The Indian and South African Ambassadors to the U.S. along with several eminent American lawmakers recalled the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi during the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr and Coretta Scott King’s visit to India.

Addressing the commemorative event at the Capitol Hill last evening, Congressman John Lewis said, “but for Mahatma Gandhi in India there would have been no Obama. Gandhiji had inspired Martin Luther King Jr, who in turn has been source of inspiration to Barack Obama.”

Indian Ambassador to the U.S., Meera Shankar, said Mahatma Gandhi not only sought to free a nation from colonialism but also liberate people from prejudices, discrimination and exclusion.

Noting that Mahatma Gandhi was inspired by American thinkers, Ms. Shankar said the Father of the Nation in turn inspired Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

‘Valuable heritage’

“So the vigorous flow of ideas between India and America helped to shape in many ways the concepts that became such a valuable heritage for people both in India and in the United States,” Ms. Shankar said, adding that South Africa had a very important role in this process.

“It was in South Africa that Mahatma Gandhi actually developed political consciousness. Before that his was a very conventional life,” she observed.

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