The Hague: Organizations, institutions and individuals advocating non-violence are joining hands with the Indian community in the Netherlands and the Embassy of India to launch a unique campaign titled 'Follow the Mahatma' on October 1 and 2, 2017.
The campaign includes a 'Gandhi March' from the Peace Palace to the Grote Kerk in The Hague on the afternoon of October 1. Around 1,500 people, including people of all nationalities, are expected to join this march which will be the first such event to be held on such a large scale in The Netherlands.
A bicycle personally used by Mahatma Gandhi will be displayed at the Grote Kerk in The Hague as part of the activities. The bicycle has been sent to the Netherlands by the Gandhi Memorial Trust of India as a special gesture, in view of the popularity of cycling and the fact that cycles are part of the Dutch cultural heritage. It is currently part of an exhibition on Gandhi, King and Mandela at the Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam.
An excerpt of an opera titled 'Satyagraha' (the instrument of Non Violence used by Mahatma Gandhi) composed by renowned musician Philip Glass will be performed at the Grote Kerk by the Korzo Theatre. Also, a new book in Dutch titled “Gandhi -An illustrated biography” published by Lannoo of Belgium and authored by Indian author Pramod Kapoor will be released on the occasion.
'Follow the Mahatma' campaign will continue on October 2nd with volunteers fanning out to schools of The Netherlands to spread the message of non-violence, tolerance and peace.
The Netherlands is a country which cherishes and keeps alive the memory of Mahatma Gandhi as is evident from the fact that over 30 streets in this country are named after Mahatma Gandhi. There is probably no other country in the world other than India which has as many streets named after Mahatma Gandhi. There are also three statues of Mahatma Gandhi in the cities of The Hague, Amsterdam and Utrecht.
October 2 is the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and has been declared by the UN General Assembly as the International Day of Non Violence.