Grandson of India's late spiritual leader brings message of nonviolence to Ball State

Topics: Administrative, Speakers, Student Affairs

March 20, 2009

The founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence will talk about integrity, social harmony and nonviolent struggle during a presentation March 30 at Ball State University.

"Lesson Learned From My Grandfather" is the title of the presentation by Arun Gandhi, grandson of India's legendary spiritual leader, Mahatma K. Gandhi. The event, free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in Pruis Hall and is cosponsored by Ball State's Housing and Residence Life and Campus Activities Fund Board.

Arun Gandhi grew up in apartheid South Africa but was sent to live with his famous grandfather at age 12 after several altercations with neighborhood white and black residents due to his Indian background.

What followed was an 18-month stay with one of the world's greatest leaders that would give him the keys to the powerful philosophy of nonviolence and help shape the foundation for his life's work. He witnessed his grandfather leading the people of India in their revolutionary, nonviolent struggle for independence from British rule.

After heading successful projects for economic and social reform in India, Arun Gandhi came to the United States in 1987 to complete research for a comparative study on racism in America.

In 1991, Gandhi and his late wife, Sunanda, founded the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, which is now at the University of Rochester. The institute's mission is to foster understanding of nonviolence and to put that philosophy to practical use through workshops, lectures and community outreach programs.

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