News Letter/Press Release - January 2014
HomeNews Letter/Press Release - January 2014
 

Embassy of India

Mexico

Press Release

 

Indian Envoy to Mexico unveils Mahatma Gandhi’s Bust on University Campus

Indian Ambassador to Mexico Sujan R. Chinoy visited the city of Matehuala on 30 January, Martyrs’ Day, and unveiled a magnificient bronze bust of Mahatma Gandhi installed on the campus of the University of Matehuala. The specially commissioned  bust of Mahatma Gandhi, measuring 42 inches, mounted on a five-feet tall pedestal standing on a platform under an impressive stone structure, was donated by Ambassador Chinoy on behalf of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and dedicated to the youth of Matehuala.

The grand function at the University of Matehuala marking the unveiling of the bust of Mahatma Gandhi was attended by hundreds of students and local dignitaries. Among those present were the Rector of the University of Matehuala Alfonso Nava Diaz, President of the State Commission of Human Rights Jorge Vega Arroyo, the Mayor of Matehuala Hector Avila Luceror, the Mayor of Cedral town Francisco Ezequiel Juarez, and, Director in the Federal Education Ministry Mario Olivares Porraz who represented the Federal Education Minister.

The impressive ceremony commenced with the rendition of the national anthems of India and Mexico. In his keynote address, Ambassador Chinoy  expressed the hope that the bust of the  “grand apostle of peace” would inspire generations of youth in Matehuala. He underscored the importance of Mahatma Gandhi’s values of peace and non-violence which had a global significance at a time when many parts of the world were wracked by violence, intolerance and gender and other forms of inequality. He highlighted the continued relevance of Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings in the context of modern challenges such as conservation of the environment. He added that thousands of miles away from his homeland, Mahatma Gandhi’s bust on the campus would light the path of truth and non-violence for the people of Matehuala and remind them of the true path whenever they were in doubt.  The keynote address was followed by the formal unveiling of the bust by Ambassador Sujan Chinoy, accompanied by a shower of rose petals and thunderous applause from the huge congregaton.  The cultural segment that followed included a skit by a local Mexican group enacting episodes from Mahatma Gandhi’s life, including the Salt March.   

The event was widely covered by the print and visual media, who also attended a press conference given by the Ambassador at the end of the function. Ambassador Chinoy also gave a special interview to Canal Four Matehuala, a local TV channel. 

The small town of Matehuala is located in the north-central part of Mexico in the State of San Luis Potosi which is well-known for its traditional agriculture, animal husbandry and mining resources. San Luis Potosi is also a center for the rapidly emerging automobile industry of Mexico. In 2011, a delegation led by Prof. Sudarshan Iyengar, Vice-Chancellor of Gujarat Vidyapeeth, a University founded in Ahmedabad by Mahatma Gandhi in 1920, had also travelled to San Luis Potosi as part of a lecture tour on the theme of  peace and non-violence. He had then concluded a Letter of Intent on behalf of Gujarat Vidyapeeth with the University of Matehuala to promote academic and cultural collaboration.

Mahatma Gandhi is a much revered figure in Mexico. There is a big statue of Mahatma Gandhi on an avenue named after him in the capital,  Mexico City. In addition, there are two busts of the ‘apostle of peace’ on main avenues in the city of Guadalajara and the resort of Acapulco.

 

30 January 2014

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