Home » World » Indira Gandhi called us ”Chota Bharat”: Mauritius PM

Indira Gandhi called us ”Chota Bharat”: Mauritius PM

Posted by on April 28, 2011 0 Comment

Mauritius Prime Minister has said his country will continue to be inspired by the ideals and values laid by late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who fondly referred to the island nation as ”Chota Bharat”.

“Ms Gandhi had a special love for Mauritius and affectionately referred to it as ‘Chota Bharat’ where she occupies a place of choice in the hearts of Mauritians,” Mauritius Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam said in a speech during the unveiling of the bust of Gandhi at the Centre for Indian Culture here by President Pratibha Patil, who is on a five-day State Visit to Mauritius.

Fondly remembering Gandhi’s first State Visit to Independent Mauritius in 1970 when she laid the foundation stone of the Mahatma Gandhi Institute, Ramgoolam said, “It is still very vivid in our memory how some 150,000 persons, close to one fifth of our population at that time, gathered at the Champ de Mars, on June 4, 1970, to give a triumphant welcome to Indira Gandhi and her sons, Rajiv and Sanjay.”

“This first visit was an important landmark in the relations between Mauritius and India and it inspired us to pursue with renewed vigour the ideals and values, which we share and that nourished us from the very beginning,” he said.

The Mauritian Prime Minister went on to praise the close personal ties his family has maintained and strengthened with those of Gandhis. “The friendship between the Gandhi family and my family goes a long way. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam first met Pt Jawaharlal Nehru when, as a student in London, he became the President of the London Branch of the Indian National Congress,” he recalled.

Hailing Gandhi as “a woman of substance in her own rights”, Ramgoolam said she became the first woman prime minister of India “at a crucial phase of India’s development managed by sheer dedication and vision, and carved a highly respectable place for her country on the international scene.”

“Indira Gandhi played a prominent role in international affairs and invested a lot of efforts to improve relations with her neighbours. Perhaps what is of greater significance was her relentless fight for an international order where more justice and equity could prevail.”

Gandhi’s leadership, political skills and perseverance will always be remembered, and continue to be a source of inspiration around the globe, the Mauritius prime minister noted in his speech.

Ramgoolam expressed confidence that the strong bonds of affinity will be further strengthened between India and Mauritius in the years ahead. “I am sure that our ‘great little country’ as Ms Indira Gandhi used to describe us, will continue to be inspired by this great lady and by all those who constitute India’s pantheon.” He also congratulated the sculptor, Ram Sutar, for the beautiful statue. Deccan Herald

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply