Gandhi's grandson gives
Arun Gandhi asks
audience to help 'make a different world'
By Ken Fountain
Senior Staff Writer
The grandson of Mahatma K. Gandhi entreated
an audience to apply the late Indian spiritual leader's principles of non
violence in their own lives.
Arun Gandhi, who with his wife Sunanda
founded the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, was the keynote speaker
at Saturday's Festival of India.
The festival, which was sponsored by the
UH chapter of Delta Epsilon Psi, a fraternity of students of South Asian
descent, was held at Texas Southern University.
"I know there's a lot of violence in the
world today," Gandhi said. "There's a lot of hate, a lot of prejudice,
a lot of discrimination for one reason or the other."
Gandhi said that he had been going around
trying to teach people what the philosophy of non violence is, so they
can be applied for use to make a difference in the world.
Arun Gandhi, grandson of
spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi, spoke to a crowd of college students about
applying the principles of nonviolence at a festival which was sponsored
by the UH chapter of Delta Epsilon Psi.
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"You are young," Gandhi told the crowd,
composed of students from many Texas universities. "You are the leaders
of tomorrow, the inheritors of this world. It is up to you to make the
right choices, so that we can make a different world."
"I hope you will learn to do this," he
continued. "Don't destroy your lives, or the life of this Earth. Let us
all try to rebuild this Earth, by rebuilding ourselves first."
Gandhi said he learned two very important
lessons from his grandfather.
"First is how to understand anger, and
use it positively. Now anger is one of the things that causes so much violence
in society, and within ourselves," he said. "Grandfather told me that anger
is like electricity -- it's just as powerful and just as useful as electricity
is, but only if we use it intelligently, and with respect.
"But if we abuse electricity, then we destroy
ourselves and everything around us," he said. "So just as we channel electricity
and bring it into our lives, we must channel anger so that we can use it
He said his grandfather taught him to keep
an "anger journal," in which, instead of venting his anger at someone,
he would write it down "with the intention of finding a solution to the
problem, and then commit (himself) to finding a solution."
Gandhi said that the second thing he learned
was the importance of building relationships, adding that in today's fast-paced
world, relationships are based on selfishness and self-interest.
"That is a very negative way of building
relationships, and that's why they break off so quickly, and they generate
violence and anger within us," he said.
He said that relationships must be built
on four principles:
respect, understanding, acceptance and
"We have to respect ourselves, respect
each other, and respect our connection with all of Creation," he said.
"We are not independent. We are interdependent and interrelated, and what
happens to one happens to the other."
Gandhi told the audience that human beings
are not here by accident, but to fulfill a purpose.
"And we can fulfill that purpose only when
we know what our role in Creation is," he said. "From that understanding
we reach an acceptance of our differences. And then we are able to look
at each other as human beings, and not by the color of our skin, or our
race or gender. And it's only when we are able to look at each other as
human beings that we can appreciate our own humanity."
"Life is full of fun, sure," Gandhi said.
"But also remember that life is full of a lot of responsibilities. We need
to create a world that we can all be proud of, and that future generations
can be proud of. I hope that you will make the right choices, and help
create a world of peace and harmony."
The festival, called Ekakta (which
means "unity"), included acts by students from several Texas universities
that represented a masala of musical and dance genres from traditional
Indian music to Bollywood-style dancing to rock and hip-hop.