Special Correspondent

Young men, business class don't attend functions to remember Gandhi: Barnala

CHENNAI: Governor Surjit Singh Barnala has a grievance: lack of participation of young men and the business class at functions held to commemorate the memory of Mahatma Gandhi.

Airing his feeling at a function at the Gandhi Mandapam here on Monday (the day being Gandhiji's death anniversary), Mr. Barnala, who spoke extempore after completing his address, referred to the composition of the audience at the function and said "we do not spare even half-an-hour of our precious time for Gandhiji."

Recalling the sacrifices made by Gandhiji, the Governor said that it was because of his role that the nation was free now. People should imbibe his teachings and remember him at least on the occasions of his birth and death anniversaries.

However, the Governor noted that this year's attendance was better than last year's. The presence of more women was noticeable.

In his address, Mr. Barnala said, "we are nearing six decades after Gandhiji. We must ask ourselves the question, have we realised the ideals that Gandhiji dreamt of?"

He pointed out "Mahatma Gandhi's openness drew people to him. Persons from different faiths and creeds and different religious or economic and political dimensions were attracted by him."

He also inaugurated the Sarvodaya fortnight organised under the auspices of the Gandhian Integrated Forum Trust (GIFT). Earlier, an inter-religious prayer was held.