The legendary name of the man renowned for fighting for the rights of all humans will lead the way into the museum being built to educate people about those rights.
The City of Winnipeg has bestowed an honourary street designation for Mahatma Gandhi on York Avenue from Main Street to Waterfront Drive. Mahatma Gandhi Way will guide people into The Forks, then extend down a footpath past a statue of Gandhi donated to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights by the Indian government.
“Mahatma Gandhi was a spiritual and political leader whose influence is still felt today,” Mayor Sam Katz said at Thursday’s unveiling. “He was the personification of peace. To this day, we still turn to his words for inspiration as well as for understanding. His teaching of non-violence and social change has given hope to millions of people facing oppression around the world.
“Gandhi selflessly dedicated his life to human rights and made many sacrifices to ensure and protect the freedom of others. It is only fitting Mahatma Gandhi Way leads to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, a national centre devoted to promoting respect for others and encouraging reflection and dialogue.”
Gandhi is credited with leading India to independence in the 1940’s and Thursday was Indian Independence Day.
“Today’s event is of great significance to all who seek wisdom and who find inspiration in Mahatma Gandhi’s words,” said Coun. Devi Sharma (Old Kildonan). “They touch people from all walks of life.”
Dr. K. Dakshinamurti, president of Mahatma Gandhi Centre of Canada, had proposed the city name a street after Gandhi a few years ago.
“What better way than to have Mahatma Gandhi lead you to the (museum)?” said Dakshinamurti, who said he once met Gandhi as a college student in India. “He’s a person who signifies the struggle for human rights.
“We have a person who has influenced the thinking of all people around the world and it is our pleasure that we are here to commemorate the work of a person of that calibre, a rare personality in history.”
Blue signs for Mahatma Gandhi Way will appear above the ones for York Avenue.
“It’s a great way of acknowledging an individual who still today has a phenomenal impact worldwide and had a great impact on some of the great leaders of our time,” Katz said.