Mahatma Gandhi connected India in letter and spirit, in thought and action, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote in a blog to mark the birth anniversary of the father of the nation on Tuesday. "India is a land of diversity. If there was one person who brought everyone together, made people rise above differences, to fight colonialism and enhanced India's stature at the world stage, it was Mahatma Gandhi," PM Modi said in the blog published by the Times of India.
Mahatma Gandhi, wrote the Prime Minister, remains a shining beacon of hope for millions of people across the world who want a life of equality, dignity, inclusion and empowerment.
"In a world where terrorism, radicalisation, extremism and mindless hate are dividing nations as well as societies, his clarion calls of peace and ahimsa have the power to unite humanity," said PM Modi in the blog, which he also tweeted.
He quoted Sardar Patel as saying - "India is a land of diversity. If there was one person who brought everyone together, made people rise above differences, to fight colonialism and enhanced India's stature at the world stage, it was Mahatma Gandhi."
According to the prime minister, the thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi remained as essential in the 21st century as they were in his time and offered solutions to several problems the world faces.
"At a time when inequalities are not uncommon, Bapu's emphasis on equal and inclusive growth can herald an era of prosperity for the millions on the margins," he said.
One of the "most beautiful aspects of Gandhiji's personality", he said, was that he made every Indian feel that he or she is working for India's freedom.
"He instilled the spirit of self-belief that a teacher, lawyer, doctor, farmer, labourer, entrepreneur, in whatever they were doing they were contributing to India's freedom struggle. In the same light, today, let us embrace those aspects we think we can act upon that will fulfil Gandhiji's vision. It can start with something as simple as ensuring zero waste of food to imbibing values of non-violence and togetherness."
He ended the blog with a reference to one of Bapu's favourite hymns - "vaishnav jan to tene kahiye je, peer parayee jaane re." It meant, said PM Modi, "a good soul is one who feels the pain of others. It was this spirit that made him live for others. Today, we, the 1.3 billion Indians are committed to working together to fulfil the dreams Bapu saw for a country for which he gave his life."