Arunachal: International Symposium on Gandhian ideas held at RGU

Professor Christian Ulrich Bartolf, Free University Berlin, Germany delivered the keynote address

ITANAGAR-  Rajiv Gandhi University ( RGU ) organised a One Day International Symposium on ‘Gandhian Ideas’ as part of series of programmes under the grand celebration of “Pakhwada on Mahatma Gandhi” which marks the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. It has started on 3rd of October and will continue till the 17th of October celebrating the 153rd Birth Anniversary of our father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

Prof. Christian Bartolf in his keynote address of the symposium presented five writings of Gandhi.  He said, “I will certainly not talk about Gandhi, but I want to share with you five texts that are of particularly great importance, which he wrote not only for India but for the world.” He then explained in a nice narrative format of the writings of Gandhi and their communications with other world reformers.

Prof. Gollanapalli Prasad of Gandhi-King Foundation, Hyderabad in his speech said it was a very fascinating experience visiting many universities of the country in the last few weeks. He said that we have gained enough confidence, confidence that Gandhi is still alive, and Gandhi is in demand. He talked about the Gandhian ideas, where he broadly put it as two principles, which are truth and non-violence. He put the idea of Gandhi as simple and fundamental that cannot be complicated to understand by anyone. Prof. Prasad categorically went into explaining the fundamental concepts of the Gandhian ideas of ‘Sarvodaya, Swaraj, Swadeshi and Satyagraha’.

Prof. Saket Kushwaha,Vice Chancellor of the university, gave an inspiring speech where he explained Gandhiji in a mathematical sense and said that Gandhiji is inversely proportional to the probability of nuclear war. Meaning if we follow the Gandhian ideas of life, the chances of war occurring will get lesser and lesser. He advised to the younger generation to spend more time with wiser people as they are the ones who prescribe better advice. He reiterated that students who come to the university are to gain knowledge and wisdom so that they can play an important role in the society.

Prof. A. Mitra, Pro Vice Chancellor of the university, in his video message to symposium refereed to Gandhiji as a great economist. He said that Gandhiji preached about the need of self-sufficiency which is only now realised as a policy called Atma Nirbhar Bharat. Gandhiji also gave immense importance to the conservation of environment and he quoted that “there is enough for everybody’s need but not enough for everybody’s greed”. Presently our earth is suffering from global warming and resource management which would not have happened if we would’ve learnt from Gandhiji, Prof. Mitra added.

Dr. N.T. Rikam, Registrar of the university, spoke about the importance of the symposium and also the relevance of Gandhi in the modern times. He said, Gandhi is known to everyone of us but the only difference is upon how we perceive him. He added that Gandhiji is a way of life not only for the Indians but for everyone in the world.

Prof. S.N. Singh, the programme coordinator threw light on the concept of the programme. He said that the International Centre for Gandhian and Peace Studies (ICGPS) of the university has been conducting series of such programmes to highlight the importance of Mahatma Gandhi which is the need of the hour. He also added that Mahatma Gandhi has been a colossus and a big towering influence over our nation, state and society.

Dr. Kottu Sekhar from Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD) shared his thoughts about his institute in collaborating with RGU for the symposium. He said that RGNIYD is offering many courses and research in youth development. He also invited to witness an exhibition which is being put up as a part of celebration on “Role of Press in the Nationalist Movement” in the university campus.

Prof. Ashan Riddi, Head of the Department of History gave the welcome address. While welcoming the dignitaries, he said that its fortunate that the university has experienced many of eminent speakers highlighting the ideas of Gandhi and his teachings.

Prof. P.K Nayak, Deputy Coordinator of ICGPS extended the vote of thanks to the learned dignitaries and august gathering. The symposium was well attended by many Deans, Heads of Departments, teaching and non-teaching staffs. Many students from different departments also attended the programme.


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