New York, Aug 20 (PTI): An influential American lawmaker has said that she will introduce a historic legislation to posthumously award Mahatma Gandhi a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award in the US, for inspiring peaceful movements for civil rights around the world. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney from New York made the announcement at the 38th India Day Parade, the annual extravaganza celebrating India’s Independence Day, held here yesterday. “Gandhi influenced so many people who have already received the medal, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela based on their non-violent leadership for justice. All of this was based on the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi,” Maloney told PTI at the parade.
She said she is soon going to introduce the legislation and expressed confidence that the legislation will be successful. “Mahatma Gandhi’s historic Satyagraha movement of nonviolent resistance inspired a nation and the world. His example energises us to devote ourselves to the service of others. His legacy inspired civil rights movements around the globe, from Martin Luther King Jr.’s movement for racial equality to Nelson Mandela’s fight against apartheid,” Maloney said. She said as a public servant, she is inspired by Gandhi’s courage and example.
“Let us all follow Gandhi’s directive to “be the change you wish to see in the world”. Gandhi would be the first Indian to receive a Congressional Gold Medal, an honour bestowed upon eminent leaders such the first President of the US George Washington, Mandela, Mother Teresa and civil rights activist Rosa Parks. In 2016, Maloney had led the successful effort to create the first-in-the-nation Diwali Stamp. Maloney said the Diwali stamp has been one of the highest selling stamps in US postal history. Participating in the parade with India’s Consul General Ambassador Sandeep Chakravorty and Indian-American community leaders, Maloney, dressed in traditional Indian attire, expressed gratitude to the Indian-American diaspora for their “massive contribution to our culture and growth of our country.”