Mahatma Gandhi not only inspired the people of India, but also left a precious spiritual legacy to the world, China has said, invoking his famous words that “China and India are fellow travellers sharing weal and woe in a common journey”.
October 2 has acquired special significance for Beijing ever since the statue of Gandhi, sculpted by China’s acclaimed sculptor and artist Yuan Xikun was installed at the famous Chaoyang park in 2005, providing an opportunity for his admirers in the Communist nation to pay homage to the apostle of peace.
Every year on Gandhi Jayanthi, the picturesque park resonates with recitation of Gandhi bhajans and his famous sayings.”As the leader and pioneer of the Indian national liberation movement, Gandhi made outstanding contributions to the independence of India,” a senior Chinese official said.
His comments came as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to meet in Mamallapuram near Chennai soon. Modi and Xi according to unofficial reports would hold their second informal summit at Mamallapuram from October 11-13.
For decades, Gandhi and his legacy stayed in the shadows as Mao remained at the helm till his death in 1976. According to the survey carried out by state-run Global Times in 2009, about 60 most foreign leaders who influenced China, Rabindranath Tagore and Jawaharlal Nehru figured from India while Gandhi’s name was conspicuously absent.
But Gandhi seems to be striking chord with modern China as his name now figures high among the “well known Indians in China”, according to an online survey carried out among the Chinese netizens by the state-run China Plus.