National Gandhi Jayanti Seminar 2019 on “Gandhi and the Contemporary Issues: Old Theory, New Perspective”


GSDS, Indialogue Foundation, Department of Philosophy, University of Delhi, Gandhi Bhawan University of Delhi as part of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi organized a two-day National Gandhi Jayanti seminar on “Gandhi and the Contemporary Issues: Old Theory, New Perspective” on October 23-24, 2019 at Gandhi Bhawan University of Delhi.
The fundamental objective of this seminar was to present the relevance of Gandhi’s ideas and to show how his ideas could be reformulated in order to fulfil the demands of the challenges posed by various contemporary issues. The seminar attempted to put forth the applicability of Mahatma Gandhi’s thoughts in solving various contemporary social, political, economic and environmental issues. The seminar also brought to the fore, the contemporary issues and the relevance of the Gandhian views in dealing with those problems at one place, while trying to find out what should be reinterpreted or reformulated in his philosophy.
The inaugural session was addressed by Prof. Balaganapathi Devarakonda, Chairman, Department of Philosophy, D.U; Ambassador Shri Ashok Sajjanhar, former Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Latvia and Sweden; Prof. Ramesh Bharadwaj, Director Gandhi Bhawan, Dr. Vedabhyas Kundu, Programme Officer, GSDS and Mr. M. Behzad Fatmi, Secretary General, Indialogue Foundation.
Five technical sessions were scheduled in two days. Technical Session I and Technical Session II was on 22nd October 2019, and Technical Session III, Technical Session IV and Technical Session V were on 23rd October 2019, followed by Valedictory Session for the seminar.
Some of the major themes that the seminar covered included:
1. Gandhi and the power of non-violence
2. The concept of the truth: How the Ideal could be achieved?
3. The Feminine and the Masculine: Gandhi’s Views on the Status of Women
4. The Problem of Religious Intolerance: Gandhi’s Approach to Religion
5. The Care for One’s Body and the Earth: A Gandhian Approach
6. A Gandhian Critique of the Modern Civilisation
7. A Path of a Satyagrahi: How to Make a Fair Demand?
8. The Gandhian Way of Ending a War: From Power to Peace
9. Gandhi and His Contemporaries: How to differ from others without being disrespectful?
There were total of 15 speakers who presented papers and covered 15 different aspects of Gandhian view from Ahimsa, The Art of Persuasion, Sufism, Faithbased Humanism, Deep Ecology, Air pollution and Climate Change to the contemporary struggle of Farmers in Champaran, decolonisation and human rights.
The seminar concluded with Valedictory session on the evening of 23rd October 2019 with Prof. R. C. Sinha, Chairman, ICPR as the chief guest and chair of the session Prof. Ramesh Bharadwaj, Gandhi Bhawan, DU. Valedictory address was delivered by the eminent Gandhian Scholar Prof Bindu Puri on ‘The Continuities that Make for a Good Human Life: Aapbhog and the great tapasvi’, followed by special address by Mr. Qamar Agha, Senior Journalist & President, Indialogue Foundation, and vote of Thanks by Dr. Aditya Kumar Gupta, DU.