Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dec. 13 2009 Mahatma Gandhi and violence:

Mahatma Gandhi and violence: Perspectives on an allegorical dialogue.

What would Gandhi say to the masterminds promoting a culture of violence in the Middle East.

Journalist and International Christian University research fellow Dr. Vivek Pinto, will discuss an article Lord Bhikhu Parekh's article on "Why Terror?"
"It is an allegorical dialogue between Mahatma Gandhi and the leading Islamic terrorist. It originally appeared in Prospect and was widely acclaimed by intellectual, scholars, journalists and the academic world.
It has since been published in a book, The Stranger's Religion: Fascination and Fear, ed. Anna Lannstrom (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2004)."
Link to Article,

Dr. Pinto says, "Prof. Parekh's article has been required reading in many universities around the word and his Gandhian perspicacity is admired, as you will see when you read the article. It is gripping, seminal, and raises up many important issues of contemporary relevance."

As Dr. Pinto is a Ghandi scholar in his own right, having published "Gandhi's Vision and Values: The Moral Quest for Change in Indian Agriculture" (New Delhi, India; London, U.K.; and Thousand Oaks, Ca., USA: Sage, 1998). This was his doctoral dissertation which was turned into a book and has sold very well.

1 comment:

Tokyo Unitarian Fellowship said...

As expected, Vivek gave us a very lively talk, (accompanied by some charming Russian music coming from the room next door.)

If I may summarize, he spoke on two themes
1. That to defeat radical terrorism you must understand it.
2. To explore the neglected alternative of non-violence.

It was fitting that we were taking up this topic so soon after President Obama was discussing Martin Luther King's non-violence in his acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace prize which Dr. King also won.

Some of is comments that struck me:

"Gandhi was deeply concerned about violence in the struggle for Indian independence and deliberately engaged in dialogue with the worst Indian terrorist, writing "Indian Home Rule" on a ship to London in 1908.

He posed the question - "What is the India that you want?" If killing is the way you want, will it dehumanize us, free or encage us."

"Human beings are never so degenerate that he cannot be one over by 'organized moral pressure'."

We also discussed terrorism in India, the Middle East, Ireland and other places, as well as how essential it is to try to put yourself into the other persons mind, and yet how difficult it is.

The talk and discussion were a lot more interesting than my summary, but I just wanted to leave a flavor of the discussion for anyone who reads this.


Total Pageviews