For 12-year old G. Stalin from Gummidipoondi, the allure of dressing up like Mahatma Gandhi and being a part of a world record overrode the significance of Gandhi’s teachings.
He was among the 1,009 children who assembled on Marina Beach on Wednesday, to create a new record — that of the maximum number of children dressed as Mahatma Gandhi with tonsured heads.
Organised by the Gandhi World Foundation in association with Delvin Formulations on Martyrs’ Day, the children, aged between two and 16, marched in neat lines with their hollow round spectacles and walking sticks.
At the end of the short walk, Thomas Bain, adjudicator, Asia Book of Records, declared that they had broken a previous record where 891 children dressed up as Mahatma Gandhi. M.L Rajesh, founder-trustee, said that they had also registered the event with the Guinness and Limca books of world records. , and had to send evidence to get the certificate.
A tonsure record
He added, that event where the heads of the children were tonsured the previous day itself made it to the India Book of Records and Tamil Nadu Book of Records. “We made a record for most number of heads tonsured within 40 minutes, most number barbers participating and most number of students from a single school taking part in such an event,” he said.
V. Kalyanam, who served as Gandhi’s personal secretary, said that students must not only dress as, but also work like Gandhi.