CRCS&ICRS Wednesday Forum: “Relevance of Gandhian Philosophy in the 21st Century”

Dear CRCS and ICRS students, faculty and guests, We kindly invite you to participate in the CRCS and ICRS Wednesday Forum of this week. Wednesday forum will have M.William Baskaran (Professor and Head, Department of Gandhian Thought and Peace Science) as the speaker who will talk about “Relevance of Gandhian Philosophy in the 21st Century.” Some information about this forum can be read as follows.

Date: Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Time: 12.30 pm – 2.30 pm (free lunch)
Venue: Room 306, UGM Graduate School Teknika Utara, Pogung
Speaker: M.William Baskaran


“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.


The forum is free of charge and on a first-come-first serve basis.

About the Speaker:

M.William Baskaran is a Professor & Head of Department of Gandhian Thought and Peace Science.

Contact Persons:

Maufur(ICRS):; Elis Z. Anis (ICRS):,; Lina Pary (CRCS):; Maria Ingrid (CRCS/ICRS):

This post is also available in: Indonesian


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