Justice of India visits Mahatma Gandhi’s Statue and participates in
the Special Commemorative Ceremony to mark 41st Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the
King Center in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
Mr. K.G. Balakrishnan, Hon’ble Chief Justice of India (CJI) and accompanying delegation visited Mahatma Gandhi’s statue and thereafter participated in a Special Commemorative Ceremony at The King Center in Atlanta, to mark 41st anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on 4 April, 2009. CJI was accompanied by Mrs. Nirmala Balakrishnan; Dr. Arijit Pasayat, Hon’ble Judge of Supreme Court and Mrs. Subala Pasayat; Mr. T.K. Viswanathan, Union Law Secretary; Mr. Sanjiv Arora, Consul General of India, and other members of the delegation. The Gandhi Foundation of USA (GFUSA), which has a long-standing and close cooperation with the King Center was represented by Mr. Subash Razdan, Chair and Mr. Antony Thaliath, Executive Director, and its other members.
2. At a solemn function organized by GFUSA at Mahatma Gandhi’s statue, CJI and accompanying delegation paid floral tributes to the Father of the Nation and joined the congregation in reciting devotional songs dear to Bapu. In his address to the gathering, CJI underlined the eternal message of Mahatma Gandhi.
3. The King Center invited CJI and accompanying delegation to the solemn ceremony of silent Wreath-Laying and ‘Eternal Flame’ Lighting held at the grave site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King. As a special gesture, CJI was requested to address the gathering that included Martin Luther King, III and Elder Bernice A. King, son and daughter, respectively, of Dr. King; Mr. Isaac Newton Farris, Jr., Dr. King’s nephew and President/CEO of The King Center; other family members and close associates of Dr. King, and local dignitaries.
4. Martin Luther King, III warmly recalled his meeting with CJI during his visit to India, along with a Congressional delegation, in February 2009, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the visit of late Dr. and Mrs. King to India in 1959. He said that he was touched by CJI’s warmth and humility. He highlighted the inspiration derived by his father from Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals and philosophy.
5. CJI paid rich tributes to late Dr. King and highlighted the similarities in the Civil Disobedience Movements led by Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King, in India and USA, respectively. He stressed that the universal values preached and practiced by the two great leaders have immense relevance for future generations.
6. On their arrival in Atlanta on 3 April, CJI and accompanying delegation were felicitated by representatives of overseas Indian community and local dignitaries at a reception organized by the Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (GIACC).
7. On 6 April, CJI gave
a Public Lecture on “Individual Rights in India : A Perspective from
the Supreme Court” at the University of Georgia (UGA) at Athens, Georgia.
A Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in mutually identified
areas was signed between UGA’s Dean Rusk Center (DRC) for Legal Studies
and the Indian Law Institute (ILI), of which CJI is the ex-officio President.
6 April, 2009
Shri K.G. Balakrishnan, Hon’ble Chief Justice of India and Smt. Nirmala Balakrishnan, along with Dr. Arijit Pasayat, Hon’ble Judge of Supreme Court and Smt. Subala Pasayat, offering floral tributes at the grave site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King at a special commemorative ceremony to mark the 41st anniversary of assassination of Late Dr. King, held at The King Center in Atlanata, Georgia, USA on 4 April 2009