In order to celebrate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Government of India had decided to conduct 150 lectures/symposia in 150 reputed foreign Universities jointly with reputed Indian institutions/Universities. The purpose of this exercise is to allow Gandhian Thought and Philosophy to be widely disseminated in the intellectual circles. Towards this an International Webinar on ‘Peace from Within to Global Peace in Gandhian Perspective’ – Celebrations of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi is being organised at University of Hyderabad on 31st August 2020 in two sessions from 8am-11am and 6pm-8pm.

The resource persons who will be part of this webinar include:

Prof. Clayborne Carson, Professor of History at Stanford University, and Director, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford University. USA

Prof. Paul Bueno de Mesquita, Director, URI Centre for Non-violence and Peace Studies, The University of Rhode Island, USA

Prof. Isao Takagi, Soka University, Japan.

Prof. Michael Honey Haley, University of Washington, Tacoma, USA

Theme of the webinar:

Peace and prosperity are desired features of a well-ordered society.  Indeed peace is conducive for prosperity, but peace has intrinsic value in itself.  In the times of strife and struggle, and of conflict and crisis, when peace and prosperity are at stake, one often turns to Mahatma Gandhi for an understanding and possible way out.  Peace is not passive but active. In situation of conflict, peace and harmony in society requires means of conflict resolution. Yet peace is not absence of visible conflict alone, it asks for non-violence in action; in thought and deed; and more.  Peace relates to non-violence, and also to truth and justice.  Prevalence of injustice is a threat to peace.  Existence of poverty, destitution and deprivation is incommensurable with peace.  Inequality imperils peace.

Gandhi had immense faith in possibility of transformation of the individual, not only for the individual’s own upliftment but in relation to society.  Peace from within connotes a spiritual quest.  How does one go from the peace from within to global harmony and peace?  For Gandhi, individual is foundation of society and hence the focus on the transformation of the individual.  Then there is the question of institutions and mechanisms conducive to a just and peaceful society and world.

The idea of ‘peace from within to global peace’ from Gandhian perspective is larger still.  The symposium aims to examine and explore the message of the life and thought of Mahatma Gandhi on this theme.  Its focus would be on how an individual can develop peace within that he can spread to family, community, country and the whole world.  The individual is the fundamental integral part of the world and has all the capacity to influence world peace through individual actions.  With emphasis on individual the sum total of peace of the individuals will result in world peace.  This Webinar explores how an individual can be peaceful and the practice for becoming more peaceful.