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Dr. Raj Kumar, President- IAFC, Hawaii Chapter & Founder & President Emeritus GIIP-Gandhi International Institute for Peace



18th annual event to commemorate 154th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi and to
celebrate International Day of Nonviolence in Hawaii on Sunday, October 1, 2023

Celebrating Gandhi’s Legacy and Practicing his Teachings to Promote Global Peace

Los Angeles, Sep 05, 2023 A.Gary Singh

Gandhi International Institute for Peace will host its 18th Annual program to commemorate the 154th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi on Sunday, October 1, 2023 at his statue in the garden near the entrance to the Honolulu Zoo.  The program will start at 10 a.m. and end at noon. This program will feature talks, spiritual invocation, meditation, Yoga, peace music, and dance drawn from the local community.  The theme for this year’s event is “Global Peace.”

This program will feature a keynote speaker, Professor Prasad Gollanapalli from India, a well-known expert on Gandhi’s life and work. Further commentary will be offered from various scholars and interfaith leaders. Indian Spiritual invocation will be performed by Veda Das and Hawaiian blessing will performed by the Reverend Kahu Kaleo Patterson. Among the interfaith leaders are: Mollie Sperry from Baha’i Faith; Bishop Toshiyuki Umitani and Rev. Sol Kalu representing Buddhism, Reverend Kahu Kaleo Patterson representing Christianity; Kusha Devi Dasi representing Hinduism; Jackie Kahoolele Burke representing Hawaiian spirituality; Dr. Jared Yurow representing Judaism; Harendra Panalal representing Jainism; Karim Khan representing Islam, and Dr. Birendra S. Huja representing Sikhism.

The program will also include speeches by scholars and peace activists Professor Marc Jason Gilbert from Hawaii Pacific University, Jose’ Barzola from the Office of Conflict Management, University of Hawaii, and Dr. Barbara Melamed. Other participants are: Dr. Cliff DeVries, meditation teacher; Dr. Soraya Faris, Holistic medicine practitioner, Cliff Tillotson from Still & Moving Center and Michele Santos from Sun Yoga.  Hawaiian Hula dance will be performed by the dancers of Kumu Malia Helela and Indian dance will be performed by Arini Shankaralingam. There will also be songs by the Pacific Islanders group.
Mahatma Gandhi was born in Porbandar, Gujarat, India, on October 2, 1869. He is widely known for pioneering “Satyagraha,” a philosophy of resistance to tyranny through peaceful and nonviolent civil disobedience that influenced world leaders such as Martin Luther King and South Africa’s Desmond Tutu, and continues to resonate in the hearts of countless world leaders, justice seekers, and individuals today. 

His most famous act occurred in the spring of 1930, when he began a walk of 240 miles to the ocean in defiance of the regressive British India colonial Salt Tax, at the end of which he symbolically made salt from the sea after which he was immediately arrested.  His courageous act inspired millions of people across the country, who joined him in a mass nonviolent non-cooperation movement against the British rule that set the stage for the end of the British Empire in India.  Mahatma Gandhi also led campaigns to ease poverty, elevate women's rights, build religious and ethnic amity, and end untouchability.  He is known as the father of the nation in India.  His birthday, October 2 is celebrated as a national holiday in India.

Once Mahatma Gandhi said, “Nonviolence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being.”
In recognition of Gandhi’s efforts to promote nonviolence, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution on June 15, 2007, declaring October 2 as International Day of Nonviolence.
in April 2015, the Twenty-eighth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Governor David Y. Ige signed Senate bill, SB 332 into Act 5, declaring October 2 as Mahatma Gandhi Day in Hawaii to raise awareness of support for human dignity and peaceful resolution in furtherance of a harmonious, safe, and compassionate society.  Hawaii became the first state in the U.S. to pass such an important bill. 

This program is sponsored by the Gandhi International Institute for Peace (GIIP) in Hawaii. The organization was founded by Dr. Raj Kumar of Honolulu in the wake of the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2001. The Institute has been raising awareness about peace and nonviolence though programs such as this ever since 2006.
The GIIP is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.  To know more about GIIP, join in its work, and/or to offer to make a donation in its support, visit: To receive a free E book, “Gandhi’s Wisdom for You,” please visit