Lecture by Austrian Historian Dr. Margit Franz

150 Years of Mahatma Gandhi

As part of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi GSDS in association with the Austrian High Commission in India organized a lecture by well-known historian Dr. Margit Franz on January 27, 2020. This was in continuation of the programmes the Samiti initiated with different Embassies and High Commissions to propagate the relevance of the Gandhian Philosophies of Peace and Non-violence in the international realm. H.E. Mrs. Brigitte Oeppinger-Walchshofer, the High Commissioner of the Austrian Embassy to India was present on the occasion. Smt. Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, former VC GSDS was the guest of honour. The Ambassador of Ireland and various delegates from Israel, the United Kingdom, Austria, and MEA (India) also took part in the programme.
The lecture, organized on the eve of ‘International Holocaust Remembrance Day’ was delivered by Dr. Margit Franz on “Gandhi’s India: A safe haven for Exiled Jews”.
The presentation by the historian was based on the age of the Second World War, when the Jews were persecuted within their nation and Gandhi’s India welcomed them with arms wide open, despite the fact that India then under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi had launched the “Quit India Movement”.
Dr. Franz focused on the theory of equality in religion taught by Mahatma which attracted the exiled Jews to settle in the sub-continent. She said, “In the middle of their struggle for independence, India managed to accommodate the highly skilled refugees in different parts of India”. Also, the presentation surprised the audience by the facts and acts of the combination of humanity, peace, and non-violence.
Children participating at the Value Creation Camp from eight schools recommended by the District Administration of Madhepura, Bihar; Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, Hyderabad Telangana and Kasturba Mahila Vidyapeeth Intermediate College, Sewapuri, Varanasi Uttar Pradesh attended the programme. Students from Telangana also performed an Inter-Faith Prayer on the occasion.