(7:00 p.m. on Monday, October 14, 2013, Globe Hall, High Tech Building, Montgomery College Germantown campus)
It is an honor and a pleasure for me to introduce Arun Gandhi, a fellow countryman from India and the grandson of the world-renown Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the modern nation of India. Employing non-violent disobedience, Mahatma Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world, including Martin Luther King’s Civil Rights Movement in the United States.
Like his grandfather, Arun Gandhi, an author and socio-political activist, has devoted and dedicated his life to the pursuit of non-violence despite the prejudice, hostility, and discrimination he endured early on in his life.
Arun Gandhi was born in Durban, South Africa on April 14, 1934. As a person of Indian heritage, Arun’s childhood days in South Africa’s apartheid were difficult and dreadful. He was demeaned by Europeans for not being white, abandoned and alienated by Africans for not being black, and subject to racially motivated violence from extremists in both groups.
From 1946 to 1948, Arun lived in India with his grandfather Mahatma Gandhi. During these two years, Arun experienced first-hand the turbulent period in India’s history to free itself from British rule. These events and his grandfather’s teachings strongly influenced and shaped Arun’s perspectives on the significance of non-violence in the resolution of conflict.
After the assassination of his grandfather Mahatma Gandhi in1948, Arun decided to be guided by the principles of his grandfather and to dedicate his life to ending senseless violence and to defending those whose human rights are threatened.
In 1956, Arun returned from South Africa to India to spread his father’s ashes on the River Ganges; while in India, Arun was hospitalized and decided to marry Sunanda, his nurse. Since the apartheid government denied Sunanda entry into South Africa, the couple stayed in India, and Arun became a journalist for The Times of India.
In 1987, Arun and his wife moved to the United States to work at the University of Mississippi on a study examining the types of prejudices that existed in India, the United States, and South Africa. Afterward they moved to Tennessee and founded the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, dedicated to applying the principles of nonviolence locally and globally. In 2007, after the passing of his wife, the Institute moved to Rochester, New York, and is currently located on the University of Rochester Campus.
|He is here to speak to us tonight about the lessons of non-violence learned from his grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi, and to analyze how we can apply those lessons to the resolution of conflict in the 21st Century. I am proud to present Arun Gandhi. Let us give him warm welcome.|