The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, unveiled a statue of Mahatma Gandhi during the G20 summit in Brisbane.
Only invited guests and the media were allowed to attend the unveiling at Roma Street Parklands. Well before the prime minister’s arrival, expectant crowds gathered on the pavement outside in sweltering heat, shouting “Modi, Modi, Modi”.
Before the unveiling, Modi spoke of the need to follow Gandhi’s practice and philosophy and to protect Mother Earth.
“For centuries, we have plundered Mother Nature and we have destroyed it,” Modi said. “If we hadn’t exploited Mother Nature the way we have done, and had only milked it to the extent that Mahatma Gandhi had preached, then we would not have to confront the problems we face today.
“If we imagine a world in which we abided by the principles of Gandhiji, and we followed the way he led his life, then all the problems of global warming would not have happened, and, even today, if we go by his teachings, then maybe we can do something and contribute to saving Mother Earth and the world.”
Modi then went on to a civic reception in Brisbane City Hall.