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Celebrating Gandhi’s Legacy in the Modern World

Los Angeles, Sep 07, 2020 Dr. Raj Kumar/Ramesh/ A.Gary Singh

The Gandhi International Institute for Peace will host a virtual program to commemorate the 151st birthday of Mahatma Gandhi on Friday October 2, 2020, a day-long designated by United Nations in his honor as the “International Day of Non-Violence” and by the State of Hawaii as “Mahatma Gandhi Day.” The program will be presented in the form of a free webinar, broadcast from Hawaii on that day from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. HST and shared around the world.

This Webinar will feature spiritual invocation, music and dances drawn from local communand from Honolulu’s Still & Moving Center, who are cosponsors for this event, and brief addresses by a variety of internationality and Hawaii based advocates of non-violent solutions to conflict, including the socio-political peace activist Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Hon. Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister of Goa, India, Professor. N. Radhakrishnan, Chair of Indian Council of Gandhian Studies, India, Major Rakesh Bharadwaj, Canada, Judith Jenya, Esq. a peacemaker from Mexico, Dr. Krishna Reddy, Chair of Indian-American Friendship Council, California, Lt. Gov. of Hawaii, Dr. Josh Green, Hawaii Senator Mike Gabbard, Dr. Terry Shinatni, Dr. Kahu Kaleo Patterson, Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center, Dr. Andrea Malji, Hawaii Pacific University and Renee Tillotson.

Dr. Raj Kumar, Founder and President of Gandhi International Institute for Peace (GIIP) in Hawaii, laid the foundation of this Institute on the day when twin towers were attacked by terrorists in New York on September 11, 2001.

Since then, he has been raising awareness about peace and nonviolence. On behalf of GIIP, he initiated the process that led to Hawaii Senate Bill, SB 332 to establish October 2 as “Mahatma Gandhi Day.”

This program marks GIIP’s 15th annual event to celebrate Gandhi’s role in advancement of peace through non-violent social and political changes, which began when, as a young British trained Indian lawyer working in South Africa, Gandhi experienced racism of white South Africans towards all people of color. Through a synthesis of philosophies, from the Indian concept of ahimsa to the Sermon on the Mount’s evocation of transformative power of love, Gandhi created a vehicle for non-violent political action designed to persuade the oppressor to accept the near universal religious dictum that injustice was rooted in the self-interested denial to others of that which one desired for one’s self. In his view, violence against the oppressor merely enabled him or her to justify their violent behavior. Non-violent resistance, including the active embrace of the oppressor as a fellow imperfect human being, not only removed that path of escape to the oppressor, but offered open arms to them, thus creating space for reconciliation. The example in India of the discipline this required—to turn the other cheek in the face of violence and return it with love—and also how that love bound the oppressed together, in their pursuit of liberation, directly inspired American civil rights leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his lieutenant, the late US Rep. John Lewis from Georgia.

Once Mahatma Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
“This webinar will present views about Mahatma Gandhi from various dignitaries, scholars and peace activists around the world”.