where
politics can seem a stagnant struggle between parties and with more and more
people throughout the world turning towards violence as a means to solve their
problems, the memory of Gandhi and his views can act as a welcome reminder
of the power of change of which people are capable. His faith in the power
of an individual to improve the lives of those around them and his willingness
to sacrifice himself to advance shared ideals are only two lessons that we
can learn from Gandhi’s legacy. As a member of the House of Representatives,
both dedication to personal ideals and a faith in the capacity of individuals
for political change are of the utmost importance in my life.
McDermott (D, WA-7)
I cannot think of a
single day in my 16+ years in the United States House of Representatives when
I have not drawn upon the teachings and writings of Mohandas Gandhi to help
guide me. So much of what Gandhi said and wrote inspires me, but I would offer
two quotes in particular:
- “You must be
the change you wish to see in the world.”
- “An eye for
eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”
True visionaries like
Gandhi profoundly- and positively- influence our world for generations far
beyond their mere mortal, physical presence on Earth. Still, I can’t
help but believe that our world would be much better off today if Gandhi were
still here to guide us.
Congressman Joe Wilson (R, SC-2)
I am writing to commend
Young India's celebration of the 75th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's initiation
of the Salt March, which led to the movement creating India's independence
March 12, 2005 marks
an important date for the people of India. Gandhi's philosophy and tenacity
helped to inspire the people of India achieve their independence, giving them
the freedom to determine their own destiny. Now, India is a rising economic
power, where its people continue to benefit from the Constitutional freedoms
Gandhi helped to create. Mahatma Gandhi proved to the world that freedom and
independence can be achieved by any nation. His writings, actions, and leadership
continue to inspire millions of people around the world even today. As the
people of the Middle East strive for freedom and fight tyranny, Gandhi's struggles
can serve as an example of how so much can be achieved through a freedom movement
using non-violence as its principle motivating factor. Once again, I would
like to commend you and Young India for your dedication and recognition of
Gandhi's leadership. I have enjoyed working with you, and I look forward to
working with you and Young India in the future.
If I can ever be of service
to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.