Revisiting Gandhian Ethics in Contemporary Era


14. The fifth international e-dialogue on “Revisiting Gandhian Ethics in Contemporary Era” was organised by GSDS on January 18, 2021. Speakers at the dialogue included: Shri Dipanker Shri Gyan, Director Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti who delivered the welcome address; Smt. Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, former Vice-Chairperson GSDS who delivered the special address and Dr. Vidya Jain, Convener, Nonviolence Commission, International Peace Research Association (IPRA). Prof. Lester R. Kurtz, Professor of Public Sociology at George Mason University, U.S.A delivered the key note address. The session also saw two young speakers – Ms. Yen Phoebe Mok Hsin from Soka University, Japan and Shri Vidur Bharatram, Photographer and Film Maker share their perspectives. Dr. N Radhakrishnan, Gandhian thinker, peace-activist, educator and author and Former Director, Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti chaired the session.
In his key note address, Prof. Lester Kurtz, speaking on Gandhian Ethics: A Sociological Perspective, points out at the ethical paradoxes or opposites. For example, Gandhi was a warrior for justice, pacifist and non-violent activist. He brought ‘Cultural Revolution’ through nonviolent constructive work. Some of the interesting paradoxes drawn by Mr. Kurtz include the dimensions of warrior-pacifist, spiritual-material, traditional-modern, rights-duties, individual-collective, ethics-economics, theory-practice, means-ends and resist and construct. He points out that Gandhi’s ethics is truth=God=Ahimsa. These concepts are fundamental to the greater motive of Satyagraha and the coordination between thoughts, words and deeds brings about transformation through compassion.