REMARKS ON THE OCCASION OF THE UNVEILING OF THE
STATUE OF MAHATMA GANDHI
BY MINISTER SYLVESTRE RADEGONDE
11 JUNE 2022 AT 10:00 HRS
Your Excellency, High Commissioner of the Republic of India to the Republic of Seychelles,
Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen (Salutation to be amended based on attendees)
I am honoured to be here today, for the unveiling of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi.
This statue honours a great visionary and practitioner of peace and its values. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi devoted more than 30 years of his life embodying the philosophy of non-violent protest against oppression and injustice. He dedicated his life to the service of his country where he played an instrumental role in achieving India’s independence in 1947, through a peaceful and non-violent struggle, based on moral principles. His teachings influenced another great leader, Dr Martin Luther King Jr, with his non-violent protest for civil rights in the 1960’s in the United States of America.
However, his legacy and what he stood for, far exceeds this, to symbolise strength, resilience and courage in the face of adversity.
Gandhi’s universal teachings continue to inspire every new generation and resonate in all corners of the world. In these current times of strife, his powerful message of non-violence and peaceful co-existence is all the more relevant today.
It is therefore only fitting that the statue finds its place here in the Peace Park alongside Sir James Mancham, the founding President of Seychelles and a pioneer of reconciliation and peace and former President Nelson Mandela who laid the foundation for democracy and reconciliation in South Africa.
Ghandi also lived in South Africa for 21 years and it was there that he raised a family and first employed nonviolent resistance in a campaign for civil rights.
Todays’ unveiling also further cement the long historical links between Seychelles and India. The strong ties between our two countries predate our own Independence as a nation. Since then, they have taken on a new dimension, resulting in a dynamic programme of cooperation in numerous spheres and sectors.
Of importance are the deep rooted ties of our people. Seychellois of Indian descent have contributed significantly to the development of our nation. A combination of enterprise and a strong work ethics, applied across a wide variety of disciplines, have added value to the richness of our communities, culture and society.
In conclusion, as we celebrate another milestone in the Seychelles –India history, it is my hope that the two countries continue to work together to further enrich and diversify our cooperation.