Day 409 | 24 February 2016 | Nirahar Satyagraha in New Delhi – Day 1 | The Walk of Hope 2015-16

  • Shri Shashi Taroor MP greets Sri M at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib - New delhi
    1.Shri-Shashi-Tharoor,-MP,-greets-Sri-M,-Gurudwara-Bangla-Sahib,-New-Delhi
  • WOH Day 409 - Walk from Gurudwara Bangla Sahib to Jantar Mantar for the Nirahar Satyagraha - New Delhi
    2.WOH-Day-409,-Walk-from-Gurudwara-Bangla-Sahib-to-Jantar-Mantar-for-the-Nirahar-Satyagraha,-New-Delhi
  • Start of the Nirahar Satyagraha - Sri M flanked by Shahsi Tharoor MP, Prof PJ Kurien at Jantar Mantar
    3.Beginning-of-the-Nirahar-Satyagraha,-Sri-M-flanked-by-Shashi-Tharoor-MP-&-Prof-P-J-Kurien,-Dy-Chairman-Rajya-Sabha,-Jantar-Mantar,-New-Delhi
  • Prof PJ Kurien addresses the gathering - Jantar Mantar
    4.Prof-P-J-Kurien-addresses-the-gathering,-Jantar-Mantar,-New-Delhi
  • Shri Shashi Tharoor MP addresses the gathering - Jantar Mantar
    5.Sri-Shashi-Tharoor,-MP-addresses-the-gathering,-Jantar-Mantar,-New-Delhi
  • Sri M - just before the commencement of the Nirahar Satyagraha - New Delhi
    6.Sri-M-just-before-the-Nirahar-Satyagraha-commenced,-Jantar-Mantar,-New-Delhi
  • Prayers by leaders of 9 religions at the Nirahar Satyagraha - Jantar Mantar
    7.Prayers-by-leaders-of-nine-religions-at-the--Nirahar-Satyagraha,-Jantar-Mantar,-New-Delhi
  • Maj General Chandrakant Singh addresses the gathering - Jantar Mantar
    8.Major-General-Chandrakant-Singh-addresses-the-gathering,-Jantar-Mantar,-New-Delhi
  • 9.No,-I-won
  • 10.What
  • A group song by the students of Akshaya Prathishtan School - Jantar Mantar
    11.Group-song-by--students-of-Akshaya-Pratishtan-School,-Jantar-Mantar,-New-Delhi
  • Capping them all with love - Sri M with the students of Akshay Prathishtan
    12.Capping-them-all-with-love!,-Sri-M-and-students-of-Akshay-Pratishtan,-Jantar-Mantar,-New-Delhi
  • A scene from the Jamghat street play - Jantar Mantar
    13.Scene-from-Jamghat-street-play,-Jantar-Mantar,-New-Delhi
  • Song and drums by Aisha Ali Chopra - Jantar Mantar
    14.Song-&-drums!-by-Aisha-Ali-Chopra,-Jantar-Mantar,-New-Delhi
  • The Manzil Mystiques in full flow - Jantar Mantar
    15.The-Manzil-mystiques-in-full-flow!,-Jantar-Mantar,-New-Delhi
  • The white balloons of Hope signal the end of Day 1 of the Nirahar Satyagraha
    16.The-white-balloons-of-hope-signal-the-end-of-Day-1-of-the-Nirahar-Satyagraha,-Jantar-Mantar,-New-Delhi
  • 17.Sri-M-has-a-
Members of Parliament, Sri Shashi Tharoor & Sri Rajiv Chandrasekhar; Prof P J Kurien, Dy Chairman, Rajya Sabha; Sri Ashutosh, Spokesman, Aam Admi Party; and Sri Giriraj Singh, Minister of State, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises joined Sri M on the dais as the Nirahara Satyagraha against Terrorism and Violence got underway at Jantar Mantar. They all voiced their support for the Satyagraha as well as the Walk of Hope undertaken by Sri M. Prof Kurien said: "Just as Mahatma Gandhi took birth for winning freedom for India, Sri M is the second Mahatma who has come for promoting peace & harmony. My best wishes to him and the padayatris as they undertake their purposeful & meaningful journey".

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Sri Shashi Tharoor said Sri M had told him that he has already worn out four pairs of shoes! He lauded his yatra, associating with people to the maximum, not as an attention-seeking mechanism. He offered congratulations to the 62 padayatris who have been walking with Sri M. He said that all man made differences have to be sunk and there should be hope for society, country and family. He thanked Sri M for allowing him to offer symbolic support to this great effort. Sri Ashutosh, Spokesperson, AAP said that he wondered whether there is any place for a walk like this in these times of despair. But, as he walked along with the Yatra, he felt transported back to the times of Mahatma Gandhi and realised that there was no alternative to peace, which is civilization's gift to the world. Sri Rajiv Chandrasekhar said that while most people resort to empty talk without any action, Sri M has chosen to walk the talk for the cause of peace and harmony. He said that, in these days of global sectarian violence, we might have to fight for peace, put more muscle into the effort, so to say. Sri Giriraj Singh said that peace was the weapon used by Mahatma Gandhi with telling effect. He added that whenever India was in dire straits, someone has taken birth, some one or the other has come – Shankaracharya, Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi etc. He requested Sri M to continue with his nation-building efforts, entrusted to him by his Guru. Sri M thanked everyone for joining the Nirahara Satyagraha. He said that unity is natural to us Indians as evidenced by the three thousand year old Vedic Sloka 'Ekam sat vipra bahuda vadanti'. He shared the interesting fact that Gandhiji's Guru was a Jain Muni, Shrimad Rajchandraji. He stressed the importance of peace saying 'Without peace, there can be no growth' hence the Vedic prayer: “Om SahaNau-Avatu Saha Nau Bhunaktu Saha Viiryam Karavaavahai Tejasvi Nau-Adhiitam-Astu Maa Vidvissaavahai Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih Om, May God Protect us Both (The Teacher and the Taught) May we both be Nourished May we work together with Energy and Vigour May our study be enlightening and give rise to no hostility Om, Peace, Peace, Peace Sri M added: “But despite all these obvious advantages, we sometimes forget that we are all one; that we have to live here, die here.” Regarding remarks that it is insane to walk from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, he said that if it is due to sanity that we have reached where we are now, it is better to be insane. He added that his work was more preventive than curative. He hoped that the seeds he was sowing in the minds of small children and students would grow into full-bloomed fruit-bearing trees and the heady perfume would spread far and wide. He spoke about his dream of a golden India when, as before, people from all over the world would flock to India to study. Sri M told the audience that if this peace initiative doesn't work, he would walk again next year! He added that while he acknowledged the dictum ''Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu', he would like to, first keep his house in order, after which he was ready to walk in Pakistan even. Sri M Prasanna Kumar Pincha, former Chairman of the Commission for Persons with Disabilities, himself a visually impaired, sat through the whole day of Nirahar Satyagraha alongside Sri M. Major General Chandrakant Singh, a much-decorated Army man, downplayed his achievements, calling them rewards for momentary displays of courage. He said the task undertaken by Sri M required continued fortitude. Sri Nandan Bal, National Tennis Coach, Rajya Sabha MPs, Sri Hari Vanshji & Sri Ramdas Thakur, were also present on the dais. In the adjacent stage, 'Sarva Matha prayers' started off the cultural side of the day. Thus, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha'i, Islam, Hindu, Christian and Parsi leaders sang and recited prayers, according to their respective faiths. Sri Pushkar Lele's Hindustani Classical Vocal Recital, Group music by differently-abled children of Akshay Pratishtan School, Hindustani Vocal by Smt Chanda Goon Sarkar, Street play by Jamghat, Solo music & drums by Aisha and Group music by Manzil Mystiques were the cultural programs which brightened up the solemn ambience at the Jantar mantar. The winners of the poster and essay competitions on the Walk of Hope were presented with trophies and other prizes. The Satyagrahis and others present signed on the 'Wall of Hope' – pledging allegiance and encouraging the Walk of Hope. At 6.00 pm, Sri M and the senior padayatris released white balloons into the sky, ending the first day of the Nirahara Satyagraha. Sri M broke the fast by sipping lemon juice handed to him by little children. The others followed and thus ended the first day of the two-day Nirahara Satyagraha at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.

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