Celebrating Mahatma and Kasturba Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary
The Confluence of Spirituality and Life – Gandhian Legacy for the 21st Century
The Confluence of Spirituality and Life –
Gandhian Legacy for the 21st century
We invite you to join us in celebrating Mahatma (Mohandas) and Kasturba Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. Gandhi Development Trust and Good Governance Africa have partnered to host this conference to honour their memory and bring their legacy forward to the 21st century.
This conference will take place:
At: Phoenix Settlement (Gandhi Ashram) in Durban, South Africa
From: 3 October 2019 to 5 October 2019
The challenges we face
At present the world confronts these and other challenges:
- Trillions of dollars poured into weapons of mass destruction
- Constant threats of war
- Damaging climate change and environmental degradation
- Growing inequality and severe poverty
- Systemic violence in our societies
- Intolerance of diversity
Aim of the conference
This conference aims to explore how Gandhian thinking and work inspired by it can develop lasting solutions to these challenges.
Gandhiji had an acute sense of wanting to do the right thing and create a society where everybody would have access to the basic necessities of life, including respect and dignity, and where everybody could live in peace and harmony.
His message of non-violence and love is crucial. We need to learn this from early childhood. Love for all, including the universe, is his message and if you love you do not harm. Learning this message will end violence against women and children, and all forms of abuse of animals, of nature, resources and the environment.
Liberation comes from within us, someone else cannot liberate us. For Gandhiji, the idea of “swa raj” was rule over yourself or self-control. This means that if we control ourselves, we not only guard our own rights but we ensure that others can enjoy their rights as well. Every right has a responsibility, and carrying out that responsibility is key to liberation.
Gandhi believed in bringing change first within our immediate neighbourhood. and then extending our work to other areas. To do this, we need to be able to support each other. Local action includes economic development through buying locally made articles and supporting local handicrafts, enabling local communities to have access to jobs and livelihoods. We pass on our knowledge and skills.
Doing these simple but profound things were part of Gandhiji’s message to humanity when he spoke of Sarvodaya – for the benefit of all, when he spoke of Swadeshi – local production, when he spoke of Swaraj – liberation through rule over yourself, and when he spoke of Satyagraha – the force of truth.
What the conference will do
At this conference we will receive papers on how these messages can be woven into the various disciplines of social sciences, politics, economics, education etc. We will also explore his ideas in relation to the various freedom struggles in the world, and their impact. We hope to produce a book arising from the work done at the conference.
Call for papers
We invite those interested to send us a 500-word abstract of your proposed paper, poster or workshop (include any relevant title and institutional affiliation). This abstract should be sent to [email protected]rg.za by 1 September 2019.
In particular, we would welcome proposals that bring together theory and practice, that draw on people’s experiences and relate them to theory. An example would be a short workshop that starts with a focus on our experience of some issue, addresses the thoughts, feelings and reflections on those experiences, and then leads into a theory presentation – maybe even a physical activity related to the theory. This is an opportunity to deal not only with ideas but with the ways in which those ideas connect with experience, emotions and creativity.