Brisbane, Nov 16:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday unveiled a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in this Australian city, saying that the Mahatma’s legacy is still relevant today.
“Mahatma Gandhi is as relevant today as he was in his lifetime,” Modi said at a function where he unveiled the Gandhi statue at Roma Street Parkland here.
Addressing a gathering of the Indian-Australian community at the venue, following the conclusion of the G20 Summit, the prime minister said: “On October 2 (1869), a person was not born in Porbandar, but an era was born,” referring to the Mahatma.
“Non-violence was an article of faith for Mahatma Gandhi,” Modi told the Indian diaspora.
“When Mahatma Gandhi stayed at Sabarmati Ashram, the river was full of water. Yet even (during) that time, he scolded people for wasting water.”
The statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Brisbane is sculpted by Ram Sutar of New Delhi.
The programme organisers, on their part, said that a bridge would be named after Mahatma Gandhi in Springfield, a satellite city of Brisbane.
Modi arrived at the function venue to a rousing welcome by the Indian diaspora gathered there and was greeted by the Brisbane mayor.
The prime minister expressed his happiness about attending the function.
“G20 meetings are over. Happy beginning my bilateral visit to Australia with this programme: PM,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted ahead of his arrival at the venue.
Modi earlier attended the G20 Summit in Brisbane and held one-to-one meetings with a number of world leaders.
He is to visit other Australian cities, including capital Canberra, and also address the Australian parliament during his stay in the country.