IAWW Announces Gandhi Jayanti Celebration at the Governor's Mansion in Olympia on October 2

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Gandhi Jayanti, the 138th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, will be celebrated as an awareness and fundraising event at the Governor's mansion in Olympia on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007, by the India Association of Western Washington (IAWW). This is the first time the IAWW has organized a fundraising event in its 24-year history. The raised funds will support programs and services for the youth and seniors in the community for the next year. Governor Christine Gregoire will address key members of the East Indian community from all over the state. The president of the IAWW, Debadutta Dash, highlighted the UN's recent support for India's resolution declaring Gandhi's birthday as International Day of Non-Violence. "This is an important event for all of us to remember and realize how right he was when he said, 'An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.'"

    Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948), also known as Mahatma Gandhi, was born in Porbandar in the present day state of Gujarat in India on October 2, 1869, and educated in law at University College, London. In 1891, after having been admitted to the British bar, Gandhi returned to India and attempted to establish a law practice in Bombay, without much success. Two years later an Indian firm with interests in South Africa retained him as legal adviser in its office in Durban. Arriving in Durban, Gandhi found himself treated as a member of an inferior race. He was appalled at the widespread denial of civil liberties and political rights to Indian immigrants to South Africa. He threw himself into the struggle for elementary rights for Indians with his principles of non-violence, which ultimately gained the freedom for India from one hundred years of British rule.

Gandhi became the international symbol of a free India. He lived a spiritual and ascetic life of prayer, fasting, and meditation. Refusing earthly possessions, he wore the loincloth and shawl and subsisted on vegetables, fruit juices, and goat's milk. Indians revered him as a saint and began to call him Mahatma, a title reserved for the greatest sages. Gandhi's advocacy of non-violence, known as ahimsa, became the principles of modern day leaders like Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Dalai Lama.

About IAWW

The India Association of Western Washington was established in 1983 by the local East Indian community with a mission to provide a common identity to the Indian community; facilitate cultural, social and educational services and opportunities for cultural integration from young to old of the community; and foster those activities that enhance mutual understanding and appreciation between the Indo-American community and mainstream American community. More information about the organization can be held from the website http://www.iaww.org.

KEYWORDS: IAWW India Association of Western Washington Debadutta Dash Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti

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