Premier unveils sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi
Thursday, 19 January 2012
A sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi - one of the world's most inspirational figures and a champion of the causes of civil rights and freedom - has today been unveiled at the University of Adelaide by the Premier of South Australia, the Hon. Jay Weatherill.
The sculpture is a gift to the University of Adelaide from the Government and people of India, who were represented at the unveiling by the Consul General of India, Mr Amit Dasgupta.
Standing at 1.95 metres, the bronze sculpture was created by sculptor Gautam Pal and is located on the University's North Terrace Campus in a garden outside the Barr Smith Library. The sculpture's plinth is inscribed with a quote from Gandhi: "Be the change you wish to see." The garden surrounding the sculpture will become known as the Garden of Contemplation.
"Mahatma Gandhi has been a key figure in India's modern history and also in the history of the world. We feel honoured to have received such a gift, and to have it as a special part of our campus," said the Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor James McWha.
"Many years after his death, Gandhi's messages of active non-violence, the importance of the search for truth, and the need for social reform still remain relevant to us today."
Mr Weatherill said the sculpture represented the strong links between South Australia and India.
"India is the world's largest democracy and has been an important partner for us over many years. Education and research play critical roles for our governments, businesses and communities in both South Australia and India, and our State is a key educational destination for Indian students," Mr Weatherill said.
The University of Adelaide has a number of ties with India through education, research, and staff and student exchange. Linkages with institutions in India cross many disciplines, in areas such as health, engineering, business, geology, agriculture and viticulture.
Professor McWha said having a constant reminder of Gandhi and his life on campus was in keeping with the University's mission and values.
"We believe that education can bring benefits to all peoples in all corners of the globe, no matter how diverse they may be," he said.
"Education has the power to reduce economic and social differences between countries and people, to reduce inequality between races and sexes, to increase mutual understanding, tolerance and respect between peoples, and to contribute to a more peaceful global society."
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