19 Sep : Australia’s capital Canberra has said no to the request of naming a street after peace icon Mahatma Gandhi.Replying to a plea of Gandhi Monument Council headquartered in USA, John Meyer, Executive Director Client Services of Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Planning and Land Authority, said, “…Canberra’s place naming guidelines do not allow us to accept your nomination.
These guidelines state that the ACT’s roads and public places are to commemorate Australians and things Australian.”
Right Reverend Gene Savoy Jr. and Rajan Zed, Council coordinators, in a communiqué to the ACT, had urged to name one of the major streets of Canberra after Mahatma Gandhi, preferably to be called Mahatma Gandhi Marg (“marg” means path). While Savoy is Head Bishop of International Community of Christ, Zed is the president of Universal Society of Hinduism.
Meyer further wrote, “Nevertheless, the ACT Government recognises the importance of Gandhi and his very significant contribution to society. He has been acknowledged in a bronze statute in Glebe Park (a park in the centre of the city of Canberra). This sculpture identifies Gandhi’s guiding tenets including No politics without principles; no commerce without morality; and no science without humanity.”
The ACT Planning and Land Authority is the ACT Government’s statutory agency responsible for planning for the future growth of Canberra in partnership with the community.
The Gandhi Monument Council is formed of Christian (various denominations), Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha’i, Native American, etc., clergy. According to Zed and Savoy, the purpose of this Council is to commemorate Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence, his commitment to world peace, and his work for the upliftment of the downtrodden.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) was one of the few men in history to fight simultaneously on moral, religious, political, social, economic, and cultural fronts. His life and thought had an enormous impact on the world, and he continues to be widely revered as one of the greatest moral, political, and peace leaders of the twentieth century.