New Delhi: As the UN marked Mahatma Gandhi's birthday as the first International Day of Non-violence, Congress President Sonia Gandhi was there at the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.
“At the heart of Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence is his belief that strength comes from righteousness not force,” said Sonia in an address to the United Nations General Assembly.
Sonia also spoke of the international community's "collective failure" to move towards comprehensive universal disarmament.
She also referred to the "disturbing emergence" of non-state players in the spread of terrorism.
"It is not the relevance of Mahatma Gandhi that is in question today. It is whether we have the courage to emulate his preachings and what he lived and died for," news agency PTI quoted Sonia as saying.
She was accompanied by her son Rahul Gandhi, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his deputy Anand Sharma at the address.
The Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance also said that they must ensure that October 2 does not get reduced to an annual ritual.
“Let us strive to adopt his methods to our present-day challenges, with earnestness and perseverance," Sonia was quoted as saying.
For Mahatma Gandhi, "the remarkable personality we honour today," a man who achieves complete non-violence, "is not a saint". He is "truly a man," she said.
Let us then strive to follow this path of non-violence and in so doing become "truly human," she added.
The speech at the UN on Tuesday was Sonia’s only other public appearance during her visit to New York, her first in six years.
At this community event, she did not shy away from scoring some very political points and taking some potshots at rivals back home.
In light of attacks the Government has recently faced, from the Left parties in particular, Sonia made it clear the Congress wasn't overly concerned, as she addressed a gathering of Indian-Americans on Monday.
“Sometimes, a great deal is made in the public domain of the opinions expressed by our friends who support our coalition. But this should not alarm you. We believe it is important to listen to all points of view,” she said.