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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Dr. Arun Gandhi Asks 'Is the World Really Less Violent?' at SU Thursday, November 14

Arun GandhiSALISBURY, MD---The world learned about peace building and nonviolence from 20th century Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi. His grandson, Dr. Arun Gandhi, received one-on-one lessons.

Dr. Arun Gandhi shares his grandfather’s teachings and more during the talk “Is the World Really Less Violent?” 7 p.m. Thursday, November 14, in the Wicomico Room of the Guerrieri University Center.

For several years Gandhi has served as a conflict scholar-in-residence at SU and is currently co-teaching a course with Dr. Brian Polkinghorn entitled “Gandhi’s Philosophy in the 21st Century.” He also has led SU students studying abroad in India on the “Gandhi Legacy Tour.”

During his initial presentation at SU, 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 whose book it was, and when Arun said it was his, 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.

Gandhi’s talk is sponsored by the President’s Office, Provost’s Office, Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts, Student Government Association, Student Affairs Office, Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution, and Graduate Studies and Research Office. Admission is free, but tickets are required. Tickets are available at the Information Desk of the Guerrieri Center.

For more information call 410-219-2873 or visit the SU website at

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