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ACR-114 Mahatma Gandhi: 150th birth anniversary.(2019-2020)

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Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 114

Relative to the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  September 26, 2019. ]


ACR 114, Kalra. Mahatma Gandhi: 150th birth anniversary.
This measure would recognize October 2, 2019, as the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and would recognize his lasting contributions and influences throughout the world. The measure would encourage Californians to celebrate through his eternal message of peace, love, and the universal principle of nonviolence.
Fiscal Committee: NO  

WHEREAS, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi, is one of the world’s most influential historical icons known for the principles of nonviolent civil disobedience. He is regarded as the father of the human rights movement of the 20th century and the patron saint of peace and environmental justice-oriented struggles of the modern era; and
WHEREAS, Mahatma Gandhi, admired as a great spiritual, social, and political leader of India, is also affectionately known as Bapu, the Father of the Indian nation; and
WHEREAS, History attributes the actions and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi to India’s independence against British rule. He is also credited for his work in South Africa, where he advocated for the civil rights of Indians; and
WHEREAS, Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, and raised in the coastal city of Porbandar, Gujarat in India, and was trained in law at the Inner Temple in London; and
WHEREAS, In 1906, Gandhi organized his first mass civil disobedience campaign, which he called “Satyagraha” (holding onto truth firmly), in reaction to the South African Transvaal government’s new restrictions on the rights of Indians, including the refusal to recognize Hindu marriages; and
WHEREAS, Gandhi would go on to call for other Satyagraha campaigns of peaceful protests, strikes, and boycotts within India, and he became a leading figure in the Indians’ movement towards independence against British rule. He wrote days before the march to the British viceroy, Lord Irwin, in 1930, that, “My ambition is no less than to convert the British people through non-violence and thus make them see the wrong they have done to India”; and
WHEREAS, During these nonviolent campaigns, he was imprisoned several times, six times in South Africa and seven times in India, serving approximately five years in prison; and
WHEREAS, Even though Gandhi was known for his devout Hindu faith, he advocated reverence for all faiths and believed in the essential unity of all peoples and religions; and
WHEREAS, Gandhi’s eternal message of peace, love, and the universal relevance of the principle of nonviolence, called “Ahimsa”in Sanskrit, defined as “nonviolence in thought, word and action,” has influenced and inspired leaders like the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, César Chávez, Lech Wałęsa, Aung San Suu Kyi, and President Barack Obama; and
WHEREAS, Gandhi was also committed to a vegetarian diet and in 1931 went to speak at a meeting of the London Vegetarian Society, and even published an article under the title of ‘The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism’ as an integral implementation of Ahimsa; and
WHEREAS, Recognizing Gandhi’s immense contribution to freedom struggles across the world, human rights, and the novel method of mass mobilization (Satyagraha) to fight oppression, in 2007, the United Nations General Assembly designated October 2, Gandhi’s birthday, as the International Day of Non-Violence; and
WHEREAS, The 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi has inspired many throughout California to hold community events to reflect on his teachings and celebrate his contributions to society; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby recognizes October 2, 2019, as the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and recognizes his lasting contributions and influences throughout the world; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature encourages Californians to celebrate the birth anniversary of Gandhi through his eternal message of peace, love, and the universal principle of nonviolence; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.