Dr. Arun Gandhi shares his grandfather’s teachings and more as the next speaker in the Salisbury University Center for Conflict Resolution’s “One Person Can Make a Difference” Lecture Series. His talk, “The Living Legacy of Gandhi,” is 7 p.m. Wednesday, November 19, in Holloway Hall Auditorium.
SU’s Conflict Scholar-in-Residence, Gandhi returned to SU this fall thanks in part to a prestigious $80,000 Wilson Elkins Professorship awarded for the second consecutive year to Dr. Brian Polkinghorn, executive director of the Center for Conflict Resolution. During his residency, Gandhi is co-teaching a course entitled “The Global Impact of Gandhi” with Polkinghorn. During a study abroad program, SU students will travel to India with Gandhi to participate in his “Gandhi Legacy Tour.”
During his time at SU last year, Gandhi related a story about an early lesson he learned from his famous grandfather about peace building and nonviolence: To help fund his crusades for peace, independence of India and other issues, Mahatma Gandhi would charge 5 rupees per autograph during public appearances. It was 12-year-old Arun’s job to collect the money and autograph books from audience members. Arun used this task to test his grandfather by slipping in his own autograph book. Mahatma Gandhi asked who’s book it was and Arun said it was his and his grandfather said, “Then I’ll need 5 rupees like anyone else.”
During Mahatma Gandhi’s meetings with high-level officials, Arun often barged in and demanded a free autograph, expecting Mahatma to become mad over the disturbance. However, rather than angrily sending him out of the room or giving in and signing his grandson’s autograph book, Mahatma would merely place his hand over Arun’s mouth and hold him close, despite objections from many political leaders who encouraged Mahatma to merely sign the book and move on with the meeting. Arun never got his free autograph, but instead learned that violence is not the only outcome of anger. If channeled properly, it can strengthen bonds and increase the chances for peace.
Admission to Dr. Gandhi’s talk is free, but tickets are required. Tickets are available at the Information Desk of the Guerrieri University Center.
For more information call 410-219-2873 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.