Mahatma Gandhi - 150 Years
I am delighted that CTT Correios de Portugal is commemorating the150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on 2nd October by bringing out a stamp issue in Khadi, the handwoven natural ber cloth that Mahatma Gandhi wore and spun on his spinning wheel. With this, Portugal has made history as the rst country, outside of India, to bring out a Gandhi philatelic issue in Khadi. This is a testimony to the historical ties spanning more than half a millennium between India and Portugal, the close kinship between the two peoples and the growing intensi cation of our rapidly strengthening bilateral ties. It is also a be tting tribute to a truly great man whose timeless messages continue to inspire people everywhere to become the best possible versions of themselves - a 'Mahatma' or 'Great Soul' who urged everyone to "Be the change you want to see in the world" and exempli ed this in his own life in such a way that his very life became his message.
Gandhiji believed that if each of us took self-responsibility for personal growth and responded wisely and consciously to even the most unjust situation, truth, peace, and love would prevail. He strongly advocated non-violence or Ahimsa and said that "In a gentle way, you can shake the world" since "Truth is far more powerful than any weapon of mass destruction". He also urged us to recognize that this was the fundamental truth of all religions and espoused universal brotherhood in an interdependent existence, saying "Where there is love, there is life".
Mahatma Gandhi not only lived these universal values but also integrated them into all areas of life, including politics by advocating the concept of the Ideal State (Ram Rajya), ghting for truth and justice through spiritual force (Satyagraha), uplifting the poorest (Sarvodaya),self-reliance (Swadeshi), people's participation in social change (Jan Bhagidari) and eco-friendly development. He viewed the environment as a precious trusteeship of humanity and cautioned over a hundred years ago that "The earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed".
As the world today wrestles with rising walls and challenges like climate change, violent extremism and intolerance, may the Khadisouvenir sheet of Mahatma Gandhi remind us of his invaluable messages and his words: "The di erence between what we do and what we are capable of doing would su ce to solve most of the world’s problems". As we pay homage to this great man, let us also remember what Gandhiji wisely said: "Satisfaction lies in the e ort, not in the attainment; full e ort is full victory". Let us make our full e ort for a better world; victory will surely follow.
K. Nandini Singla
Ambassador of India to Portugal