My 132 Grandchildren!

Just got back from Sweden where I had a reunion with 32 of my 132 grandchildren! Sounds goofy? Maybe, but it is a fact. In another life, when Sunanda and I lived in Mumbai, India, and worked for the poor and oppressed while raising our family we learned that scores of little, new-born, babies were being abandoned by their unwed mothers because the mother’s could not face the stigma that is often ruthless.

My 132 Grandchildren

Some of these babies died of exposure and trauma – after all, they were just two-three days old. Those who were institutionalized did not fair better. The infant mortality rate in orphanages in India was very high. More than half the babies would die before the age of 5.

Arun Gandhis My 132 Grandchildren

Over a period of 10 years during the 1970’s we were able to find loving homes for 128 babies (we have four biological grandchildren!) who were condemned as “unwanted”. I protested vehemently. “There are no babies who are unwanted. There is always someone in the world who wants a baby.” Many of the 128 babies were given to families in Sweden and in 1994 when most of them were in their teens we were invited for the first reunion. Over a weekend we stayed together as one big human family and I tried to address many of the concerns of the children. Their main request was that we should help them find their biological parent.

This, of course, was impossible. Almost all of them were abandoned in the streets without any documentation. Even their birth dates had to be medically determined. I told them all of these facts and then asked them why were they so eager to find the biological mother.

My 132 Grandchildren | Arun Gandhi Sweden August 2013

Their answer was poignant. Ever since they started school, they said, they would hear all their friends talk about whose eyes, whose nose or whose hair they had inherited. These Indian children did not look like any of their adopted parents. So, finding this important information became an obsession with them.

I apologized and said that Sunanda and I had to take the decision to give them to Swedish families since they were too small to decide for themselves. We did it with all good intentions after realizing the Swedish couples were indeed loving and sincerely wanted a baby.

“If you think we made a mistake and messed up your life,” I said. “Then please forgive us. We did what we did with good intentions because the alternative was too grim to even contemplate.”

There was a moment of silence in the room and then in a chorus all of them said: “We no longer have a problem. We can now tell the world that we look like our grandparents.” They pointed towards Sunanda and me sitting in the midst of the circle. There was not a dry eye in the room.

(Read more about this experience in subsequent blogs.)

Join the Pledge of Resistance Against Fracking

Arun Gandhi leads a crowd of thousands reciting the pledge of resistance against fracking at a protest at the New York state capital in Albany on June 17, 2013

pledge of resistance against fracking with Arun Gandhi

The Pledge of Resistance Against Fracking in New York

I believe:

  • That high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracking is an accident-prone, inherently dangerous industrial process with risks that include catastrophic and irremediable environmental damage;
  • That these risks cannot be properly resolved, nor can they be mitigated through regulation by any government agency, let alone one that has colluded with the gas industry over the last four years in creating rules that attempt to regulate fracking;
  • That Governor Cuomo and this agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation, have repeatedly turned a deaf ear to the petitions of New York’s scientists, economists, medical professionals, and ordinary citizens who have tried again and again, for four years and to little avail, to alert the agency and Governor Cuomo to the many dangers that hydraulic fracking poses to our health, safety, property values, peace of mind and to the climate itself;
  • That it is wrong to shatter the bedrock of New York State and inject it with toxic chemicals.

Hence,

If Governor Cuomo permits high-volume, horizontal hydraulic fracking in any part of New York State, I pledge to join with others to engage in non-violent acts of protest, including demonstrations and other non-violent actions, as my conscience leads me.

I make this pledge of resistance against fracking in order to prevent the destruction and poisoning of New York’s water, air, and food systems, on which life, health, and economic prosperity all depend–including that of future generations.

Signed on this day,

_________________

__________
DATE

MIR Lecture Series Presents Arun Gandhi, Peace Activist & Mahatma Gandhi’s 5th Grandson

Join Arun Gandhi as he addresses violence through education and his work with impoverished children using the lessons that he learned from his famous grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi. This lecture takes place at the Brilliant Cultural Centre on May 17th.

arungandhi700px_1

Inspired Legacy

Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, was born in South Africa and deeply influenced by the Apartheid system. He was also greatly inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s campaign to create racial equality for all South Africans. Arun Gandhi moved to the United States in 1987, along with his wife and activist partner, Sunanda, where they founded the Gandhi Institute for Nonviolencein Memphis, Tennessee.

Gandhi has carried on the legacy of his famous grandfather by addressing violence, particularly in India and other areas of the developing world. His work has focused on children. Gandhi states, “Poverty is the worst form of violence, and must be tackled on all fronts to ensure human rights and human dignity to those who are victims of societal exploitation. “

[Read more…]

ISKRA Interview with Arun Gandhi

ISKRA Interview with Arun Gandhi

This is the transcript of the interview by Stephanie Swetlishoff Guest Contributor of ISKRA that appeared in their May 2013 printed issue.

arun gandhi ISKRAEd note: The following is a transcript of an interview by ISKRA staff with Arun Gandhi that took place on March 19, 2013. Arun is the grandson of Mohandas (Mahatma)Gandhi and heads the Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence located in Rochester, NY. He has previously made appearances in Brilliant as well as Grand Forks and will be speaking at the Brilliant Cultural Centre on May 17, 2013. We feel fortunate to have the opportunity to interview Arun and ask him several questions provided by our ISKRA staff as well as members of the broader Doukhobor community. It was truly a pleasure to converse with this soft spoken advocate of peace and nonviolence. We were impressed with the simplicity and wisdom contained in the philosophical views that he shared with us. We encourage our readers to reflect on his comments.

ISKRA: A lot of people would like to know from you what it was like growing up as a child, with a grandfather that was always in the press and followed by millions of people? [Read more…]

WIN A PRIVATE BREAKFAST FOR 4 WITH ARUN GANDHI

The Peace Center 

Take a chance to win a private breakfast for 4 with Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi. The winner will enjoy a rare opportunity to spend one-on-one time with this great man who works for peace justice, locally and internationally.

 

Arun Gandhi in New Dehli

Saturday, June 15, 2013 9:30 – 11am 

Breakfast will be held at: Cross Culture Restaurant

62-64 West State St., Doylestown, PA

Tickets are $5.00 each or 5 for $20.00

Drawing will be held on May 4th at the 30th Anniversary Celebration.

Arun Gandhi, peace activist and proponent of nonviolence, will be the keynote speaker at Wells College.

Bapu and Arun Gandhi

Arun will give a talk titled “Lessons Learned from My Grandfather,” expressing the guiding principles passed down from his grandfather, the legendary peace-maker and spiritual leader Mohandas K. Gandhi, also known as Mahatma Gandhi. A speaker of international acclaim, Gandhi has spoken before hundreds of colleges and universities as well as corporate and civic organizations. His unique talents and cross-cultural experiences have brought him before governmental, social and educational audiences in countries all over the world, including Brazil, Croatia, France, Ireland, Italy, Holland, Lithuania, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Nicaragua. Arun Gandhi is a cultural treasure, offering firsthand insights into one of history’s most influential leaders.

Source: Wells College  

Fracking Away Our Future

Fracking Away Our Future

By Arun Gandhi

          Earlier this month (January 2013), I spent a day with Yoko Ono, her son Sean Lennon and Susan Sarandon inspecting the effects of hydro-fracking on environment, ecology and the natural resources of  Pennsylvania.  I did not need to be a rocket scientist to see the devastation caused to the environment – swaths of forest lands cleared up to erect rigs, sheds and space for monstrous machinery and vehicles, not to speak of the pollution and poisoning of the aqua fir. There were as many as 650 well sites in Susquehanna County and hundreds more to come. To me this was shameless rape of Mother Earth. 

          Arun Gandhi and Yoko OnoIt is our voracious appetite for oil and natural gas at a cheaper price that spurs the industry to exploit the earth’s natural resources, so, not surprisingly, the consumer is a guilty as the producer.  None of us raised a voice when the same industry was exploiting and devastating the environment and resources of other countries to feed the monster in our backyard.  Now that the world has become wise and curtailed the power of the Oil Industry to plunder the  resources in their countries we do not want them to do the same in our backyard with natural gas. Clearly, the choice before us is: Do we stop the monster that is set on ruining the earth for future generations or do we mindlessly sacrifice the future generations. 

           We have been plundering the resources of the world as if they are limitless.  Politicians have been screaming to high heaven about the debt we are leaving behind for our grandchildren to pay back but no mention is ever made that there won’t be an earth left for future generations to live on. 

            [Read more…]

Arun Gandhi Speaks out on Fracking at Albany

Frack Times” Arun Gandhi Speaks out on Fracking at Albany Feb 4th 2013

Mark Ruffalo Introduces Arun Gandhi who Speaks out on Fracking at Albany capital building on the “Million Dollar Staircase”.

Join Us On The Gandhi Legacy Tour!

www.gandhitour.info

“The Gandhi Legacy Tour, led by Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi, and great grandson, Tushar Gandhi, for the past several years is unusual in that it does not focus on places of tourist interest but places of human interest. It is designed to educate …

” … in the essence of Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence and how individuals can apply it to bring about socio-economic change. The tour visits rural India and urban slums to see and compare projects helping to make the change we wish to see in the world. Gandhi believed in creating a “Sarvodaya” society — a society where everyone would enjoy a reasonably good standard of living with attendant rights and privileges.

“This can be created by compassionate citizens constructively helping the less fortunate gain the ability to make it good. His final Talisman to the citizens of the world was: Whenever you are in doubt or when the Self becomes too much apply the following test: Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest person you may have seen and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to the person. Will the person gain anything by it? Will it restore control over her/his life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to Swaraj “Independence of self” for the hungry and the spiritually starving millions? Then you will find your doubts and your Self melt away!

“Join the tour and … 

Become the Change You Wish to See in The World![Read more…]

Gandhi’s grandson delivers message of peace!

Here is a preview of an article that Richard Baldwin wrote covering my recent Message of Peace in Buffalo, New York.  Enjoy! 

 

Source: By Richard Baldwin | News Niagara Reporter 

Arun Gandhi and the Dali Lama

A boldly inspirational program to bring peace to cities, neighborhoods, homes and hearts throughout the nation began Sunday in Buffalo, as “Mahatma” Gandhi’s grandson exhorted an audience of 400 people to “work toward becoming good, loving human beings through love, respect, understanding, acceptance and compassion” — for everyone.

“How can we call ourselves civilized if we go on living the way we do without love for one another?” asked Arun Gandhi, whose grandfather was the renowned Indian peace advocate Mohandas K. Gandhi.

 “We need to form a world of forgiveness, and try each day to be a better person than we were yesterday,” Gandhi said during a program called “Peace Matters” in Asbury Hall — sometimes called Babeville — site of the former Asbury-Delaware United Methodist Church.

 The program, subtitled “Creating Peace in the World,” was the first in a series of “Peace Matters” presentations to be sponsored during the coming year by an organization called PeaceWeavers in cities such as Princeton, N.J., Philadelphia, Chicago, New Orleans and beyond, and returning to Buffalo next November at a time to be determined. PeaceWeavers is based in Bath.

 Paula Connors, a director of PeaceWeavers, said the goal is “to break cycles of poverty and overcome the tragedy of violent crime in Buffalo, then in other cities around the nation and, eventually, around the world.”

Read more: The Buffalo News Original article 

 

 

Remembering Gandhi’s Second Son: Manilal Gandhi

Manilal Gandhi 1952

Manilal Gandhi 1952

 

Today was the birthday of Manilal Gandhi, Arun Gandhi’s late father and the second son of M.K. Gandhi.  Here is a brief look at Manilal’s own life and legacy drawn from a few select sources:

Listen to a 1954 interview w/ Manilal Gandhi 

Manilal Mohandas Gandhi (28 October 1892 – 4 April 1956) was the second of four sons of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi. Manilal was born in Rajkot, India. In 1897 Manilal traveled to South Africa for the first time, where he spent time working at the Phoenix Ashram near Durban. After a brief visit to India, in 1917 Manilal returned to South Africa to assist in printing the Indian Opinion a Gujarati-English weekly publication, at Phoenix, Durban. By 1918, Manilal was doing most of the work for the press and took over in 1920 as editor. Like his father, Manilal was also sent to jail several times by the British colonial government after protesting against unjust laws. He remained editor until 1956, the year of his death.

[Read more…]

Gandhi Day: Gandhi’s Poignant Legacy

Gandhi Birthday Flowers

Children offer flowers to Mahatma Gandhi statue on His birth anniversary in Shimla India

 

On the 143rd birth anniversary of my grandfather I am reminded of a poignant statement he made to a journalist who asked: What do you think will happen with your philosophy after you die? With sadness in his voice he said: “The people will follow me in life, worship me in death but not make my cause their cause.” How right he was!

We have either rejected the philosophy of nonviolence as impractical or we have reduced it to a weapon of convenience and misused it. The philosophy is about personal transformation changing greed, anger, frustration and other negative attitudes into love, respect, compassion, understanding and acceptance. We have the capacity to act either way but we chose to suppress the positive and display the negative in order to project ourselves as powerful. What we forget is that the greatest power in the world is LOVE. It is also the basis of all civilization. We are materially wealthy, but morally bankrupt. Can we Become the Change We Wish To See In The World?

Arun M. Gandhi
www.gandhiforchildren.org – Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute
www.gandhitour.info – Gandhi Legacy Tour
www.arungandhi.net – Arun M. Gandhi

 

Gandhi Center for Learning, Kohlapur, India

www.gandhiforchildren.org

“If you want to be inspired, see how these beautiful children of India are rising above poverty toward lives of health, joy and contributions to society. Arun Gandhi and his foundation are supporting the building of a school for some amazing kids in Kolhapur, India. If it were not for the efforts of teachers and organizers steeped in Gandhian principles they could easily have falllen victim to endemic hunger, child slavery and child labor. Our thanks to Arun Gandhi, Anuradha Bhosale, Scott Kafora and many others for continuing the compassionate healing work of Mohandas Gandhi.” – Kell Kearns and Cynthia Lukas, Globalized Soul

Agape’s 30th Anniversary with Arun Gandhi

Arun Gandhi Keynote Speaker Agape 30th Anniversary

To honor St. Francis of Assisi whose feast day is October 4 and who is the Patron Saint of ecology, and after whom Agape’s main house is named, this annual event is connected to Gandhi’s birthday, October 2 and Therese of Lisieux, October 1. All of these saints represent the prayer,poverty and witness in the world, which are Agape’s founding principles.

Past St. Francis Day — Agape Anniversary Celebrations have included Daniel Berrigan SJ, Sr. Merriam Therese MacGillis, Vincent Harding, David Dellinger, The Hibakusha (A bomb survivors of Hiroshima); a interfaith gathering after 911, including Rabbi Sheila Weinberg, Muslim community members, Episcopal priest Fr. Philip Jacobs, monks of the Buddhist Peace Pagoda in Leverett; 20th Anniversary at Holy Cross and Agape with Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit, MI; 25th Anniversary with grandson of Mahatma Gandhi; 26th Anniversary with inter-racial, multi-ethnic panel on an election year.

BRIEF: Gandhi’s grandson returning to Chattanooga to push nonviolence

arun gandhiDr. Arun Gandhi will be in Chattanooga for a week in September to participate in activities designed to highlight the legacy of nonviolence left by his grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi.

Mahatma Gandhi led India to independence through nonviolence. He was assassinated in 1948.

Dr. Gandhi will share how to take “Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence into our lives and onto our streets,” Missy Crutchfield, administrator of Chattanooga’s Department of Education, Arts and Culture, said in a news release.

Gandhi’s visit to Chattanooga will include visits to local schools, a social justice and cultural tour, a Connecting the Dots summit and blessing of the Eastgate Library.   [Read more…]

Ethical Leadership

ETHICAL LEADERSHIP
By Arun Gandhi

Dr. Arun GandhiThere are few among the 20th century leaders who can measure up to the standards set by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in the practice of ethical leadership. He not only won independence for India but ultimately brought down the British Empire without firing a bullet, which in itself was a remarkable achievement that could only be done with ethics, morals and a transparent sincerity in leadership. Through his example he gave the world an alternative to violent conflict resolution – a comprehensive philosophy of nonviolence – the practice of which requires high moral standards.

The answer to the often asked questions how and why he succeeded in his nonviolent campaign lies in understanding his philosophy of nonviolence. It will be my humble attempt in this chapter to share with you my interpretation of his philosophy and to connect nonviolence [or what Gandhi preferred to call Satyagraha, the Pursuit of Truth] with ethical leadership. [Read more…]

Arun Gandhi in London promoting Total Nonviolence September 1, 2012

Arun Gandhi Transformation UK 2012For Immediate Release, London, UK – Jul 26, 2012 – Gandhi to speak about Total Non Violence and his Charity, Gandhi For Children.

Arun Gandhi, fifth Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi is following in his famous Grandfather’s footsteps as he continues to deliver the message of Total Non-Violence around the World.  Author of several books, Mr Gandhi wrote The Forgotten Woman: The Untold Story of Kastur, the Wife of Mahatma Gandhi, jointly with his late wife Sunanda.  The book was published by fellow author and Founding President of Ozark Mountain’s Publishing Company, Dolores Cannon, in 2011.

Since then, Mr Gandhi has spoken about both his book, his work as a peace emissary as well as the work he does with his charities, The Gandhi Institute and Gandhi for Children at many organisations and events, including The United Nations.

This September, Mr Gandhi will speak in London on Sunday September 2 at Ozark Mountain Publishing’s Transformation Conference at the Shaw Theatre, The Novotel Hotel, St Pancras.  [Read more…]

Reflections: Working Toward Peace

Reflections: Working Toward Peace By Arun Gandhi The greatest challenge in promoting nonviolence is the English language and its limitations. The next is our perception, rooted for centuries, that violence is the only way we can resolve our problems.

Arun Gandhi and Yasser Arafat

When my grandfather Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi developed his philosophy of nonviolence in South Africa and wanted an appropriate word to describe it, he could not find one. He rejected “passive resistance” and “civil disobedience,” saying there was nothing passive or disobedient about the movement. He even offered a reward to anyone who could come up with a positive English word to describe what he had in mind. Alas, no one could.

Gandhi decided a Sanskrit word might be more appropriate, as he was planning to move back to India and lead the Indian struggle for freedom. He found satyagraha, a combination of two Sanskrit words, described his philosophy the best: satya, meaning “truth,” and agraha, meaning “the pursuit of.” Thus, satyagraha means the pursuit of truth, the opposite of the Western concept of possessing the truth.   [Read more…]

Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson visited Salvador Bahia and Sao Paulo Brazil

Arun Gandhi, Lynnea Bylund, Minister of Education and Culture Salvador, Brazil

Rochester New York July 7, 2012 — Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Dr. Arun Gandhi, visited Brazil the last week of June 2012.  He spent his seven-day tour visiting Salvador Bahia and Sao Paulo as well as talking with leaders from the Salvador Ministry of Education, Culture and International Relations, the Center for Support of Children with Cerebral Palsy (NACPC) a project recognized by UNESCO and UNICEF,  Teodoro Sampaio (Bairro Santa Cruz),Sons of Gandhi (Filhos de Gandhy), Residents de Sao Miguel Paulista, Institute of Democracy and Sustainability, and Fundacao Tide Setubal.

While in Brazil, Dr. Gandhi also enjoyed separate visits with Salvador Municipal Secretary of Education, Juan Carlos Bacelar and the leadership of Institute of Democracy and Sustainability and Fundacao Tide Setubal to discuss the current situation in Brazil and begin a dialogue on how Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophies of nonviolence and education can be implemented in the ongoing development work there.  Dr. Gandhi gave a 20 minute interview with the Redo Record de Televisiao News Network and held several press conferences.

[Read more…]

Arun Gandhi, Record News, Sao Paulo, Brazil July 2012

Arun Gandhi, Record News Interview Sao Paulo, Brazil

photo credit: Lynnea Bylund

Arun Gandhi was invited by Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDS) to Sao Paulo to address the residents of Sao Miguel Paulista. During his time in Sao Paulo, he was invited to give a 20 minute interview on Record News, one of two Brazilian 24 hour news channels modeled after CNN.

 

The Relevance of Gandhi Today

The Relevance of Gandhi Today

By Arun Gandhi

MK Gandhi SpinningSixty years after his death a portion of Gandhiji’s ashes, stashed away by Madalsa and Shriman Narayan, the daughter and son-in-law of Jamnalal Bajaj, will be immersed at Chowpati Beach in Mumbai. Although I will be thousands of miles away in the United States the memories of sixty years ago will be refreshed and the day will be as poignant as January 30, 1948.   In 1969 when the world celebrated Gandhiji’s 100th birth anniversary many of  us who had lived in Sewagram Ashram, Wardha, with Gandhiji were invited for a reunion.

The person who organized this event was Shriman Narayanji who was then the Governor of Gujarat. He shared with us a story of his experience with Gandhiji which emphasizes an aspect of Gandhiji’s philosophy that is all but forgotten today.   Sometime in the early 1930’s when Shrimanji received his doctorate from the  London School of Economics he returned to India full of enthusiasm to change  and rebuild the economy of India according to western standards. When he  told his parents how impatient he was to begin work his father said: “You  cannot begin to do anything until you receive Gandhiji’s blessings. So, if you are in a hurry to begin working you had better go as quickly as possible to Sewagram Ashram and get Bapu’s blessings.”

[Read more…]

Living Nonviolence: Arun Gandhi

Chapter 2

Living Nonviolence

 Arun Gandhi

Arun Gandhi Raj Gaht New Delhi photo by Lynnea BylundArun Gandhi, grandson of the late Indian spiritual and political leader Mahatma Gandhi, is among the most respected and influential figures in the international peace movement. He was born in South Africa where he was subject to the daily injustices of apartheid and yet raised in a family that taught him that justice does not mean revenge but rather transforming the other through love. Arun is the founder of  M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence and the author of five books including World Without Violence and Testament to Truth.

Arun Gandhi was destined to a life of activism, especially in the promotion of peace through nonviolence. His father, Manilal, was a major figure in the protest of apartheid in South Africa, eventually spending about 14 years in prison for his efforts. Manilal was the second son of Mahatma Gandhi, perhaps the most revered figure in the history of promoting peace on this planet. [Read more…]

Arun Gandhi talks social justice in Ely

Arun Gandhi Ely April 2012

Photo by Alicia Lebens

Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatmas Gandhi, spoke at Ely Memorial High School about his grandfather and about peace through nonviolence. The event was was organized by the school’s student council and funded by the students through grant writing and donations.

Gandhi spoke about living with his grandfather before his assassination, growing up in the village of Durban in South Africa during the Apartheid and his thoughts about bullying, environmentalism and women’s issues through nonviolence.

From the Duluth News Tribune:

“This is an once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Ely Memorial High School Student Council member Berit Schurke said. “It’s truly an honor that he’s taking time to speak to us about ways we can each assist in changing the world through nonviolent means for social justice. It’s something that is a life-changer.”

 — Alicia Lebens, contributor, Minnesota Today

Arun Gandhi in Port-Au-Prince Haiti

Port-Au-Prince, Haiti — Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi, visited Haiti on a goodwill tour the last week of March 2012. He spent his five-day tour visiting a camp operated by Sean Penn’s J/P Haitian Relief Organization, leading a workshop with community leaders at Viva Rio, as well as talking with leaders from the United Nations and USAID.

Arun Gandhi in Port Au Prince HaitiWhile in Port-Au-Prince, Arun Gandhi also visited with Haiti’s First Lady, Premiere Dame Sophia Martelly to discuss the current situation in Haiti and begin a dialogue on how Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence can be implemented in the ongoing development work following the 2010 earthquake.

Arun Gandhi commented on his trip, “The media has been covering all the negative aspects of Haiti, and making it out to be a disaster since the earthquake, so you gather a picture of total hopelessness and that nothing is really happening. But because of my experience in this work all these years, I was sure there was something in the people that would be more positive.”

He continued, “So I came here with an open mind to see the country and learn from the people and share with them my experiences, understanding, and knowledge of my grandfather’s philosophy in the hope that it would make a difference in their lives and show them the way to get out of the mire they find themselves in because of these natural occurrences.”   [Read more…]

Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio Welcomes Arun Gandhi March 14, 2012

Arun Gandhi

Born in 1934 in Durban, South Africa, Arun is the fifth grandson of India’s legendary leader, Mohandas K. “Mahatma” Gandhi. Growing up under the discriminatory apartheid laws of South Africa, he was beaten by “white” South Africans for being too black and “black” South Africans for being too white; so, Arun sought eye-for-an-eye justice. However, he learned from his parents and grandparents that justice does not mean revenge, it means transforming the opponent through love and suffering.

Grandfather taught Arun to understand nonviolence through understanding violence. “If we know how much passive violence we perpetrate against one another we will understand why there is so much physical violence plaguing societies and the world,” Gandhi said. Through daily lessons, Arun says, he learned about violence and about anger.   [Read more…]

Arun Gandhi speaks at the Salt Lake City Public Library

 

 

By: Shad Engkilterra

On Feb. 29, 2012, Arun Gandhi spoke at the Salt Lake City Public Library in the evening.

The grandson of MK Gandhi, Arun spoke about religion and overconsumption. He also echoed themes from his earlier appearance in the day at Salt Lake Community College.

“I look at it as an honor,” says Arun about a time that a reporter asked him about Mormons baptizing his grandfather. “The Mormons had found slot machines online him (Mahatma Gandhi) so important that they would like to baptize him and make him part of the family.”  

Arun says that the question brings into focus our tendency to use religion to keep ourselves divided.

“We need to come together because religion according to him (Mahatma Gandhi) is about love,” says Arun. “There are no different gods. There is only one God.” 

To create less violence in the world, we need to change the perception of consumption in this country.

Our economy is based on consumption,” says Arun. “There comes a time when we can’t buy anymore.”

People who focus on making money may neglect their families, their children and their friends.

“Making money is not the only thing in life,” says Arun. “Materialism and morality have an inverse relationship. We need to find a balance between the two.”

 

Dr. Gandhi speaks at Garden City Community College’s Martin Luther King Day event

Arun Gandhi 2010

Published 1/17/2012 in Local News
By RACHAEL GRAY
rgray@gctelegram.com 

 

Students and speakers at Garden City Community College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day helped spread the message of civil rights and peace Monday with help from the grandson of a world-renowned political leader.

Laurie Sisk/Telegram Arun Gandhi, grandson of legendary spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi, addresses a large crowd on Monday at Garden City Community College as part of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration at GCCC.

Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, spoke at GCCC Monday, passing along a message of peace and non-violence. He spoke about the use of non-violence and how people should control their emotions and treat each other with respect.  [Read more…]

Rotary International Palm Springs Peace Conference 11.11.11

Hear the words of Arun Gandhi, Rotary International President Kalyan Banerjee and Rotary Peace Fellows. 

Arun Gandhi Rotary Peace Palm Springs

“Peace Through Education Is Possible” 

PALM SPRINGS, CA – Peace is Possible, and on November 13, 2011 Rotarians and peacemakers on the west coast will gather in Palm Springs at the Palm Springs Convention Center to discuss this very theme at the Rotary Peace Conference. This event, hosted by Rotary International Director Ken Boyd is one of a series that have taken place throughout the world.

“What is special about the event is our Keynote Speaker Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas Gandhi, and the public is invited,” says Host Chair Dr. Garbis Der-Yeghian. “Mr. Gandhi, founder of M.K. Gandhi Institute, will share his views on non-violence with riveting and unique reflections on the personal and historical legacy of his grandfather, Mohandas Gandhi.

“He will set forth a message of integrity, social harmony, inclusion and peace in the wake of terrorism, international conflicts, immigration debates, and religious, political, and ideological differences that threatened our future as national and global citizens. Welcoming the public to the event is a unique opportunity for them to meet and to hear Mr. Gandhi,” said Dr. Garbis.

[Read more…]

Gandhi’s Grandson Shares Lessons for Nonviolent Life

Arun Gandhi Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi

How would your parents or caregivers had responded if you had, on multiple occasions, disruptively, and for no good reason, burst into a room where they were either working, or conducting important meetings?

For many, the resounding answer would be punishment, or at least a stern talking to. Arun Gandhi recalled during an assembly Tuesday morning at Hatboro-Horsham High School, that his grandfather, Mohandas Gandhi, did neither.

Instead, the late leader of India, whose penchant for righting social and political injustices through peaceful and non-violent actions, paused from his “high-level political discussions” – which in the mid-1940s were aiming to tackle weighty issues including the independence of his country and the emancipation of women – and simply placed his hand over his grandson’s mouth. With the then 12-year-old Arun Gandhi quieted, the elder Gandhi continued talking.   [Read more…]

GEMS IN THE GARBAGE

GEMS IN THE GARBAGE

By Arun Gandhi

Between 1975 and 1983 my late wife, Sunanda, and I rescued and rehabilitated 123 abandoned new-born babies found on garbage dumps around Mumbai, an Indian megalopolis. Tragically, this is an on-going phenomenon and even today babies are found abandoned on the streets by unwed mothers or her relatives. Why they choose to abandon these babies on garbage heaps is a conundrum I have not been able to resolve. Perhaps, they think the result of an illegitimate relationship is not just an embarrassment but garbage that must be disposed off.

Whatever, this is the story of one, scrawny, little baby girl out of the 123, who was later named Sonali, was days old, malnourished, wrapped in a piece of white cotton cloth and left besides a garbage dump in Byculla, a suburb of Mumbai. After rescuing so many finding Sonali no longer shocked me. I called the police and together we took her to the Government Remand Home nearby where the doctor was skeptical about her chances of survival. But, Sonali was a fighter. Within weeks she recovered and reached her normal baby weight.

While Sonali was recouping at the Remand Home, we received through a friend a request for a baby from a couple who live in Paris, France. We were a bit skeptical for several reasons: first, the couple was unable to communicate because they knew not a word of English; second, we had decided to keep in touch with the families. However, because of the mutual friend we relented and decided to send Sonali to France after all the legal formalities were done and the Mumbai High Court approved the adoption. [Read more…]

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Arun Gandhi and Martin Luther King III

His Holiness the Dalai Lama with special guests Arun Gandhi (grandson of Mahatma Gandhi) and Martin Luther King III (son of Martin Luther King Jr) during celebrations in honor of His Holiness’s 76th birthday held in Washington DC, USA, on July 6, 2011

Hope for Peace and Respect in Egypt

Arun Gandhi 2.3.2011DENVER – The world has been watching Egyptians try to force change in their government. That includes the family of Mahatma Gandhi. He led a peaceful independence movement in India in the 1930s and 40s. Thursday night, his grandson arrived in Colorado. “Violence is not a civilized way,” Arun Gandhi said.

It’s been more than 60 years since his grandfather died, but Arun Gandhi says he has followed in his footsteps.  “I was very fortunate, living with my grandfather at the age of 12, he taught me valuable lessons that have made a difference in my life,” he said.  Arun Gandhi speaks around the world advocating for nonviolence and peace. 

During the unrest in Cairo, at least 800 people have been injured and 10 killed.  “It pains me when I see the riots, the killing and all that. It’s very painful, but I suppose it’s something that every nation has to go through in seeking independence and change,” Arun Gandhi said.  He says his grandfather would not be happy with the violence in Egypt.

“He would certainly say we are not behaving in a civilized manner,” Arun Gandhi said. “I hope that the president will submit his resignation and leave, hand over power to whoever is qualified to take over, transition very smooth and positive.”  “The more we try to exploit, the more there is a possibility of violence breaking out. We should try to create a reality based off respect, acceptance of each other, whether it’s interpersonal or international,” he said.

Arun Gandhi is speaking on Friday at Aurora Central High School from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)