September 2021 \ Diaspora News \ COVER STORY—DIPLOMATIC COLUMN

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi ...

By Winston Chandarbhan Dookeran Former Foreign Minister of Trinidad and Tobago

These words reverberate today as one of the constant yearnings of our own society and indeed of several societies in the contemporary world setting.

“An exceptional leader, perhaps the finest political strategist in our century, Gandhi reminded us of the strength and power of moral philosophy as the anchor for building authentic political movements” Winston ChandarbhanDookeran is the founding leader of the Congress of the People of Trinidad and Tobago. Currently a Professor of Practice at the University of the West Indies, he has had a long career in politics in Trinidad and Tobago, holding several high political offices. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics, University of Manitoba, and was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University and Adjunct Professor at Toronto University. He has been decorated by many awards and recognitions, namely the ORT, highest recognition in Trinidad and Tobago and the Pravasi Award by the President of India. A captivating author, he is the author of several books on Caribbean economic matters.

The Mahatma (The Great Soul) for me, is an incarnation of divine thoughts, and his words never fail to teach us that power is sacred and it is on our own efforts that we can reap ‘goodness’ and provide ‘light’ around us. The Mahatma spoke through action in raising consciousness among friend and foe in his quest for the dignity of each individual and in the unity of communities. It was in pursuit of this quest that his life provided many moments of inspiration. Many such moments in this journey were acts of real courage and unending faith in the ‘rightness’ of one’s actions, and in an understanding of the motives of the opponents he faced. His struggle had universal appeal and spread across borders, for it was rooted in the cause of humanity. It came head to head with the powers in the political world order, and even in the systems of ideological divide.

To me, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s freedom struggle may have had its theatre in India, but his reach was well beyond those shores. As an Apostle of Peace among nations, he left an indelible ink on the course of world politics and its history, and a reference point in our never ending quest for global peace.