UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stands near a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, during his visit to Sabarmati Ashram, in Ahmedabad

Stating that he deeply admires Mahatma Gandhi, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday said that he has personally been guided by the teachings of the Father of the Nation since his first visit to the Raj Ghat in 1972. “Like so many people around the world, I have long admired Mahatma Gandhi. Since I first visited Raj Ghat in 1972, I have been personally guided by his teachings. Gandhi’s compassion embraces all people. I myself have been putting in my best efforts and asking all leaders, far and wide, to live by his teaching,” Ban said during his visit to the Sabarmati Ashram. “Gandhi’s emphasis on the poor people on today in the work of the United Nations to end poverty and build a peaceful world of dignity for all. We will succeed only if the memory of Gandhi’s unyielding fight against injustice burns bright in our hearts,” he added. Speaking of Gandhi’s teachings in context of the modern world, Ban said that divisive politics and sectarian incitement have no place in the globe. “Mahatma Gandhi preached and followed the message of peace, non-violence and communal harmony. It is a common value that the United Nations promotes and asks leaders near and far to put into practice – from here in Gujarat to the world. Growing radicalization, fundamentalism and extremism demand a re-emphasis of Gandhi’s ideals – both spiritual and political. Divisive politics and sectarian incitement have no place in our modern world,” he said. “As Gandhi reminded us, ‘There will be no lasting peace on earth unless we learn not merely to tolerate but even to respect the other faiths as our own.’ Indeed, there is great strength in diversity – and countries that celebrate diversity and embrace every single individual are the ones to shape a secure and stable world,” he added.

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‘I have been guided by Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings’, says Ban Ki-moon