The meeting, chaired by President Ram Nath Kovind, resolved to set up a smaller Executive Committee, headed by the Prime Minister, to take forward the commemoration since it would not be feasible for the entire 125-member national committee to be convened frequently.
Mr Modi said that Mahatma Gandhi and his teachings were timeless and the Mahatma can become a mechanism for people around the world to understand India.
He felt that solutions to several contemporary problems could be found by following the path shown by Mahatma Gandhi.
Thanking the members who attended the first meeting of the committee at Rashtrapatri Bhawan here he said it was important that the occasion be celebrated in a manner that ensures Mahatma Gandhi continues to be an inspiration for future generations. Globally as well, this occasion should serve to increase awareness about Mahatma Gandhi.
He expressed happiness that the suggestions received were mostly “action-oriented’’.
He called for the celebrations to move beyond government events and take the shape of a mass movement – or Jan Bhagidaari.
The Prime Minister urged state governments to have similar consultations and draw plans at the state level.
Conspicuous by their absence at the meeting were opposition leaders including Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, Bahujan Samaj Party Chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. NCP Leader Sharad Pawar also skipped the meeting.