Minister Shinzo Abe and wife Akie visited Sabarmati Ashram and paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi on Wednesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave them a guided tour of the ashram. Arriving late-afternoon, the trio spent about half-an-hour in the ashram, which is marking its 100th year. Modi gifted Abe a model in marble of the famous three monkeys, symbolic of Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy.
Abe listened intently to the close connection his country had with India – historically, the three monkeys were a gift from Japan to Gandhiji, Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust member Kartikeya Sarabhai told The Indian Express.
“We also gave the Japanese PM replicas of letters written by Gandhiji from our archives. Gandhiji had written them in response to questions from the Japanese media,” he said.
They visited Hriday Kunj, where Gandhiji lived. Modi and Abe offered floral tribute to the statue of the Mahatma. Modi also took his guests to the Sabarmati banks, where they sat on Gujarat’s famous lacquered chairs from Sankheda. Abe and Akie wrote a short note in Japanese in the visitor’s book — translated, it read “Love and Gratitude”.