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"For a happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."

JNU gearing up to welcome Dalai Lama

September 25, 2007

Parul Sharma
The Hindu
September 24, 2007

Nobel laureate to take part in academic programme

The conference is being organised with the support of Gandhi Peace

Delegates will travel to Champaran where Mahatma Gandhi began his tryst
with satyagraha

NEW DELHI: Jawaharlal Nehru University is gearing up to welcome Nobel
laureate Dalai Lama who will soon visit the campus to inaugurate the
Satyagraha Centenary International Conference.

The conference on “Globalisation of the Gandhian Way: Sociology,
Politics and Science of Satyagraha between 1906 and 2006” will be
organised from November 13-19 under the aegis of the Global Studies
Programme run by the Centre for the Study of Social Systems at School of
Social Sciences.

Though the Tibetan spiritual leader has been invited to JNU on pervious
occasions as well, this is perhaps the first time that he will
participate in a formal academic programme.

“Dalai Lama is one of the living examples in the present day world who
symbolises altruism, love and compassion. He is one of the greatest
teachers of non-violence and satyagraha. Mahatma Gandhi’s life has
inspired him greatly. He is tirelessly making efforts to cultivate a
universal responsibility for one another. We are thankful to him for
accommodating this programme in his schedule,” said Anand Kumar, a JNU
faculty member associated with the conference.

The event begins at JNU and after three days the delegates will travel
to Champaran in Bihar where Mahatma Gandhi began his tryst with
satyagraha in India. At Champaran, the delegates will spend time at
Bhithiharwa Ashram that was set up by Mahatma Gandhi. Various papers
will be presented at different session to be held there. The conference
is being organised with the support of Gandhi Peace Foundation and
different institutions from countries like Nepal, Brazil, Belgium and
South Africa.

Social change

“Satyagraha has generally been acclaimed as the most revolutionary
contribution of Mahatma Gandhi to political thought and action. Gandhi
developed truth and non-violence into an infallible technique of social
change, which can be used both for removing the existing evils from
society as well as ushering in a new order free from all the ills that
plague the present social order. He showed the world that non-violence
was an effective mechanism to deal with oppression. We want to examine
all the genuine issues of satyagraha,” explained Prof. Kumar. A concept
note on the significance of the conference said: “Problems like
conflicts, destruction of natural resources, poverty and hunger that the
world is facing today are all human created problems and can only be
resolved through human effort, understanding, and a development of a
sense of brotherhood and sisterhood.”


Various representatives of satyagraha groups in India and abroad will be
attending the conference. Activists like Medha Patkar and Rajendra Singh
are also scheduled to participate, informed Prof. Kumar.

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