A grandson of Mahatma Gandhi visits Elon today for a public talk on nonviolent responses to terrorism and how he believes it is more important for a nation to be respected for its moral strength than its military might.
Arun Gandhi, founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, was invited to campus by the Elon University Liberal Arts Forum. His discussion, free to the public, will be held Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the McCrary Theatre in the Center for the Arts.
During his talk, Gandhi will contrast moral and military strength in dealing with terrorism. He believes terrorism can only be defeated when countries think of the good of the world instead of their own gain. Gandhi will also take part in question-and-answer sessions with selected classes during a two-day visit to campus.
Arun Gandhi was born into apartheid South Africa in 1934. He dealt with discrimination from peers throughout his childhood because of his Indian ethnicity. At the age of 12, Gandhi had an 18-month stay with his grandfather in India. Mahatma Gandhi taught him to seek a nonviolent philosophy when dealing with the discrimination he faced.
“When we have the opportunity to hear from and dialogue with someone who has direct experience with action for the common good, it helps us better define our own paths for good in the world,” said Janet Warman, director of general studies at Elon, which is co-sponsoring the visit.
Gandhi founded the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence in 1991 to provide education, support and inspiration for communities who resist violence. The Institute is currently headquartered at the University of Rochester in New York and works on a variety of community outreach programs.