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Session 1- Inaugural Session

Oct 2nd, 2020, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Padma Bhushan Bindeshwar ji Pathak - The learned speaker began by stating that non violence was not only the power to disrupt but to construct as well. He stated that even Che Guevara, the revolutionary hero of South America, accepted the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi when he visited India. He then stated of his own childhood incidents where he touched an untouchable individual and as punishment his grandmother made him swallow cow dung and cow urine to purify him along with giving him copious baths in the harsh winter of January. He spoke of how he joined institutions against these views from his youth. The problem that most affected the speaker was the paucity of toilets where most individuals used the open and of the individuals who had toilets at home 85 percent of them were toi;ets that were cleaned by untouchables. He spoke of how better toilet facilities enhanced the life expectancy of humanity and that is why it became the ambition of the speaker to bring about this sanitary method of human waste management to all of India as well as to eliminate the use of humans for scavenging and toilet cleaning.

Dr. N Radhakrishnan - The learned speaker started by thanking the initiatives taken by Prof Dr Vishwanath D Karad and by the eminent speaker before him, Padma Bhushan Pathak Ji. He particularly was enamored by the way the speaker before him internalised Mahatma Gandhi’s message against untouchability and found a way to implement the vision impracticality. He lauded the herculean effort undertaken by Prof Dr Karad to bring about peace in the world. He then spoke about the work of the Mahatma and how it is up to us to carry forward this work since he himself claimed that his only domain is action. He then spoke about the history of his association with Gandhianism and how the changing times has not reduced the lessons of the great Mahatma.

Justice Roshan Shamim - The learned speaker started by stating that ‘peace’ and ‘humanity’ are the most important words in the session title. Being a judge and a lawyer herself, the speaker saw Mahatma Gandhi in a legal light. She stated that the role of the lawyer in this age is conflict resolution. Mahatma Gandhi believed that the purpose of a lawyer is to unite two parties. She is of the opinion that it is up to the future generation to go farther in the pursuit of peace than their preceding ones, and for that she thanks the initiatives and thoughts of Prof Dr Vishwanath D Karad.

Father Varghese Alengaden - The learned speaker started by thanking MIT and then speaking about the saying of the Mahatma that we must be the change we wish the world to see. In essence the learned speaker is staunchly of the opinion that without reflecting the changes within one’s own personal life, one can not affect any change in the world. To transform the world one must transform oneself first. He further states that the very preamble of our constitution has the essence of spirituality and Gandhian thought itself. His other point was the ‘Talisman of the last and the least’ which states that when in doubt one must remember the weakest and most disenfranchised individual they have met in their lives and then ponder whether their action/dilemma if undertaken / resolved will be of any benefit for the individual one has thought of.

Prof Pushpita Awasthi - The learned speaker is of the opinion that the violence we see in the world is nothing more than a summation of the violence present in all individuals. Id individuals extinguish the violence within themselves, then the entire world will know peace. She also stated that the other problem is those who are violent inside but claim that they are not violent. The search for power is a root cause of this violence, and the search of power occurs in all facets of humanity. She likened non violence to a tool that we can use in order to defeat the evils of power and greed. She also spoke about how even the Mahatma had idols of his own such as Count Tolstoy. The speaker also claimed that the need of the hour is social spiritualism which must be taught to all individuals.

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