Bhubaneswar, March 23: The Odisha Legislative Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution to include the word ‘Ahimsa’ (non-violence) in the Preamble of the Constitution of India.
The resolution was passed after the House held a special discussion commemorating the 100th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s first visit to Odisha on March 23, 1921. Mahatma visited Odisha eight times.
Participating in the discussion, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said Odisha had a special place in the heart of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation.
“Of all the things that this country has given to the world, Gandhi’s philosophy and his message stand out as one of its greatest contributions,” he said.
“There is also an increasing polarisation and divisiveness globally. Gandhi’s commitment to pluralism and his message of tolerance and harmony is as relevant now as it was then. The Mahatma’s non-violent resistance is a spark that ignited peaceful movement around the world,” he added.
Quoting Martin Luther King, JR, the Chief Minister said, “If Humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable… We may ignore at our own risk”.
“I recall, Martin Luther King, JR once said, “If Humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable… We may ignore at own risk” I consider this statement to be relevant for today’s world as well,” said the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister said the State Government was totally committed to the principles and ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and renaming the State Secretariat as “Loka Seba Bhawan” was not a symbolism.
“Renaming our Secretariat as “LokaSebaBhawan” was not a symbolism. It is our Article of Faith,” the Chief Minister added.
Participating in the debate, Leader of Opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik said that Gandhi’s philosophy needed to be reflected in the government’s policies.
He also raised the issue of excess liquor sale and illegal cattle trafficking in the State.
Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Narasingha Mishra said Mahatma Gandhi’s said life and his teachings should be taught in schools.