As part of the ‘Peace and Non-Violence Lecture Series’ initiated by the Samiti, a lecture on the theme “Practicing Non-Violence in the 21st Century” was delivered by Dr. Martin Arnold, eminent German Scholar in Gandhi Darshan on February 25, 2020. Chairman Gandhi Peace Mission Kerala and Member of Gandhi 150 Committee of Government of India, Prof. N Radhakrishnan chaired the session that was attended by almost 65 people.
Addressing academicians and students from different colleges, Dr. Arnold said that for people across the world, new models have developed on peaceful methodologies and people both from academics and politics are beginning to realise that Mahatma Gandhi’s methods had positive approach and therefore could garner so much support from people across different segments.
He further said the ‘satyagraha’ is not only about protests. “It is a ‘people’s university’ of coordinating and organising movements and campaigns. Nonviolent campaigns have become standard practices today. I regard ‘Nonviolent Peace Force’ as one of the most fundamental development of Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of ‘Satyagraha’. The mission of nonviolent peace force is to protect civilians in situations of conflict by means of satyagraha. The role of this peace force is to work alongside local communities; to work with the goal to spread the model of deployment as a means of defending the life and dignity of people in regions of conflict”.
“We should look at Gandhi on how he began and how he worked at situation and complexities and how he overcame them through his persuasive power of non-violence.
“We should make non-violence a personal virtue and then turn it into a societal virtue”, concluded Dr. Arnold.
2nd Counsellor of the High Commission of the Republic of Zambia Mr. Mycuo Ructishisha, Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, Dept of Political Science, Zakir Hussain College, former Diplomat Shri Rajesh Mehta and others took part in the discussion.
Prof N. Radhakrishnan in his address briefed the participants on the ‘courageous experimentation’ of Mahatma Gandhi with the strength of truth and humility that shook even the mightiest of empires. He also stressed on the role of civil societies in reducing conflicts and working within the communities.