The Indialogue Foundation co-organises Gandhi Jayanti National Seminar with Zakir Hussain Delhi College and Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti on 3rd October 2016. The venue of the event was Zakir Hussain Delhi College, University of Delhi. It was organised under the theme “Re-imagining Gandhi: Issues and Challenges of Terrorism”.
Since 2013, the Foundation has been taking initiatives to celebrate the birth anniversary of India’s founding father and a man of great global significance, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or more appropriately called Mahatma Gandhi. We believe that one of the best ways to celebrate his birth anniversary is to discuss, ponder upon and learn from the brilliant and timeless ideas that he propounded. Therefore, our consecutive annual conferences/seminars have focused on the following themes inspired by his teachings: “Respect for Sacred”, “Embracing the Other”, “Education is the Basic Right of Humankind” and “Re-imagining Gandhi: Issues and Challenges of Terrorism” respectively.
The idea behind this year’s theme was to explore and highlight the Gandhian way of countering terrorism. As is well-known, Gandhi believed in Ahimsa or non-violence and based on this unique practice he successfully led one of the most remarkable freedom movements in the history of the world. This theme was selected to provoke thoughts on whether or not his practice of Ahimsa can be applied as a comprehensive approach to counter terrorism, while almost all other approaches are failing to produce the expected result.
Many prominent Gandhian scholars and public intellectuals, including renowned Gandhian thinker Prof N Radhakrishnan, former governor of Sikkim and home secretary Dr Balmiki Prasad Singh, and author and academician Prof Anwar Alam from Zirve University, Turkey participated and eloquently presented their views on the theme of the event.
Prof Alam said, “Gandhian philosophy is the only philosophy which does not have the concept of ‘other’,” whereas highlighting how relevant Gandhi continues to be for the academic world Prof Radhakrishnan said, “Gandhi continues to influence thinkers, writers, scholars and even scientists. Hundreds of researches are being carried out around the world on him. He remains a subject of extensive research.”
Apart from the aforementioned renowned figures, Dipankar Shri Gyan, Director, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti; Dr Prabhakar Rao, Principal, Zakir Hussain Delhi College; Prof M P Singh, Former Head, Department of Political Science, University of Delhi; A V Swamy, Social Worker and MP (Rajya Sabha); Kumar Prashant, Secretary, Gandhi Peace Foundation; Laxmidas, Chairman, Harijan Sevak Sangh; Prof S M Sajid, Faculty Member, Department of Social Work, Jamia Millia Islamia; Urmilesh, Writer, Journalist and Broadcaster; Dilip Simeon, Labour Historian; Ujjwal Kumar Singh, Civil Liberty Activist and Faculty Member, Department of Political Science, University of Delhi also honoured us with their graceful presence.
Over 300 students from Zakir Hussain Delhi College and other institutions were also present in the audience and many of them availed the opportunity to interact with the distinguished guest speakers in the question and answer session.
The event was concluded with a vote of thanks by Seminar Convenor, Dr Sanjeev Kumar who is an assistant professor at Zakir Hussain Delhi College.