Wishing millions of Indian-Americans and Indians around the globe on Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, a US lawmaker has said he shaped modern India and the world by inspiring some the greatest leaders of the time.
"Today, modern India is a leader as the world's largest democracy, among the world's largest economies, and as our close friend and ally," New York Congressman Joseph Crowley said on the floor of the House Tuesday.
"The US-India friendship remains a growing and essential part of US foreign policy, and working together our two countries are a powerful force for positive change in the region and in the world," he said.
"On this day, I join the Indian-American community and friends around the globe to remember and celebrate the life of this fearless man who led a nation to gain independence for his people from the British Empire," Crowley said.
Describing Gandhi's life as "a testament to invincibility of truth over injustice," he said: "A champion for the rights of all people, he fought apartheid in South Africa, colonial rule in India, and oppression and injustice in all its guises.
"In doing so, he has inspired our world's greatest leaders from Nelson Mandela to Cesar Chavez, Aung San Suu Kyi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr," Crowley said.
King once said he owed his inspiration to fight injustice to God and his method -- nonviolent resistance -- to Gandhi, he noted.
"The American civil rights movement, from lunch counter sit-ins to the Montgomery County bus boycott, was influenced by Gandhi's foundational principle of Satyagraha, or nonviolent civil disobedience," Crowley said.