Relevance of Gandhian Philosophy in the 21st Century

12 MAY 2010|12.30 pm – 2.30 pm
Room 306, Third Floor, UGM Graduate School,
Jln. Teknika Utara Pogung Yogyakarta

Generations to come, it may be, will scarcely belive that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth”  -  Albert Einstein on Mahatma Gandhi.

The greatest omission in our 106 year history is undoubtedly that Mahatma Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace prize. Gandhi could do without the Nobel Peace prize, Whether Nobel committee can do without Gandhi is the question”. - Geir Lundestad, Secretary, Norwegian Nobel Committee, 2006.

Mahatma Gandhi is called as the father of the nation by Indians. He is considered as the icon of Indian fredom struggle, social justice, peace and communal harmony. His principles were mainly based on Truth and Nonviolence. Most of his ideas and concepts were formed with the influences of the scriptures of various religions and many great thinkers of the world. As a practical idealist, he very often called himself,  he visualized and evolved new and innovative techniques and methods in translating these great ideas into practice. He invented and applied Satyagraha (Nonviolent Direct Action), a unique way of nonviolent struggle to fight against the tough and exploitative colonial rule. He had the grand vision of Sarvodaya (welfare of all) which made him distinctive and unique among the great thinkers and revolutionaries.  He evovled Constructive Programmes and Satyagraha as means to realize it. He adopted simple life with loin cloth and negated earthly possessions as much as possible through out his life.How ever he was well aware of the place and influence of political  power, wealth, culture and religious beliefs in mundane life.

Some of the most predominant  issues of the present day world are poverty, widening gap between rich and poor, environmental degradation, religious fundamentalism, war, terrorism and drastic shift in culture, values and life styles. These issues are the outcome of the present form of globalization which is the corollary of earlier forms of colonialism since both have many similar characters and certain predominant attributes. Though these issues and problems appear unique, different and complex from the past, the main causes for these issues are generated by the age old ideas like greed for wealth and consumption and the ambitions to dominate others.

Gandhi encountered colonialism and its varied impacts in the fields like political, economic, social, cultural and religious during his  life time by appliying various ideas, philosophies, programmes, techniques, methods and strategies.Though these  ideals and techniques of him were experimented and used on various occasions and contexts, they require updation and modifications  to fit them to changing context for gaining currency and relevance in encountering the contemporary and future world issues and for building peaceful world order.

SPEAKER:
M.William Baskaran
(Professor & Head, Department of Gandhian Thought and Peace Science)

MODERATOR:
Roma Ulinnuha, M.A.
(Ph.D. Student, ICRS-Yogya)

Presented By:
Graduate Program in Religious & Cross-cultural Studies
Center for Religious & Cross-Cultural Studies (CRCS)
Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS-Yogya)
UGM Graduate School, Teknika Utara Pogung, Yogyakarta

Contact Person:
Maufur, MA.
UGM Graduate School, Third Floor
Jln. Teknika Utara Pogung Yogyakarta 55281 Indonesia
Email: maufur_nd@yahoo. com; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . id
Mobile: +62 85747301615