During Champaran centenary celebrations on Monday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said Gandhian thoughts had been very relevant in times of “intolerance and conflict”. He said it was time to go back to people with Gandhian ideas and implement people’s agenda and not just take their reactions. Former West Bengal governor and one of the scions of Mahatma Gandhi family, Gopal Krishna Gandhi, was also present at the opening function here.
Opening a two-day seminar at the newly-constructed international convention centre, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said: “Everyone knows Mahatma Gandhi had come to this day 100 years ago on invitation of Raj Kumar Shukla and he had gone to Muzaffarpur from where he visited Motihari in Champaran (now divided in two districts – East Champaran and West Champaran).”
Kumar said Gandhi must not be limited to printing his image on currency notes. “Gandhiji has become more relevant today when there is so much intolerance and conflict. It is time we went back to people with Gandhian thoughts and seek not just their reactions but also suggestions. The country should be run on agenda set by people of the country.”
The Bihar CM also took the occasion to announce that his government would also concentrate on stopping dowry and child marriage after enforcing prohibition. “It always rankled me to see people suffer from drinking habits. Our government had promised to ban liquor before 2015 Assembly polls and fulfilled it in 2016. We are looking at banning all kinds of addiction. Our next focus is to stop dowry and child marriage.”
Besides Gopal Krishna Gandhi, other leading participants in the opening function were Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar and prominent Gandhian Razi Ahmed. Another member of Gandhi family, Tushar Gandhi, is likely to attend the function the concluding day of seminar on Tuesday.
President Pranab Mukherjee would attend the centenary celebrations on April 17. The Bihar CM would visit Champaran on the concluding day of the centenary celebrations on April 18. Seminars and cultural activities would continue round the year to mark the centenary celebrations.