Universal College has embraced the celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday as an annual feature and it has become part of our tradition to conduct the ‘Garlanding” ceremony at Rivière du Rempart where the golden statuette of Mahatma Gandhi is laid in a walking position. Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to Mauritius in 1901 and his stay at Rivière du Rempart has been indeed a remarkable blessing for all Mauritians and we, Universalians, cannot miss this golden opportunity to motivate our students by showing them the values of a man, dead yet ‘immortal’ as he still resides in our hearts, in our landscapes and is omnipresent across the globe.
Additionally, our students, very enthusiastically, get prepared to perform on that auspicious day in order to pay tribute to such an eminent personality who has left no stone unturned in order to make the human race win the fundamental battles of life. He had to shed his blood to save the future of humanity. In so doing, our college has attempted something new all the time.
The celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday in Universal College has provided us with a pathway so that we can inculcate in our students the basic principles of humanity. The latter can, in turn, impart these ‘priceless’ values from generation to generation by treading on the path of truth; they can show respect to earn respect; they can share love without asking anything in return; they can prove themselves through benevolent acts. Mahatma Gandhi always believed in ‘Karma’ and that is why he lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian Dhoti and ‘Shawl’, woven with yarn he had spun on a ‘charkha’.
Our college cannot miss that day of celebration when this great legendary was born, as a light to be spread globally so that people would live in freedom, peace and in a harmonious atmosphere. On that day, we request our students to recite poems, sing and dance on patriotic songs so that they can value the achievements of such a wonderful person.
Eventually, Mahatma Gandhiji’s tragic end shook the lives of many people, especially those who loved and admired his work. Yet this sadness is short-lived as for many among us, we strongly believe that Mohandass Karamchand Gandhi still lives in our hearts and is still amidst us to make us remember that ‘unity’ is the key for success and division or partitions would lead to nowhere!
* Published in print edition on 12 October 2012