Minister: Gandhi changed history with word of mouth
"What would have happened if Gandhi had today's new technology like Internet, Skype, Twitter, e-mail and Facebook to challenge the British Raj," Minister of Communications Jamal Mohammed asked while calling for tolerance in society during an event to mark India's Independence Day.
Mohammed called for tolerance in society, similar to the one applied by Mahatma Gandhi in his quest for Indian independence. He was addressing a gathering on Tuesday at Independence Day celebrations of India and Trinidad and Tobago. An exhibition titled "Freedom to March: Rediscovering Gandhi through Dandi" was held at the Divali Nagar, Chaguanas.
India celebrated its Independence Day on August 15 while Trinidad and Tobago will celebrate its independence on August 31.
Trinidad and Tobago's Indian diaspora consists of 44 per cent of the population of 1.3 million people.
Mohammed said, "Gandhi tolerated all forms of religious, cultural, social or political adversities and maintained his focus on the achievement of India's independence."
He said Gandhi was a "perfect communicator to have been able to access over 300 million Indians in the 1930s and 1940s and having them join and work with him and achieve Indian independence was an epochal humanitarian initiative".
Asking what would happen if Gandhi had access to new technology like Internet and Skype, he said: "Can you imagine that scenario, and yet he changed the course of human history? He used the power of the tongue by passing the word to each one."
The minister praised the strong, friendly and cordial relations between India and Trinidad and Tobago over the past 50 years.
Indian High Commissioner Malay Mishra urged the audience to take the teachings and philosophy of Gandhi, whom the world still respects for promoting peace, unity and love in India.
He said August is the month of freedom for India as well as Trinidad and Tobago.
Deokienanan Sharma, president of the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC), said this country's independence can be directly related to India's struggle for independence.
Indians were brought to this country between 1845 and 1917 to work on sugar and cocoa plantations, principally from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.