Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ode to India's hero

Delaware Sep 25: For a shy boy of 9, it's a challenge to portray Mohandas K. Gandhi, hailed as one of the world's great men for his use of non-violence in freeing Indians from English rule in 1947.

The youthful Rakesh Gadde, who is lean like Gandhi, admits that he is a novice in the ways of this humble man, but that won't stop him from dressing in a trim white outfit and big round glasses.

Oct. 2 is Gandhi's 141st birthday and the International Day of Non-Violence. Delaware's India Fest, which falls on that day, is a celebration of the life of a man affectionately called "Bapu," or father, by millions.

Gandhi also is known as Mahatma or "great soul" and he has been revered by everyone from Albert Einstein to Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.

Rakesh will step on stage at the Center on the Riverfront as part of dance teach her Nisha Punjabi's celebration of India. Dance is just one of the offerings of India Fest, which is from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 2 on the Wilmington Riverfront. There also is a bazaar, fashion show and plenty of Indian food. Admission is $4, and free for children younger than 6. Proceeds benefit relief efforts in Haiti.
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