Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Prakash Javadekar inaugurated a unique exhibition on Mahatma Gandhi and Leo Tolstoy at Yasnaya Polyana, the birth place of Tolstoy in Russia. The exhibition presented and highlighted their correspondence and their thought process in a very artistic manner.
Local Duma member, Natalia Pilyus, Director of Tolstoy Cultural Centre and over 100 academicians were present on this special occasion.
The Minister, who is on a visit to Russia to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting also, inaugurated a special day-long seminar organised to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi as part of 150 years of celebrating the Mahatma.
Addressing the gathering, Javadekar said Leo Tolstoy had a great influence on Mahatma Gandhi. “Leo Tolstoy’s message of love, no greed and truth found resonance in Gandhi Ji’s thought process,” the Minister said, adding “Gandhi ji wrote five letters to Tolstoy and sought his guidance. Gandhi Ji was then in his 40s and was working as a Lawyer and activist in South Africa then and Tolstoy was in his 80s.”
Recalling upon the deep rooted bond that was shared betweenboth GandhiJi and Tolstoy, the Minister said,”There was love and affection between Gandhi and Tolstoy and it is visible in their correspondence as well as their exchange of books”.