IOS Centre for Historical & Civilisational Studies’ symposium on Gandhi and His Legacy of Peace and Harmony

IOS Centre for Historical & Civilisational Studies’ symposium on Gandhi and His Legacy of Peace and Harmony

IOS Centre for Historical & Civilisational Studies (IOSCHCS), Aligarh, an affiliate of the Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi, observed Martyrs Day by organising a symposium on ‘Gandhi and His Legacy of Peace and Harmony’ on January 30, 2022, at 11:00 A.M. in the Conference Hall of the IOS Aligarh Chapter.

The proceedings started with the recital of a few verses from the holy Qur’an. Professor Syed Jamaluddin, Director, IOS Centre for Historical & Civilisational Studies, was in the chair. Professor Mohammad Muqim, Coordinator IOS Aligarh Chapter, welcomed the distinguished panelists from the Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University and members of the audience. Professor M. Muqim also introduced the theme of the symposium.

Dr. Mohammad Serajuddin Khan, Asstt. Coordinator, IOS Aligarh Chapter, who anchored the event, first requested Professor Waseem Raja of AMU’S Centre of Advanced Studies, Dept. of History, to express his views on the theme under discussion.

Professor Waseem asserted that M K Gandhi will always be looked upon as a torchbearer of peace and harmony. Referring to the tragic assassination of the Father of the Nation, he traced the following reasons which prompted the fascist Nathu Ram Godse to shoot Mahatma Gandhi with his weapon:

  • Support for the two nation theory;
  • Agreeing to transfer Rs. 55 crores to Pakistan;
  • Appeasement of Muslims.

Professor Waseem also enumerated eleven points of Gandhian philosophy that helped him fight racialism.

Professor Perwez Nazir, from Dept. of History, AMU, said that it is only the relevance of Gandhi and his philosophy that we remember him and his policy of non-violence even after 75 years of his martyrdom. In the context of globalization and its evil effect, Professor Nazir said that the looming threat of the third world war is being felt by the nations of the world; they want to avoid war and stay in peace. He recalled Gandhi’s words and said that Gandhi was against imperialism and racialism, but he was not against the British people.

Professor Hasan Imam, Dept. of History, presently Director of AMU’s Kishanganj Centre, narrated the episode of how Gandhi was thrown out of the train compartment, which was meant for only the whites and the consequent decision of Gandhi to fight against discrimination, imperialism and apartheid. He also touched upon the background of Champaran Satyagraha. Professor Imam explained that it was in view of the atrocities committed against the peasants and farmers of Champaran that Gandhi chose this place as his karambhoomi. He further said that the philosophy of truth and non-violence were the mantras of Gandhi’s life and mission, which he pursued relentlessly till the end of his life, except in 1942 when he espoused the notion of “do and die”.

Towards the end of the three-hour long symposium, participants made some suggestions. Professor Perwez Nazir suggested that the IOSCHS should invite the students of the universities and colleges to such kinds of programmes so they get acquainted with Gandhi’s quest for peace and harmony in our society which is the need of the hour.

Prof. Muqim suggested that the IOSCHS send resolutions to private educational institutions in Aligarh district to organise programmes to make the students familiar with Gandhian philosophy and principles. He also suggested that the Centre should bring out literature to bust concocted truth tarnishing the image of the Father of the Nation, especially after 2014.

In his presidential remarks, Professor Syed Jamaluddin acknowledged the contribution of the panelists to making the symposium a memorable event. He explained the relevance of Gandhi in the present time to bring peace and harmony to society. Welcoming the suggestions made at the end of the symposium, he said that the Centre would organize an essay writing competition on themes related to ‘Freedom Struggle’ for various levels of students of Aligarh and the adjoining districts. The symposium came to an end with a vote of thanks presented by Dr. Zabeen Anjum, Former Principal, Jamia Urdu College of Education, Aligarh.


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