of the Speech: "Canadian Students & Gandhi"
you Professor Salmond for the kind introduction.
guest, Ladies and Gentlemen,
am most honoured and pleased to be here today as we
celebrate the unveiling of Kailash Mital Theater and
participate in Gandhi Jayanti celebrations.
have been asked to talk briefly about the connection
between my generation of Canadian youth and Gandhiji.
I must admit that in the days leading up to this afternoon’s
inauguration, I have tried to sit down many times to
put on to paper some speaking points… but would
quickly find myself thinking: What can a mere student
like myself say that could do justice to the Great Master?
What can the over 20,000 Carleton University students
have in common with such a great man that had such an
impact on the lives of people across the world?
soon as I calmed down after realizing how many people
would show up for such an important event, I began to
reflect on what kind of man Gandhi was, what kind of
icon he became, and the kind of resolve that he took.
However, in today’s uncertain world, there are
many young and even old who lack resolve --- lack inspiration
---- and lack inner strength. In contrast, beloved Mahatma
Gandhi embodied resolve, inspiration and inner strength
like no other - a leader and visionary who never failed
to live by his noble principles and beliefs.
have gathered here to rename formerly Alumni Hall, in
honour of, Mr. Kailash Mital, whose name represents
the utmost peak of the Glorious Mount Kailash. New names
often bring new beginnings, and I am sure that the name
“Kailash Mital” will bring new associations
to this room in which members of the Carleton University
students/community can gather to learn and experience
in the future, and we all here are very thankful for
Mr. Mital and for his generous donation to our University.
On behalf of the Carleton students, from the Carleton
University Students’ Association, Mr. and Mrs.
Mital, THANK YOU!
example, today, when the term September 11th, or 9-11
is mentioned, an instant image of the New York Twin
Towers flashes in our minds. But did you know that September
11th, 1906 was when Gandhiji - a 37-year-old lawyer,
rose to address the packed Empire Theatre in Johannesburg.
It was September 11th, 1906 when the Satyagraha movement
was born by Mahatma Gandhi himself - a movement of nonviolent
resistance. That would inspire generations of students
and activists around the world. I hope that those who
enter this room from now on will take a moment to ponder
the greatness that this name inspires.
a university environment students are able to explore
their identity and realize their personal strengths
and weaknesses. This type of environment, one that encourages
discussion, learning, and being open to new things,
is conducive for growing. University is the stadium
during the key years of a person’s development
where individuals begin to realize their potential.
No one can foresee the future or what life has in store,
but it is possible to realize great things in your life,
as it is in mine.
was married at a very young age. Upon reflection of
the early years of his marriage, Gandhi has said he
did not treat his wife as well as he should have. Gandhi
grew to be a symbol for social change through passive
resistance, and a symbol of love and respect for every
human being throughout the world.
the above sentence the word to focus on is grew. Gandhi
did not begin his wise teachings or brave actions when
he was very young; it was when he attended university.
Gandhi began attending university in London in 1888.
It was during this time Gandhi became very familiar
with Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. Through his studies,
formal and other, Gandhi began shaping the future he
would realize and the legacy he would leave.
is daunting to imagine what Gandhi did in his life,
to imagine what he must have felt, physically and spiritually,
as he crusaded for peace and independence in India.
However, do not let the vastness of the thought overwhelm
you. Rather, allow it to empower. Gandhi could not have
predicted the change that he would go through, and impact
he would have. As a student, what he had was potential
to make change. Throughout his life, he realized this.
Carleton Students have the same potential. This building,
alumni hall, represents all those who have graduated
from Carleton University to go on and realize their
potential. No matter what people go through in life,
the possibility to do amazing things never goes away.
come to university to learn. After completing a degree
students walk away with more than a framed certificate
of achievement, for the life experience gained through
their late teens and early twenties shapes the type
of human beings they become and how they will lead their
lives. Learning occurring outside of the classroom walls
is as essential to growing and living life to its fullest,
as Gandhiji said: “Like sunlight and rain education
must reach all...”.
Carleton University students come from all over the
world to learn, to change their own perspectives, and
to broaden their horizons. We come to this place with
one perspective and leave with a one that is completely
different, and we do not just learn in the classrooms.
We learn from the people we meet, the discussions we
have about our lectures at Oliver’s over a coffee,
or the often heated discussions at Mike’s Place
over a drink. We often fall into a trap of thinking
that we are only one of many ... what change can we
alone make? When these thoughts come to my own young
mind, I remind myself of Bapu's own words: continue
to be the change that you wish to see in the world.
Gandhiji as our example, inspiration and motivation,
let us try to inculcate personal discipline, noble values
and a true spirit of leadership among all students.
Let this new name, Kailash Mital - the utmost peak of
Glorious Mount Kailash be a reminder for all students
to find their own noble inspiration and to reach higher