The Mahatma Gandhi Center for Peace Studies is an integral part of the Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global (Institution of Eminence Deemed To Be University) (JGU). JGU is a leading academic organization dedicated to promoting the philosophy of nonviolence and advancing peace studies nationally and globally. The Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Peace Studies is committed towards enhancing research and developing knowledge in relation to all aspects of nonviolence and peace. The center conducts research and teaching that targets the reduction of violence in our world. It does so by developing the principles and practices of Gandhian nonviolence and by providing profound knowledge and understanding of the history and theory of nonviolence to students, scholars and all those who can positively contribute to spreading peace in the world. With the aim of establishing a value based research institute with global ambitions and capabilities, the Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Peace Studies will strive to promote interdisciplinary studies in broad areas like conflictology, cultures of peace, mediation, and management of peace among others. The center hopes to build a global culture of peace in a world plagued by excessive violence.
Students will initiate and contribute to, both theoretical and practical endeavors towards a more peaceful society: They take concrete steps to instill their own education with the ideals of peace, by:
These non-exhaustive steps along with a strong conviction and the motto –“Do Not Touch Peace” will allow SFP to re-ignite the dream and aspiration of living in a peaceful society. SFP is determined to work with passion and vigor to realize Gandhi’s vision of bringing peace and education into a mutually interacting and empowering relation and herding culture out of its, present, violent rut
Admittedly, there is so much overt and covert violence in the world today that makes people wonder that nonviolence is a wise philosophy but not pragmatic. It is precisely this myth that we should strive to dispel as we enter the new era. The violence of the 21st century demonstrates that to resolve the pressing issues besieging the humanity – economic disparity, social discord, and ecological destruction – nonviolence is the only pathway.
Through this Blog, we aim to highlight and cover different contemporary issues that are changing and evolving with time. We believe that concepts of peace, nonviolence and cooperation serve as umbrella words for various social movements such as the environmental movement, the soaring Black Lives Matter movement, pro-democracy movements in contested territories, civil rights protests, feminist struggles and LGBTQ+ campaigns. Recognizing the diverse perspectives entangled within such movements would undoubtedly help move us closer to the goal of our Blog. The Blog intends to create a space for literature that is not covered by mainstream academic journals and media houses but is significant for understanding the societal and global issues. Generating scholarly engagement between students and academics around the world would help spread the values that the MGCPS stands for and provide a much-needed academic platform for scholars to openly express their opinions on contemporary issues confronting societies around the world.
Under the able mentorship of Prof (Dr) Ramin Jahanbegloo, the Executive Director of MGCPS, this endeavour is an attempt of MGCPS to understand abstract terms like peace, by articulating, analyzing as well as advocating the philosophy of nonviolence told by sages, saints, scientists and social thinkers over centuries, from Buddha and Socrates to Gandhi and Rachel Carson. Hence the symbiosis of theory and action – expressed as praxis – will be the guiding motto of the Blog.
The centre hopes to continue organizing events as laid down above. Many workshops ad projects are in the pipeline. To name a few:
The First Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture was also the launch of the Centre. The Key Note Address was delivered by Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar, Former Member of Parliament. The Inaugural address was delivered by Prof. Ramin Jahanbegloo (Addendum 1), Executive Director of the Center. The audience was also addressed by our Vice Chancellor, Prof. (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar. The lecture was unique as it opened with Bhanjans which created an inimitable ambiance. The Key note address changed the perception of many a people and transposed Gandhi’s image from that of a Mahatma to that of a relatable human being who was fallible and yet charismatic and extremely innovative and influential. It opened the doors for many a people to dream bigger and set higher goals.
The Conference on the theme – From Revenge to Forgiveness was organized in association with the India International Center. It was enlightening and innovative. Breaking the monotony, it included sessions on Literature, Religion and Politics. It gave a platform to young researchers, alongside seasoned scholars. The discussions were lively and the binary of revenge and forgiveness was complicated by asking questions such as “Could Forgiveness be a type of Revenge?” The Conference ended on a poetic note, where Mr. Ashok Vajpayee created space where multiple realities could co-exist.
The Center has conceptualized a social movement promoting non-violence and Peace that integrates students into the Polis such that they may drive change within and without. The center created a pamphlet explaining the said movement (attached as Addendum 2). As the first step to realize this aspiration, the Center has organized a three-day Workshop on Peace and Non-violence. Scheduled for April (14th – 16th) at the JGU campus.
The workshop witnessed students from various nations (including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, India and Mozambique) grapple with complicated issues and political realities. The students experienced the complications first hand as they were put into simulations that represented, present-day violent conflicts. The Workshop also awarded students with the most innovative peace models and provided them a platform to implement their ideas of peace.
This workshop was organized in collaboration with the EAFIT University in Colombia. It took place in Medellin Colombia with student volunteers, corporate heads, government actors etc. It made a huge influence the university as they established their own wing of Students for Peace ‘Estudiantes por la Paz’. The students are creating cross border friendships. They may embark on collaborative projects in the future.
Mr. Sudhir Chandra delivered this lecture. He spoke on the theme – “Education for Non-Violence, Reflections of a Historian”. The event was followed by a small art exhibition where art on the theme contributed by student volunteers was displayed. This was organized at the JGU campus. This event was also the commencement of the Research Project “Schooling Non-Violence”.
The Conference saw a wonderful collection of work on Martin Luther King’s thoughts, his contemporary relevance and the applicability of his work within and intersection with various fields including Constitutionalism, Religion, Leadership, Values etc. This Key Note address was delivered by Mr. Michael Hayes (CIU Chief, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi). It was organized in collaboration with the Jindal School of International Affairs and the India International Centre (IIC). It was held at the IIC, Delhi.
This event was organized in collaboration with The Raza Foundation at the India International Centre (Annexe). It was constituted by a round-table on “Gandhi and Dissent” where many including Mr. Ashok Vajpayee and Mr. Ashis Nandy spoke on the themes addressed in the book. Students and faculty members from JGU alike attended the event.
This daylong event commemorated the 70th Anniversary of Simone De Beauvoir’s seminal book – The Second Sex. It was organized in collaboration with Apne Aap and Alliance Française (AF). It was held at the M.L. Bhartia Auditorium, New Delhi. Four thematic panels constituted the conference and Ms. Urvashi Butalia delivered the keynote address.
This day long conference commemorated the beautiful nuances of thought Prof. Berlin introduced.His work, initially pure philosophy, then branched out into the ‘History of Ideas’ and Political Sciences. His engagements with India, especially Tagore were highlighted during the conference. The event brought together many wonderful minds.
This half-day event was organized with the Students for Peace taking the lead in organization and planning. The event comprised of an intriguing discussion on Gandhi’s take on the democratic electoral process, philosophical and otherwise. It was then followed by a discussion about his potential views on the current election. The Panel comprised of our Executive Dirctor – Dr. Ramin Jahanbegloo, out Research Fellow, Mr. P.A. Purohit and Mr. Peerzada Rouf, a Kashmiri faculty member at JGLS, who had intriguing views on the topic. Thereafter, first year students engaged in an exciting parliamentary debate on whether Gandhi would transform the current Indian system into a village based democracy, as envisiouned in Hind Swaraj.
This daylong event was about reading into the life and the work of Albert Camus. His philosophy and ways were discussed in depth and his unique methods were analyzed.
The enquiries into the works of various philosophers and activists helps the Centre stay positive towards its mission. The people ‘in focus’, help serve as inspiration, and their ideas encourage people from all walks of life to engage in social innovation. It motivates us all to create the society these “gadflies” would dream up and helps students develop new visions of the world they live in.