ITANAGAR- The International Centre for Gandhian and Peace Studies (ICGPS), Department of History, Rajiv Gandhi University organised One Day National Workshop on “Gandhi and World Order: Reflecting Messages from his Life” on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti in the university campus. Prof. P. K. Nayak, Coordinator of the programme and HoD, History welcomed the dignitaries and participants, introduced the theme of the Workshop, and highlighted the relevance of the Gandhian ideals in the present day world. The programme was followed by Spinning of Charkha by the students of the Department and prize distribution to the winners of Essay, Debate, Painting and Bhajan competitions from the Government Secondary School, RGU Campus and Department of Fine Arts and Music. The audience also witnessed a short film on Gandhi.
Chairperson of the programme, Dr. J. Suresh Babu, IAS (Retd.) and Chancellor of the University in his speech highlighted the developmental status mentioning North eastern region. Regarding Gandhiji’s ideal of truth and non-violence should come from the heart. Non-violence requires self-development. He also talked about Gandhiji’s concept of Sarvodaya which implies upliftment of all the people and equal access to all. Through it rural-urban disparities and poverty can be tackled.
He further said that our souls after death find peace when we have followed an honest life by doing good deeds and service to the society rather than spending huge amount on rituals performed in death ceremony. Supporting Gandhiji’s concept of Swaraj, he said that villages should grow independently without much aid from the centre instead of present-day industrialization which results in accumulation of wealth by few. Lastly, in relation to Northeastern states, he said that human beings and culture have to live together.
Prof. Saket Kushwaha, Vice Chancellor of the university described that the Charkha is not just a tool but it symbolizes AatmaNirbhar Bharat (self-reliance). He also emphasised that one need to understand self before understanding Gandhiji. Besides Gandhiji he also highlighted on the life of Lal Bahadur Shastri, and other great soul of India and who also shared the birthday with Gandhiji. He talked about the humility and down to earth persona of Lal Bahadur Shastri which people need to emulate in their life.
Resource Person of the workshop, Prof. (Retd.) S.N. Singh said that the theme of the Workshop Gandhi and World Order is appropriately chosen because of contemporary developments happening in the world around us- whether it is Ukraine War in Europe or Nagorno Karabakh conflict in Caucasus region and elsewhere. This choice has to be non-violence and Satyagraha, so passionately experimented, espoused, and advocated by Mahatma Gandhi. He concluded by saying that the worldview of Mahatma Gandhiji was a broad spectrum. His patriotism, nationalism and internationalism were all highly enlightened. Gandhian ideas have powerful perspectives which if adopted and followed may prove to be a saviour of humanity.
Dr. Prasad Gollanapalli, Managing Trustee, GKF, Hyderabad spoke on the topic promoting global peace, harmony through non-violence- a Gandhian approach. World is looking to Gandhi for its problem. Gandhiji organized people for a universal purpose such as caring for the weak, downtrodden, and oppressed. Gandhiji’s patriotism was based on peace, freedom, and equality for all. For bringing peace in the world, he emphasised on upbringing children who are disciplined and obedient who will later make the world a better place. For promotion of peace, nonviolence should be the way of life. Non violence in every aspect of human endeavour- non-violent agriculture, non-violent technology, non-violent food, non-violent behaviour, non-violent communication is the need of hour.
Dr. N.T. Rikam, Registrar welcomed the new Chancellor and said that today Mahatma Gandhi ideal is a way of life for every human being. The world today is realizing the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi.
Prof. Otem Padung, Finance Officer in his address said Gandhi is no more a name, it is a philosophy and an idea. If we want peace and harmony, we have to practice it, because they do not come naturally. In today’s world filled with ego, pride, jealousy which will never help in bringing peace, Gandhiji’s ideology there remains very relevance for achieving peace.
Prof. S.K. Chaudhuri, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, exhorted that as long as nation states and cultural boundaries exist, Gandhism will find relevance in different forms of life. Mutual respect and tolerance of each other inspite of critical differences is important for peace as said by Gandhiji. He said that though Tagore gave him the title Mahatma and though Gandhiji used to address him as Gurudev, there existed difference in thoughts between them such as Charkha was viewed as an anticolonial symbol by Gandhiji whereas Tagore viewed it merely as a mechanical tool.
Dean of Academic Affairs: Prof. P.K. Panigrahi said that in the course of freedom struggle, Gandhiji’s biggest contribution was converting the elitist based movement to a mass-based movement whereby people from all walks of life began to actively participate in the freedom movement. He further said that even if people follow just a part of Gandhiji’s principle such as punctuality, it will be great homage to Gandhi. Present day world order is infested with rivalry, competition, domination over another, people seldom stand up of others. This is where Gandhism come to prominence.
Dr. Tajen Dabi, Deputy Coordinator, ICGPS, RGU proposed the vote of thanks. The workshop was well attended by many from the teaching faculties and non teaching officials. Large numbers of students participated in the workshop.