Influential Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has said that Mahatma Gandhi, whose principles of non-violence inspired world leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, should be honored this year with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award in the US, as the world commemorates his 150th birth anniversary.
Maloney, who in September last year introduced a bill in the US House of Representatives to posthumously present the Congressional Gold Medal to Mahatma Gandhi in recognition of his promotion of nonviolence, said Gandhi has been a “truly inspirational leader, historic figure.”
Mahatma Gandhi was “transformational in so many ways” and an inspiration to all Americans and people across the world, Maloney said May 3 while addressing an audience at the Consulate General of India in New York at the event ‘Non Violence: A message of Lord Mahavir’ and the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi hosted by the International Ahimsa Foundation USA (IAF).
She said Mandela and King both attributed their philosophy of non-violence and their leadership to Mahatma Gandhi and both are recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal.
“Already Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King have received the Medal. It’s only right that the inspirational leader for both of them was Mahatma Gandhi and so he should receive this award,” Maloney said. The medal will “honor his leadership” and his gift to the world of inspiring with his principles of non-violence.
Addressing the gathering, which included leading Indian-American community members and leaders from the US politics, Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty said Gandhi himself was deeply influenced by the work and principle of civil disobedience of American poet and philosopher Henry David Thoreau, emulating it in his life.