By Rabia Iclal Turan
ANKARA (AA) - The Indian Embassy in Ankara celebrated on Wednesday the 150th birth anniversary of India’s pacifist independence leader Mahatma Gandhi.
The embassy organized a prayer session to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi.
Gandhi’s favorite bhajan -- devotional song with religious or spiritual themes -- Vaishnavo Jan To, sung by Turkish singer Seher Cagatay, was recited at the prayer session.
The session continued with a multi-religious prayer.
Speaking after the prayer, Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Indian ambassador to Turkey, said that they tried to create an atmosphere similar to Gandhi’s prayer sessions.
Indian Embassy in Ankara have been organizing numerous events to commemorate Gandhi including a lectures series, he added.
Bhattacharyya stressed that Gandhi’s non-violent manner was one of his important features.
"Gandhi is not only inspiration to the Indians but the revered personality of the world," said an embassy press release following the event.
His principles are still relevant in the present context, it added.
Bhattacharyya stressed the impact that Gandhi has on the hearts and minds of people, and the politicians, even today.
"One of the abilities of Gandhi that strikes me the most is that he smiles from his heart," the ambassador said, and added: "That shows the strength of his character".
Ambassadors and representatives from a number of embassies, ministries and government offices also attended the event.
"We have a lot to learn from Gandhi," said M. Allama Siddiki, Bangladesh's ambassador in Ankara.
The event also included a photo exhibition featuring Gandhi.
Gandhi -- born on Oct. 2, 1869 -- was the pacifist leader of the Indian independence movement against the British rule.
In 2007, the UN declared Oct. 2 as the International Day of Non-Violence.