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Resolution moved in US Congress to give top civil rights award to Mahatma Gandhi

Resolution in US Congress to award Congressional Gold Medal to Mahatma Gandhi

That Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation is a force to reckon with in today’s world was evident from a demand to award him the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal. The resolution to this effect was reintroduced by an influential United States lawmaker from New York in the US House of Representatives to posthumously award the medal on August 13.

The Medal is the highest civilian award in the US, and is to be given in recognition of Bapu’s work for promotion of peace and nonviolence.

Other eminent personalities and figures who have earlier been bestowed with this Medal include George Washington, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Teresa, and Rosa Parks, among others.

It may be recalled in 1998, the US Congress had passed allowing Government of India to establish a memorial to Gandhi on US federal land in the District of Columbia. Following this a bronze statue depicting Gandhiji in ascetic garb designed by Kolkata sculptor Gautam Pal was installed.

Congresswoman Carolyn B Maloney, who introduced the resolution in the US House of Representatives said: “Mahatma Gandhi's historic Satyagraha (Sanskrit for "soul-force") movement of nonviolent resistance inspired a nation and the world. His example energizes us to devote ourselves to the service of others.”

Maloney went on to add: "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. As a public servant, I am inspired everyday by his courage and example. Let us all follow Gandhi's directive to ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’."

Gandhiji will be the first Indian to be honoured with the Congressional Gold Medal.