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Gandhi is relevant for all times, says Francis Moloi

Written by: Staff
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Chandigarh, Nov 19 (UNI) Mahatama Gandhi's values of truth, non-violence, reconciliation and peace are perennial, said South Africa High Commissioner to India, Francis Moloi.

Speaking on ''Looking at Conflicts of 21st Century through the Lens of Satyagrah'' on the last day of Rotary Zone Institute 2006 here today, he pointed out the two contradictory events in the history of mankind. He said September 11 is being remembered world over for the World Trade Centre tragedy than the day in 1906 when Mahatma Gandhi launched the satyagraha to resist political oppression, at Johannesburg in Africa.

Mr Moloi, who had been the Rotary ambassadorial scholar, laid down 10-point agenda for putting the peace process together in a world troubled with numerous conflicts.

He pointed out that elements of a successful peace process include steadfast commitment to open dialogue, and to reach an agreement albeit imperfect with no outside interference or involvement, with legitimate means institutionalized to support it.

India gave to South Africa Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi and we gave back to India, Mahatma Gandhi, he remarked.

Uttaranchal Governor Sudarshan Aggarwal speaking on ''Ethics: The forgotten way of life'', lamented the rampant corruption in every quarter of life be it bureaucracy, politics or businesses.

He pointed out that everyone is falling prey to greed and dishonesty. The problem, he added, is that everyone has a piece of advice for others but nobody looks within.

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's Principal Secretary TKA Nair, addressing the delegates on the topic ''What community expects from Rotary'', asked the Rotarians to address three most vital issues facing the country, the environmental degradation, health care, and unemployment.

He said the government has been undertaking various initiatives to provide a reasonably tolerable standard of living to its people but vast multitude of the Indian population, which lives under the poverty-line have been denied of even the basic amenities of life and therefore, need to be taken care of.

Deputy Counsellor General and First Secretary to the US Embassy in India, Richard M Sherman said, with the improved US-India relationships, there had been a marked increase in the demand for visas to the US and last year over 3,00,000 visas were issued to Indians from different US consulate offices here.

He said that, earlier on one had to wait for at least five to six months for US visa due to increased backlog but with the recent infrastructural improvements, the problem has been addressed.

He announced that no backlog exists for visa applications in India as of now, and that maximum waiting period for the interview is one or two weeks only.

Further upgradation of the consulate facilities in New Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai are on the cards and the number of windows in New Delhi office would be increased from 8 to 22, Mr Sherman added.

In one-and-a half year, Mr Sherman informed that US consulate would be opened at Hyderabad, since 35 per cent of the work load on the Chennai consulate is from Andhra Pradesh.

UNI DP MMS AKJ RK1810

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