New Delhi: The British have long gone but the Congress has found that Satyagraha can still be useful a century later.
Party chief Sonia Gandhi on Monday inaugurated a conference in Delhi to mark the centenary celebration of Satyagraha where leaders, Nobel Peace Prize winners and activists from 90 countries will discuss the relevance of the non-violent political philosophy.
It would be a "grave error to write off the Gandhian approach as irrelevant to our age. The challenge for us now is to find creative inspiration from Gandhian ways to evolve a satyagraha appropriate to our times," said Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
Former Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda got thunderous applause when at the conference he asked America and Britain to "stop the war" in Iraq. "I appeal to President Bush and Prime Minister Blair to stop this war," Kaunda said.
Nobel laureate and former Polish president Lech Walesa said that victory his country’s workers won against the USSR by following Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy.
Bangladeshi Nobel laureate Mohammad Yunus, leader of Gramin Bank, a world in which "poverty exists only in the museum" is possible.
South African leader Nelson Mandela, in a video-recorded message, cited the "strange coincidence" between September 11, 1906 when the Mahatma launched the Satyagraha in South Africa and the 9/11 terrorist strike in the US.
The Gandhian message holds the key to the human survival in the 21st century, he said.