Sijin Gopinathan
Sijin Gopinathan hands over the Mahatma's portrait to Consul General of India Aman Puri in Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

Two UAE-based Indian visual artists paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of modern India and global icon of peace, on the occasion of his 151st birth anniversary.

Vijesh Vijil_stamp art work-1601641311735
Vijesh Vijil created an intricate portrait of Bapu using stencil stamps. Image Credit: Supplied

Vijesh Vijil, 35, originally from Kerala, created an intricate portrait of Bapu, as Gandhi is fondly called in India, using stencil stamps of Gandhi. He made around 5,000 stamp impressions and worked for six hours over two days to create an indigo-coloured, A1-size portrait of Gandhi wearing his pair of circular spectacles and donning a simple shawl.

Vijesh Vijil

He said his artwork is attribute to the man who promoted the ideals love, tolerance, harmony and respect for human dignity. Vijesh, who works as a building watchman in Sharjah, did not receive any formal training in fine arts but his artworks speak volumes of hope, peace and unity in the world.

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Vijesh was previously featured in Gulf News for making a portrait of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, by using stippling technique or painting by using small dots (he did nearly 9,000 dots to finish the A2-size portrait). He also made stipple portraits of other UAE leaders and a detailed image of centuries-old temple in India.

Beautiful painting of Bapu

On the eve of Gandhi’s 151st birthday, the Consulate General India tweeted an abstract painting created by Dubai-based Sijin Gopinathan, 32, creative designer at Idealz. “Dubai based artist Sijin Gopinathan paid his soulful tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his 151st birth anniversary by making a beautiful abstract painting of Bapu and gifted to the Consulate,” the Consulate General of India, Dubai tweeted on Thursday.

The 120x100cm acrylic painting was the second artwork donated he donated to the consulate. “Last year, on the occasion of Bapu’s 150th birth anniversary, I did a doodle art and it was officially used by the Indian Consulate for the Gandhi Jayanti event held at Zabeel Park in Dubai,” Sijin told Gulf News.

Sijin believes art, like Gandhian principles, is both liberating and endearing. He said: “I’m a follower of Mahatma ji and his message is very much relevant for our current generation and present situation. To quote him, ‘I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love.”

Official events

Various events were organised by Indian missions in the UAE to celebrate the 151st birth anniversary of Gandhi on Friday.

Consulate officials pay tribute to Gandhi on Friday. Image Credit: Supplied

Diplomatic officials and staff at Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Indian Consulate in Dubai paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi by remembering his life and principles and reciting his popular bhajans (hymns).  The Indian Ambassador in the UAE Pavan Kapoor paid floral tributes and spoke on the occasion. A special carpet made of handspun wool with the official logo of the #Gandhi150 celebrations was presented to the embassy by the Fatima Bint Mohamed Bin Zayed Initiative (FBMI).

Burj Gandhi
Burj Khalifa displays Mahatma Gandhi's image on his 151st birth anniversary. Image Credit: Supplied

The day's events came to a spectacular conclusion with the display of the Mahatma's image on Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, on Friday evening.

Marking Gandhi’s legacy, a total of 151 saplings were also planted at Sharjah Indian School while consulate officials, led by Consul General Dr. Aman Puri, oganised a special cleanliness drive in line with the principles of Bapu “Swachhata Hi Seva”, the CGI tweeted.

The Indian Consulate also tweeted it would telecast live on 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.

The Indian Association Ajman also celebrated 151st Gandhi Jayanti at its premises today. A tree planting activity by the Indian expat community was led by Consul Neelu Rohra and a photo gallery showcasing the life of Bapu was displayed while bhajans were played during the programme.