|21st August 2023 (Monday)
|Mamut Meeting Room, No. 1 Jalan Lasam, 30350, Ipoh
Series 24, Talk #4
About the author
MR GOLLANAPALLI PRASAD
Mr Gollanapalli Prasad is a Gandhian scholar and active member of various Gandhian organizations and Sarvodaya Movements in India. He has held a number of academic positions, namely as affiliated scholar of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Educational Institute at Stanford University, USA; Visiting Gandhian Scholar and Professor with the University of Nebraska, Omaha USA; and Visiting Gandhian Scholar, Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee USA.
Prof. Prasad has organized several Sarvodaya Programmes throughout India, particularly in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana States. He has been associated with and held important positions in the Gandhian movement and organisations for some five decades.
Prof Prasad has successfully taken the Gandhian ideals of peace and non-violence to more than 50,000 students and youths across some 50,000 Universities. Prof Prasad taught a course on ‘Gandhi, King and Nonviolence’ at Stanford University, California USA and brought 20 Stanford students to India to study Gandhi. He was instrumental in organizing the Gandhi King Conference at Stanford University in 2019 (attended by members of the Gandhi Family, King Family and Cesar Chavez Family). Prof Prasad has organised and participated in many events both locally and abroad. He has led a 12-member delegation to the Nobel Peace Summit in Mexico and organised a workshop on ‘Nonviolence in Action and Application’ in 2019. About 30 Nobel Peace Laureates participated in this Summit which was attended by about four thousand people
Synopsis of the talk
Human existence and pursuits are for happiness. This is only possible in an atmosphere of peace which should begin with one’s self – inner peace extending to outer peace. Gandhian prescription for peace is universal and applicable through time and space. He synthesized both Eastern and Western philosophies to produce a Gandhian vision of society. This is based on the principle of SARVODAYA, welfare and enlightenment of all.
The foundation for Sarvodaya is equality of all, human values, as well as respect, dignity and divinity of the individual. He wanted all the peoples of the world to live in peace, with an understanding of universal brotherhood. This should set the foundation between human beings and communities and nations; as well as with animals, birds, the environment and nature. The way we conduct ourselves – harmonising our body, mind and spirit; bringing it to bear with fellow human beings and non-living world. With this understanding, we should mould our lives towards nonviolence or non-offensive living. Our existence should not be detrimental to others. Gandhi would call it SWARAJ or self-rule, involving subjugation of the mind and passions; control of our wants; overcoming a sense of superiority; fighting exploitation and the like. A life of health and happiness is possible by adopting the principle of SWADESHI – involving not just an autonomous local economy but also interdependence, an appreciation of one’s heritage and culture, and simple living combined with global vision, enlightenment, and contentment. Gandhi’s response to oppression, segregation and violation of human rights was SATYAGRAHA – non-violent resistance to injustice, his greatest gift to mankind. We have to work for a society free from greed, violence, war, crime, discrimination, segregation, insults, humiliations, religious fundamentalism, corruption and environmental degradation. A relook at and adoption of the Gandhian model is necessary to save our planet and humanity.
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