Mahatma Gandhi's image is projected on the Burj Khalifa on October 2 last year. Image Credit: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

Dubai: Images of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the leader of India’s freedom movement and global icon of peace, will be displayed on Dubai’s Burj Khalifa this evening to mark the culmination of his 150th birth anniversary programmes.

The Indian Consulate in Dubai in a tweet said it would telecast live through its social media pages a special programme on "Relevance of Gandhi's message in the 21st century" at 7pm, followed by a LED projection on Burj Khalifa  at 8.15pm. 

Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 is also marked as the International Day of Non-Violence on account of the non-violent strategy adopted by Gandhi, a lawyer turned-freedom fighter, to help India secure independence from the British colonial rule in 1947.

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On the 149th birthday of Gandhi in 2018, a special LED show on Burj Khalifa marked the commencement of the two-year line up of programmes of 150 years of Gandhian ideologies in the UAE. The special LED show was jointly organised by the Indian Embassy, Abu Dhabi, Indian Consulate in Dubai and Emaar Properties. Images of Gandhi and the Indian flag were beamed on the world’s largest LED-illuminated façade once again on the same day in 2019.

“The special Gandhi show on Burj Khalifa will be live-streamed on social media pages of the consulate. We are thankful to Emaar for their support,” the Indian Consulate told Gulf News earlier in the week.

Events to mark the occasion

The consulate officials is also holding a cleanliness drive in the premises of the mission. With the support from the Indian community, 151 trees will be planted on different sites to mark the occasion. The annual debate for students, held under the patronage of the mission at GEMS Our Own Indian School, will be organised online due to COVID-19. Essay writing and drawing competitions are also being organised for students.

On Tuesday, the Indian Embassy organised an online Gandhi Katha, a narrative on the life and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi by Dr. Shobhana Radhakrishna, a speaker of international repute on Gandhi. Addressing the online event, Indian Ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor said various events were organised by the Indian missions and community organisations and schools.

The UAE had also officially joined the programmes to honour Gandhi. Commemorating the 100th birth anniversary of UAE’s Founding Father Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, a Zayed-Gandhi Digital Museum was launched in Abu Dhabi. The initiative allows people to gain insight into the lives and legacies of the exceptional leaders. “This museum is an amazing concept which is greatly appreciated by everyone who saw it and efforts are on to see how we can take this to India at some point,” said Kapoor.

The envoy also recollected the UAE releasing commemorative postage stamps in honour of Gandhi. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, released the postage stamps on Mahatma Gandhi during Modi’s visit in August 2019.

A bust of Gandhi was unveiled at the embassy and a fashion show by Indian and Emriati designers to endorse Khadi, homespun fabric promoted by Gandhi, was held by the mission while a walk for unity, a cycle rally for peace and Gandhi Global Solar Yatra involving students were among the events organised by the consulate as part of the two-year-celebrations.