February 22, 2011
Department of Social Work, Amritapuri
The Department of Social Work at Amritapuri hosted a colloquium Gandhian Thoughts in a Globalised World on January 31, 2011.
In his welcome speech, Mr. Rajeev M. M., Vice-Chairperson of the department, discussed Sarvodaya, or universal welfare.
This concept was propagated by Mahatma Gandhi with the intention of creating an ideal classless society that could be achieved by the sincere practice of non-violence and non-exploitation.
“The main reason for our current society’s problems is the fact that the new generation has moved away from Gandhian principles,” said Mr. Rajeev.
Invited guest, Mr. K. V. Jagadeeshan, General Secretary, GSGSK, Alappuzha, spoke about the relevance of Gandhian philosophy in today’s world.
“There was something in him that is still attractive to people of contemporary society,” he said.
Introducing the book Hind Swaraj, in which Gandhiji presented his conception of Swaraj, or self-rule, Mr. Jagadeeshan noted that he proposed decentralization for economic purposes.
“Favoring private over state ownership of production, Gandhiji anticipated modern globalization, which he called an ancient phenomenon,” Mr. Jagadeeshan added.
“His model advocated collaboration and understanding between nations, instead of competiveness and profit making,” he explained.
“It is in this context that Europe tried to understand Gandhiji.”
He also talked about Gandhiji’s campaigning for a holistic, down-to-earth lifestyle, in which citizens lived in accordance with the laws of nature and used the respective mother tongues as a medium for instruction.
“Gandhian ideologies can influence the people in economic, educational, social and political spheres even today,” he concluded.
Mr. Sasidhara Kurupu, former Head of Department, NSS College, Pandalam, was also invited to speak. He outlined Gandhiji’s Panchayati Raj concept which encourages the poor to assume control of their life.
“The name Gandhiji’s parents selected for him, Mohandas Karamchand, was very apt; he was a person who perfectly discharged his dharma,” Mr. Sasidhara said.