SEOUL: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said terrorism and climate change are two biggest challenges mankind is facing now and Mahatma Gandhi's teachings and values can help the world to address both the pressing issues.
Prime Minister Modi, who arrived here on a two-day visit to strengthen India's strategic ties with South Korea, along with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at the prestigious Yonsei University here.
"It is a matter of great honour and my good fortune to unveil the bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Korea's premier university today," Modi said.
"This occasion assumes greater significance since we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Gandhi and for the world he is the foremost messiah," he said.
Speaking on the occasion, the prime minister said today humanity across the world is facing two serious problems first terrorism and second is climate change.
"If we look at the life of Gandhi, we can find solutions to both these problems. If we look at his teachings, values and the advice he gave we can find a path forward," Modi said.
"Terrorism has challenged the mankind, and at this time Gandhi's teaching, message of unity, values, his message of changing heart of those taken the path of violence through non-violence can show us the way to hight against the scourge of terrorism," he said.
His remarks assume significance in the wake of the deadly Pulwama terror strike by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.
"During the tenure of my friend and former UN chief Ban the UN declared Gandhi's birthday as the day of non-violence and with this declaration we got the strength to fight the terrorism," he said.
Modi said in the 20th Century, Gandhi was perhaps the mankind's biggest gift.
"In the last century through his personality, through his life and values, Gandhi showed us what the future will be. In fact he used to say my life is my lesson."
"Gandhi used to say the God and nature have given everything for a human being's need but not for the greed and all natural resources will be lost if we go for greed. He said our lifestyle should be need-based and not greed based," Modi said.
"During his lifetime there was no discussion on climate change and environment, but through his lifestyle, he did not leave any carbon foot print. and showed what living in harmony with nature is. He showed that it is important to leave a clean and green planet for the future generations."
Modi is visiting South Korea on the invitation of President Moon Jae-in.
This is his second visit to the Republic of Korea since 2015 and a second summit meeting with President Moon Jae-in.