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Gandhi's grandson says he isn't Gandhian enough
Yahoo! India - India - April 17, 2007


A grandson of Mohandas Gandhi has declined to head a university established by his grandfather, saying he fails to adhere to a school code requiring the wearing of only simple cotton clothes, a news report said Tuesday.


Gopal Krishna Gandhi, the governor of West Bengal state, said in a letter to the vice chancellor of Gujarat Vidyapith (university), that he did not always wear a hand-spun or woven cotton "khadi" _ mandatory for anyone associated with the institution, the Hindustan Times reported.


Cotton spun into threads on a spinning wheel, or "charkha," became a symbol of the 1940s independence struggle against British colonialists led by Mohandas Gandhi _ also known as "Mahatma" or "Great Soul."


His followers diligently wore "khadi" _ hand-spun or hand-woven cotton clothes.
"I was greatly honored by the offer and I even accepted it initially. But on reading the university constitution I withdrew as I realized that I am not a 100 percent khadi user ... I wear a lot of khadi but also other fabrics such as woolens and handlooms," he said.


Mohandas Gandhi founded Gujarat Vidyapith in Ahmadabad, a key Gujarat city, in 1920 to promote educational institutions run by Indians for Indians and outside the financial and governing control of British colonialists.


He led India to independence in 1947, but was assassinated by a Hindu hard-liner a year later.


For Gandhi, khadi was just a means to an end
The Telegraph - India - by Sunanda K. Datta-Ray - April 21, 2007
Of all the Heramba Maitra stories, whether salacious or libellous, the one I like best is about his two small wards who mixed up their tram tickets. Since each ticket was printed “Not transferable”, Heramba Maitra threw away the old ones, bought two more, gave one to each boy and placed them on either side of him with firm instructions not to budge.
He was a good man. So is Gopal- krishna Gandhi. He would not otherwise have felt “anguish” over Nandigram or dared to say so. I have known a state governor swilling whisky with the chief minister while reporting against him to the Centre. Obviously, that is not Gandhi’s way. It would not have been that of the legendary City College principal either. But Heramba Maitra was rigid, and it was his rigidity that made him the butt of so many jokes. There was an element of truth in them. Swami Shuddhananda, Sudhirchandra Chakravarty in pre-monastic life, recalled that Heramba Maitra took him to task for coming to class from yoga lessons barefoot and with a shawl over his naked torso. The principal thought it uncultured.


The reason for this comparison is the report in a Singapore newspaper of the governor turning down an invitation to head the Gujarat Vidyapeeth because he is “not a 100 per cent khadi user”. Reportedly, he said he wears “a lot of khadi, but also other fabrics such as woollens and handlooms.” Had I a Gandhi cap to doff, I would have doffed it in salute to his honesty. Though having said that, I am glad I don’t. It occurred to me when the censors ordered Utpal Dutt to re-shoot some sequences in Ghoom Bhangar Gan, which showed the villain wearing a Gandhi cap, that only a very fragile symbol can need such protection. Be that as it may, Gandhi’s diligent adherence to the letter of the Vidyapeeth constitution deserves respect. But letter and spirit not always being synonymous, it may be asked whether greater flexibility might not have better served the cause of swarajist education to which Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi dedicated the institution.


As they say, you don’t teach your grandmother to suck eggs. Similarly, you don’t teach a man about his grandfather. But three episodes illustrating Mohandas Gandhi’s pragmatism come to mind. First, Rajabali Jumabhoy, a Kutchi Singaporean businessman who would have been about 110 years old had he been living, recorded flagging down Gandhi’s car in Bombay to ask, “Mahatma, you are preaching boycott of British manufactured goods, why are you travelling in a British manufactured car?” Gandhiji promptly replied, “Yes, if cars were manufactured in India, I would not sit in such a car, but as I have to go here and there very quickly, I have to utilise this motor-car instead of a bullock cart.”


Second, Ranjit Chetsingh, a leading Indian Quaker, criticised “that great pacifist Gandhi” for “exhorting the Indian troops in Kashmir to be prepared to die for their country”. The third instance is from Richard Symonds, an English Quaker who accompanied Horace Alexander to India. Gandhi had him moved to Birla House to be nursed when the young Symonds contracted typhoid because the hospitals would kill him. Nurse and patient chatted about everything under the sun, and pressed by Symonds on prohibition, Gandhi agreed to make an exception on medicinal grounds of the heavy, dark beer called porter. His London landlady had made him gulp down porter when he was ill because old-fashioned English people regard it as a restorative. Gandhi thought porter too bitter to be enjoyable.


The now octogenarian Symonds regrets he can share his memories of the endearingly human Gandhi with so few Indians. A woman minister from the Congress burst into tears at one of his anecdotes. It did not square with her image of the Mahatma. Myth in India is stronger than reality. A second visit to Birla House, long after Independence, confirmed that quirk. Earlier, Symonds had seen and admired the “simple and charming scenes taken from Gandhi’s autobiography” among the murals outside the building. One showed him wearing a tail-coat and playing a violin. In another, he is “dancing with a lady of dubious respectability”. They had gone when Symonds went back to Delhi. Our politicians had decided that a national icon had to be solemn. Dancing was for the flippant chattering classes. Not for saints in loincloths. The loin-cloth image, more rewarding for political mythology, had to be reinforced. “It was sad to see the Mahatma treated with such ponderous lack of imagination,” Symonds lamented.


At the Sabarmati ashram, he noticed “portly visiting businessmen” — undoubtedly devout Gandhians — who found the communal meals so bland that they could be found “stoking up secretly behind bushes on biscuits and chocolates sold by cycling pedlars who would also purvey illicit cigarettes”. That was better, perhaps, than a Congress politician I encountered once in Trivandrum who had been sent by the high command to decide between two rival contenders for the mantle of pradesh committee chief. The emissary prefaced all his comments with “As a Gandhian, I would say…” The following week I ran into him, tottering and garrulous drunk, in the bar of Bangalore’s West End Hotel. To compound comedy, he kept repeating that “as a Gandhian” he would give away no party secrets just because he was accepting a drink from a journalist.


Khadi also encourages fantasy. As high commissioner to Britain when I was a student there, Vijayalakshmi Pandit told us that though she no longer found it necessary to wear only khadi, she wore nothing but desi. Some sniggered that since she was so often in chiffon, perhaps France was her desh. There was no handsome fund then from Switzerland’s Volkart Foundation to promote fine khadi. Nor had those smart not-so-young entrepreneurs — Rohit Bal, David Abraham, Rajeev Sethi and Martand Singh — started dabbling in fashionably expensive khadi in brilliant hues. Mohandas Gandhi — “There is no such thing as Gandhism” — would have dismissed them as “simply following fashion”. Quality didn’t matter to him. When women complained that khadi was coarse and unattractive, Gandhi replied he had never known a mother throw away her baby because it was ugly.


He was a politician: he could make rules and invoke a higher cause to claim dispensation from them. Khadi was not an end for him. It was the means to the end of self-sustainability, “the first indispensable step towards the discharge of swadesi dharma towards society”. He had no time for “men who wear khadi but in all other things indulge their taste for foreign manufactures with a vengeance”. His grandson is a civil servant. And civil servants (the good ones like him, not the corrupt brigade) are notoriously slaves to the rule-book.


But despite approving of devotion to authentic khadi with all its imperfections, would he have regarded Gopal Gandhi’s reason for rejecting the job as valid or only a technicality? That is the difference between Mohandas Gandhi and Heramba Maitra. The latter was a prisoner of virtue while the car, porter, Kashmir and other incidents show that the former did not make a fetish of belief. As for the decision, it really depends on the Gujarat Vidyapeeth’s current state and status, Gopal Gandhi’s opinion of it and his comfort level in the state’s political climate.


The report I read did not say whether the job would have been an avocation or vocation. The former might, perhaps, be considered but certainly not the latter, though for reasons that have nothing to do with what is crassly called Gandhigiri. West Bengal’s is the greater need for a good man “to advise, warn and encourage ministers” unless, of course, the incumbent is called to a higher duty in New Delhi.


Watch Tower: Enrich your life
Central Chronicle - India - April 20, 2007
Human beings have a natural instinct to identify themselves with someone or to feel a sense of belonging, as receiving affection, makes them feel important and valuable- Dr RP Mishra


The ordinary human being, like you and me, has six basic inherent psychological wants or needs about which he she feels deeply inside himself / herself. These are: The Need for Love; The Need for Security; The Need for Creative Expression; The Need for Recognition; The Need for New Experiences and The Need for Self-Esteem. Even if, one of these needs is not fulfilled, he/she feels incomplete and a deep-seated undercurrent of dissatisfaction and relentlessness haunts. Apparently he/she may manage to put a cheerful disposition, but deep down inside, there is gnawing sense of emptiness always pervading inside.


Presently, we would be discussing the Need of Love only, because, as Ann Lander declares: "If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things that are missing. If you don't have love in your life, no matter what else there is, it is not enough".
In the last quarter of the twentieth century, there has been tremendous progress in the field of science and technology. With materialistic progress, the humaus are getting more and more worldly and there greed for so-called good things of life has gone limitless. Everybody is blindly running after materialistic comforts and physical pleasures. Never has this social change inflicted on its people the amount of unhappiness, as does our present day system.


People from whom the children get the most are those closest to them. In the early lives these are none other than the parents and family members. But, social norms and family structures having under gone a change; The joint family system has become a rarity and has been replaced by a nuclear family. Usually, both the parents work in different organizations and in different directions, separated by large distances. Children are left behind in the crèche, school or in the governance of a nurse. Parents return late, and by that time children are in bed. Even if they are not, the parents are so tired and exhausted that they just long for a quick dinner and retire for sleep.


In such a milieu, there are many unfortunate children who feel the sting of the lack of affection and love from early childhood on. The environment is hostile. Mother and father under stress, wage a continual cold war against each other, with periods when the war gets pretty hot and the atmosphere is filled with angry words, with, perhaps, a dish or two for punctuation. What the parents cannot take out on each other, take out on the children.


These boys and girls may grow or may go all the way through life without ever experiencing that there as such a thing as love and affection, or that there are human beings capable of all this. But, the psychological need for it is there. Such children have a sort of restlessness and a yearning, for something they have not ever received. The tragic part of this whole thing is that, even when they grow, they remain unhappy. They do not consciously realize that the cause of their unhappiness and restlessness is nothing but the lack of affection and love in the early part of their childhood.


Human beings have a natural instinct to identify themselves with someone or to feel a sense of belonging, as receiving affection, makes them feel important and valuable; it makes them feel that they have a place in the order of people and things. If you look back upon your life, you will find that the moments you have truly lived are those when you have done things in the spirit of love. The proper fulfillment of the needs of love, adds a glow of warmth and richness to your personality and the lack of it creates a deep vacuum into which are sucked the emotions of distress, longing, loneliness and, eventually, social hostility.


The Isha Upanishad (6) says: "The person, who loves somebody, cannot hate him, and the one who hates somebody cannot love him." It expounds the highest pinnacle of human love in the following manner: "The wise man, who realizes all beings as not distinct from his own Self, and his own Self as the self of all beings, does not, by virtue of that perception hate anyone."


The Upanishad further says, true love is always universal and service free. The man who realizes himself as the Atman perceives also that he is one with all beings; then how can he hate and to whom? Such love is a binding force; where as hatred proceeds from sense of separateness. So, in hurting you, I hurt myself, and loving others, I love myself. When we increase our sphere of love indefinitely to attain all encompassing love for all creations, we then experience universal identity and become one with the Creator.


An ability to love and care for others, unconditionally, increases your power; it does not sap it. You have only to witness the effect of love on an emotionally deprived child to understand the strength of caring. The Upanishads say that power of God is the power of love. Love is more potent than hatred or fear. The Spirit is more powerful than the sword. This is what we get in Napoleon's reflections while under arrest in St. Helena: "There are in the world two powers - the sword and the spirit. The spirit has always vanquished the sword", said the warrior.


However, the person's mind is made up of positive and negative traits. Based on the relative development of these traits under the interactive influence of a particular social environment, a person imbibes various personality traits. Dominance of negative elements creates negative feeling of fear, insecurity, hurt, hatred, jealousy, anger and sadness, driving us to inflict pain on one another and develop prejudiced vision. Positive mental elements, on the other hand, create positive feelings of love, affection, joy, delight, satisfaction, and happiness and help developing harmony and equanimity within and in the society at large.


"What is obtained by love is retained for all time. What is obtained by hatred proves a burden in reality, for it increases hatred" - says Mahatma Gandhi. The fragrance of affectionate love pervades in every direction. Dhammapada (54) says: "The perfume of flowers blows not against the wind, nor does the fragrance of sandalwood, tagara and jasmine, but the fragrance of the virtuous blows against the wind; the virtuous man pervades every direction". So is with the man of love. His virtuosity travels in all directions, irrespective of the direction of the wind.


The holistic healing guru Deepak Chopra affirms that love, in many ways, is an exploration into the realm of consciousness. It influences every aspect of our lives. Love heals, love renews, love makes feel safe, love inspires you, love empowers you, and love can bring you closure to God. Deepak is of the view that at the core of every being there is only love, and we experience it in our lives, in the fulvous of human relationships - with attraction, infatuation, communion and courtship, intimacy and sexuality, surrender and non-attachment, passion and ecstasy. There are different flavors of love in human relationships, he says.


Further, when we find delight in another person, we have actually found something joyful inside ourselves that involves a shift in our awareness, a shift in our perception, because the same person is not necessarily attractive to other people. And we are repelled by people in whom we find traits that we are denying in ourselves.


Nevertheless, only loving someone is not sufficient. As John Lennon says, "Love is like a precious plant. You cannot just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it is going to get on by itself. You have got to really look after it and nurture it." So, share out the elixir of love and be happy yourself and make others happy too. "But to give and to share, we must have abundance in ourselves. We cannot give what we have not. Therefore, first create fullness: good health, good emotions in plenty, great knowledge. Then, give -- so advises Swami Chinmayananda.


Symposium celebrates Gandhi’s non-violent movement
Middlebury College - USA - April 19, 2007
Student-organized events include lectures, films and panel discussions
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — A student-organized symposium from Friday, April 20, through Monday, April 30, at Middlebury College celebrates the 100th anniversary of Mohandas Gandhi's Satyagraha “Non-Violence Movement.”


Satyagraha is a variety of non-violent resistance deployed by Gandhi in his fight for Indian independence, and in his efforts in South Africa. Satyagraha theory would later influence Martin Luther King Jr. and the campaigns he led as part of civil rights movement in the United States.


Literally, “satya” means truth and “agraha” means firmness, so that satyagraha translates as “unwavering search for the truth.” And Gandhi emphasized that truth could only be found through non-violence. “Its root meaning is holding on to truth, hence truth-force,” Gandhi wrote. “I have also called it Love-force or Soul-force. In the application of satyagraha I discovered in the earliest stages that pursuit of truth did not admit of violence being inflicted on one’s opponent but that he must be weaned from error by patience and sympathy. For what appears to be truth to the one may appear to be error to the other. And patience means self-suffering. So the doctrine came to mean vindication of truth not by infliction of suffering on the opponent but on one’s self.”
The symposium events — films, lectures, panel discussions and more — are sponsored by Seeds of Peace, the International Students Organization, the Academic Enrichment Fund, Robert A. Jones ’59, the South Asia Club, the SGA Committee on Diversity, Dialogues for Peace and the departments of history and international studies.
Gandhi's Satyagraha Centenary:

A Schedule of Events
Friday April 20, 2007
6:30-7:30 p.m., Sunderland 110
Screening of the documentary film Pakistan and India under the Nuclear Shadow
A strong video that concentrates on nuclear rather than political history. Since their 1998 nuclear tests, both India and Pakistan continue to develop more powerful missiles. The stockpiles are not working as deterrents, and the scientists who make the bombs are the new heroes. This documentary offers a peace perspective on the dangerous and competitive nuclear build-up in Pakistan and India. The focus is primarily on Pakistani issues — how the budget goes increasingly to the military and not to address poverty.
Monday April 23, 2007


4:30-6:30 p.m., Warner Hemicycle
Faculty/student panel and screening of Crossing The Lines: Kashmir, India and Pakistan
A story of people at war over borders and boundaries. The film chronicles the wars, the failed efforts at peace and the daily toll this failure exacts on those caught on the frontline of this dispute. It shows how India and Pakistan's dramatic nuclear tests spurred the conflict to new heights, and explores the ways in which India's great power ambitions, and the interests of the Pakistani army, continue to make peace so elusive. Panel discussion to follow, facilitated by students and faculty.


Friday April 27, 2007
2-4 p.m., Robert A. Jones ’59 Conference Room
Gender and Jihad in Kashmir: Women as Perpetrators, Planners and Patrons of Militancy
Lecture by Swati Parashar, Lancaster University. Part of the Women & Gender Studies “Sex & War” symposium.
Saturday April 28, 2007
4:30-6 p.m., Coltrane Lounge, Adirondack House
Turning Apathy into Action: Tools for Social Change
A conflict resolution workshop led by Michael Shank, government relations officer, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University
Gandhi’s commitment to nonviolence, and his idea that we should be the change we seek, is rarely reflected in today’s society. These days it’s hard to find a dedicated prophet like Gandhi, Abdul Ghaffar Khan or Martin Luther King. Particularly in the rich world, capitalism and comfort prevent a whole range of actions that have the capacity to significantly reduce conflict nationally and internationally. This workshop explores the neglected tools in our backyard that can change the world.


Monday April 30, 2007
7-8:30 p.m., Robert A. Jones ’59 Conference Room
Keynote speech: Resolving Kashmir conflict in the light of Gandhi's vision
Hassan Abbas, research fellow, Belfer Centre for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
For more information, contact student organizers Vani Sathisan, ssathisa@middlebury.edu, Pooja Shahani, pshahani@middlebury.edu, or Micah Macfarlane mmacfarl@middlebury.edu.


Mountbatten’s legacy to India


The Spectator - India - by Ramachandra Guha - April 21, 2007
Few men have been as concerned with how history would portray them as Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India. When he finally left his post, a veteran journalist wrote that during his time in the subcontinent Mountbatten appeared to act as ‘his own Public Relations Officer’. In fact, he had a fully paid-up PRO, Alan Campbell-Johnson, who chose to keep his job, albeit in a honorary capacity, even after his (and his boss’s) return to England. In 1951 Campbell-Johnson published a book with the meaningful title Mission with Mountbatten. The tenor and contents of the book suggest that even if no man is a hero to his valet, this Viceroy was certainly a hero to his PRO.
Mission with Mountbatten was the first of a series of propagandist tracts written on behalf of the last Englishman to rule India. These books project an impression of Mountbatten as a wise umpire, successfully mediating between squabbling schoolboys: whether India and Pakistan, the Congress and the Muslim League, or Mahatma Gandhi and M.A. Jinnah. His claims are taken at face value: sometimes absurdly so, as in the suggestion in the official biography that the first Indian prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, would not have included the nationalist stalwart Vallabhbhai Patel in his Cabinet had it not been for Mountbatten’s recommendation.


Curiously, Mountbatten’s real contribution to India and Indians has been rather underplayed by his hagiographers. This was his part in solving a geopolitical problem the like of which no newly independent state had ever faced. For when the British departed the subcontinent, they left behind more than 500 distinct pieces of territory. Two of these were the newly created nations of India and Pakistan; the others, the assorted chiefdoms and states that made up what was known as ‘Princely India’.


There were so many princely states that there was even disagreement as to how many. One historian puts their number at 521, another at 565. There were more than 500, at any rate, and they varied very widely in terms of size and status. At one end of the scale were the massive states of Kashmir and Hyderabad, each the size of a large European country; at the other end, tiny feudal fiefdoms of a dozen or fewer villages.


By the mid-1940s these chiefdoms found themselves facing a common problem: their future in a free India. In the first part of 1946 British India had a definitive series of elections; but these left untouched the princely states. The Cabinet Mission of 1946 focused on the Hindu-Muslim or United India-versus-Pakistan question; it barely spoke of the states at all. On 3 June 1947, both the date of the final British withdrawal and the creation of two Dominions was announced — but this statement also did not make clear the position of the states. Some rulers now began, in the words of the political scientist W.H. Morris-Jones, ‘to luxuriate in wild dreams of independent power in an India of many partitions’.


The work of bringing the Princes into line was the responsibility of the Indian home minister, Vallabhbhai Patel, and the energetic secretary to the Ministry of States, V.P. Menon. Between them they worked on a draft Instrument of Accession, whereby the Princes would agree to transfer, to the new Indian government, control of defence, foreign affairs and communications. On 5 July 1947, Patel issued a statement appealing to the princes to accede to the Indian Union on these three subjects. As he put it, the ‘alternative to co-operation in the general interest’ was ‘anarchy and chaos’.


Four days later Patel and Nehru met the Viceroy and asked him ‘what he was going to do to help India in connection with her most pressing problem — relations with the [Princely] States’. Mountbatten agreed to make this matter ‘his primary consideration’. Later that same day Gandhi came to meet Mountbatten. As the Viceroy recorded, the Mahatma ‘asked me to do everything in my power to ensure that the British did not leave a legacy of Balkanisation and disruption on the 15th August by encouraging the States to declare their independence...’.


Mountbatten was being urged by the Indian leaders to go out and bat for them against the states. This he did most effectively, notably in a speech to the Chamber of Princes delivered on 25 July, for which the Viceroy had decked out in all his finery, rows of military medals pinned upon his chest. He was, recalled an adoring assistant, ‘in full uniform, with an array of orders and decorations calculated to astonish even these practitioners in Princely pomp’.


The Indian Independence Act, said Mountbatten to the princes, had released ‘the States from all their obligations to the Crown’. He advised them therefore to forge relations with the new nation closest to them. As he brutally put it, ‘you cannot run away from the Dominion Government which is your neighbour any more than you can run away from the subjects for whose welfare you are responsible’.


Mountbatten told the princes that in the circumstances it was best that they make peace with the Congress, and sign the Instrument of Accession. This would cede Defence — but in any case the states would, by themselves, ‘be cut off from any source of supplies of up-to-date arms or weapons’. It would cede External Affairs, but the princes could ‘hardly want to go to the expense of having ambassadors or ministers or consuls in all these foreign countries’. And it would also cede away Communications, but this was ‘really a means of maintaining the life-blood of the whole subcontinent’.


Mountbatten’s talk to the Chamber of Princes was a tour de force. It finally persuaded the princes that the British would no longer protect or patronise them, and that independence was a mirage. And this word was carried not by a rabble-rousing Indian nationalist but by the representative of the King-Emperor, who was a highly decorated military man, and of royal blood besides.
By 15 August virtually all the states had signed the Instrument of Accession. Meanwhile the British had departed, never to return. Now the Indians went back on the undertaking that if the princes signed up on the three specified subjects, ‘in other matters we would scrupulously respect their autonomous existence’. In state after state, nationalist organisations demanded ‘full democratic government’. In some states, protesters took possession of government offices, courts and prisons.


The Indian government cleverly used the threat of popular protest to make the princes fall in line. They had already acceded; now they were being forced to integrate, that is, to dissolve their states as independent entities and merge with the new nation. By 1950 the 500 states had disappeared from the map. All the Maharajas were left with were their titles, their palaces, their jewels and an annual allowance provided them by the government of India.


Ramachandra Guha’s India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy is published by Macmillan at £25.


Arun Gandhi brings institute to UR
Campus Times - USA - by Ben Wrobel - April 19, 2007
Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and an advocate for nonviolence, is moving his Institute for Nonviolence to the UR campus. Gandhi lived with his grandfather as a child and lives by the same ideals of nonviolence. He has worked all his life to carry on the lessons that his grandfather taught to him and the rest of the world.
Born in Africa in 1934, Gandhi moved to India in 1958 because the South African government would not allow his wife to live there. He worked in India as a journalist until moving to the United States in 1987.


In 1991, he founded his institute in Memphis, Tenn. with the goal of spreading the principles of nonviolence. This week he began the process of moving the institute to the fourth floor of Wilson Commons.


The institute organizes events and programs that promote nonviolence and Gandhi himself has traveled the country, delivering speeches at universities.
He came to UR in September and delivered a speech entitled "Terrorism and Nonviolence: Choices for the Future." He spoke about how nonviolence can be used to counter terrorism.


Gandhi has been considering UR as a new home for his institute for some time. He moved to Rochester in 2004 so his daughter could take care of his wife, who has since passed away. In that time, he said, professors had been periodically telling him of their interest in hosting his institute.


"The University has been very interested in my program for a while," he said.
Gandhi has learned much from his grandfather and other social reform leaders.
"All the people who worked for peace are honorable people," he said, citing Martin Luther King Jr., the Dalai Lama and others. "They know what life is about." He said that his grandfather in particular made him realize the extent of the world's culture of violence.


"The most important thing was the depth and breadth of his philosophy of nonviolence," Gandhi said. "I was under the impression that non-violence was only about anti-war, anti-violence... he made me realize that we practice violence in many different ways that we don't even recognize."


Gandhi related the story of how his grandfather made him appreciate the amount of violence in the world through introspection. His grandfather made him draw a "family tree of violence" in which the patriarch was "violence," which branched off into "physical violence" and "passive violence." Every night he had to examine everything that had happened during the day and place events in the appropriate section.


Gandhi explained the difference between the two types of violence: physical violence includes forceful acts such as murder and rape, whereas passive violence entails actions, such as destruction of environmental resources, that require no physical force but still hurt people.


Gandhi said that passive violence makes people angry, which leads to physical violence.
"It's actually passive violence that fuels the fire of physical violence," he said. "If we want to put out the fire, we have to stop the fuel supply."
Gandhi spoke of himself as a farmer who goes into the field and sows seeds of hope with his teachings.


"My goal is to plant seeds in the hearts of people," he said. "My hope is that eventually those seeds will germinate."


Gandhi also hopes that students will embrace and advance his cause. He will not be teaching classes, but he hopes to lecture occasionally and wants students to get involved.
"I expect a lot of cooperation from the student body," he said. "We have the potential to show the rest of the country that we have an understanding of violence."


Narayan Desai to be awarded
Daily News & Analysis - India - April 18, 2007
Eminent Gujarati writer Narayan Mahadev Desai, who shot to limelight with his Gandhi Katha, and famed Hindi and Sanskrit scholar Rammurti Sharma have been selected for the prestigious Bharatiya Jnanpith-constituted 18th and 19th Moortidevi Awards respectively.


Desai will receive the award for the year 2004 for his notable creation, entitled “Maroon Jeewan Aaj Mari Vaani”, which is based on the life, philosohy and work of Mahatma Gandhi. The decision to confer the awards on the two eminent litterateurs was taken at a meeting of the Moortidevi Selection Board, chaired by Karnataka Governor TN Chaturvedi on Wednesday.


Desai (83) has worked with Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave and Jayprakash Narayan and is a recipient of several awards, including the Sahita Akademi Award, the Gujarati Sahitya Akademi Award and the Darshak Award.


Dr Sharma will get the award for the year 2005 for his famous work “Bharatiya Darshan Ki Chintadhara”, which is considered to be the encyclopedia of Indian philosophy from the Rig Veda to the modern times.


Sharma has been bestowed several awards, including the UP Sanskrit Akademi Award which he won thrice, Mahavir Samiti Award and Delhi Sanskrit Academy Award. He attended the International Sanskrit Conference in Mexico (1982), Philadelphia (1984) and Melbourne (1994).


Bengal Governor pens book on MK Gandhi
Hindustan Times - India - by Nandini Guha - April 17, 2007
The Governor of Bengal, Gopal Krishna Gandhi, has just finished putting together a book on his grandfather, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The manuscript of the book, titled Gandhi and Bengal has been handed over to a renowned publisher - who may take a couple of months to edit and release the book.


The book is the outcome of a year’s research and writing on the Governor’s behalf. "I have put together a compilation of writings on Gandhi pertaining to his numerous visits to Bengal. I have written the introductions for these pieces in the book," Gopal Krishna Gandhi told Hindustan Times.


The younger brother of Rajmohan Gandhi said the compilation would carry personal reminiscences of the Mahatma written by some of his famous and not-so famous hosts in the city during the year preceding Independence.


"The personal elements in my book are not out of the ordinary Some of the extracts are taken from the collected works of M K Gandhi," said the Governor.
On his elder brother’s book on his grandfather (Mohandas: A true story of a man, his people and an Empire), Gandhi sounded enthusiastic, "It’s a great book. Please read it," he urged.


Interestingly, Gopal Krishna Gandhi’s nephew and M K Gandhi’s great-grandson, Tushar Gandhi, released a book in Mumbai on Tuesday, titled Let’s Kill Gandhi.
The book chronicles the last few years in the Mahatma’s life---including the 15th August 1947, which Gandhi spent in Kolkata. "I have referred to the riots, Gandhi’s fasting for communal harmony and then the whole story of his murder by Nathuram Godse - the plot, the possible motives, the conspiracy and also the bungling in the investigation," Tushar Gandhi told Hindustan Times from Mumbai.


The book is expected to release in a couple of months from now, said Gandhi, who has been the Governor of Bengal since December 2004. An avid reader, the Governor spends at least three days a week in the Raj Bhaban library, reading up. "He sometimes works on his laptop, sometimes he writes on pen and paper. But he is extremely computer-savvy," said sources in the Governor’s office.


Peace exhibition opening in Olin
Student Life - USA - by Troy Rumans - April 20, 2007
An exhibition featuring issues of nonviolence and peace will be opening at the Olin Library today. The "Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace" exhibit honors Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Daisaku Ikeda's contributions to humanity.
"All of these people represent something very important-the whole mission of peace and reconciliation and the power of nonviolence and social engagement," said Beata Grant, director of the religious studies program. "It's just a reminder that these people's lives and what they did still have relevance today. They're not just the names of streets."
Grant hopes that the exhibit will resonate with students passing through the Olin Library, especially given the current state of global affairs.


"With students and visitors coming in and out, they will be able to see pictures and read about them and just be reminded of how important these values still are," said Grant. "These people and their ideals-what they fought for, what they preached, what they gave their lives for in the case of Gandhi and King-they came from three different traditions, three different people, three different cultures, but they all share the values of nonviolence."


The exhibit will be accompanied by a lecture from Lawrence Carter, who has traveled the globe with this exhibition. He will also present an award to Judy Bentley, who is well-known throughout St. Louis for her work with Community Health in Partnership Services (CHIPS), an organization that seeks to provide clinical care for the uninsured and underinsured.


"This exhibit is going to offer us an opportunity to review the lives and commitment of three hugely great men," said Bentley. "Having this exhibit with us is an opportunity to reflect on our own commitment to improving mankind."


The award Bentley will receive is entitled the "Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builders Prize." Established by Carter, it seeks to recognize the efforts of individuals who exemplify nonviolence and peace. Previous recipients include Prince Hassan of Jordan, Northern Ireland's Betty Williams and former Presidents of the Republic of South Africa F.W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela.


"I'm humbled beyond words, to be considered one who exemplifies the lives of these three great men," said Bentley. "It causes me to pause and say that what I take for granted in doing every day, primarily because I truly enjoy it, is certainly not a recognition that I would expect to be put in the category of these renowned people."
Bentley also noted how the presentation of this award reflects on the community of St. Louis as a whole.


"'I'm a product of St. Louis and my community," she said. "To improve the quality of those who are underserved is something. It certainly has been gratifying to be able to do this…to serve those who are overlooked. This award is encouraging and it gives us the message that we have got to continue to move on improving the disparities that exist and the injuries that exist because people do not have the ability to pay for healthcare."
Carter's lecture will be held in Wilson Hall, room 214, beginning at 4 p.m. The exhibition will be on display in the Olin Library from April 16 to April 27.


Philip Glass puts Gandhi in the pantheon of God - Audio
NRIfm - UK - by Vijay Rana - April 19, 2007
Legendary composer Philip Glass's universally acclaimed Sanskrit opera Satyagraha is another milestone in Gandhi's global legend. This critically acclaimed opera is creating waves in London. To help the foreign audience, the English translation of Sanskritised libretto appears on the corrugated iron backdrop that is imaginatively used to portray the colonial age as well as the poverty that Gandhi so intentionally embraced. Vijay Rana, the editor of NRIfm spoke to Alan Oak who gives a flawless performance as Gandhi who tells the inside story of this great show. Oak also gives a glimpse of his singing in Sanskrit

 

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