150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday 2 October 2019 marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi. His birthday is a major holiday in India called ‘Gandhi Jayanti’, and it is marked with a prayer for peace, ceremonies and events throughout the country. The United Nations has also declared this day as the International Day of Non-violence to honour Gandhi’s message.

I and other Labour MPs paid tribute at Gandhi’s statue in Parliament Square. Earlier, the Leader of HM Opposition laid a wreath at the statue.

We recognise Gandhi’s incredible contribution to the ideas of peace and freedom through non-violence. Through peaceful protest, Gandhi drew attention to the oppression of India’s poorest classes and secure Independence from the British.

It is fitting that the statue of Gandhi in Parliament Square stands next to that of Nelson Mandela as Gandhi started his working life in South Africa and lessons were learned by the Anti-Apartheid movement and Martin Luther King followed Gandhi’s message of non-violence.