Hind Swaraj – Gandhi’s Manifesto of Non-violence, Civilisation and Forms of Violence: A 21st Century Agenda for Non-violence

Hind Swaraj Centenary International Conference,
Surajkund, Delhi, November 19-22, 2009

HSCC Inauguration: Smt Ela Bhatt inaugurates the Hind Swaraj Centenary Commemoration Conference at Suraj Kund, Delhi on November 19, 2009. Prof Samdhong Rinpoche (Chairman, HSCC), Dr Niru Vora (Convener, HSCC), Prof Anthony Parel and Prof Ashish Nandy next to her.
(Photo: Friends of Tibet)

Dr Niru Vora (Convener, HSCC) gives the welcome speech. On the dais: (From Left) Prof Anthony Parel, Prof Samdhong Rinpoche, Smt Ela Bhatt and Prof Ashish Nandy.
(Photo: Friends of Tibet)

On the behalf of eminent thinkers, intellectuals and activists, Swaraj Peeth Trust announces an International Conference from November 19-22, 2009 in Delhi, to uniquely commemorate the centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s greatest work, his root text, ‘Hind Swaraj’ (1909-2009).

The four-day conference scheduled at the Hotel Rajhans, Surajkund, Delhi will bring together more than hundred visionaries, scholar-activists, practitioners of non-violence, activists and some of the best minds and teachers in the field of Gandhian thought. Instead of usual reading of papers, this congregation of people with variety of very valuable experiences, insights and foresights will review their own understanding of Hind Swaraj / Gandhian non-violence and will look at the successes, failures, limitations and challenges of various encounters with violence. What sort of vision has inspired each such attempt and what methods have been employed, discovered or innovated.

On the basis of this the Assembly will explore the possibilities and formulate a Global Action Plan to be presented to His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama on November 22, 2009 with collective request to take the leadership of a global campaign for Non-violence and Swaraj. Swaraj Peeth believes it could be no more appropriate than the guidance and leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the effort as Tibetan struggle under his leadership highlights the ideals of culture of non-violence or Self-rule, Swaraj (‘Rang-wang’ in Tibetan) that Gandhi defined as the ‘central purpose’ of his struggle. In the post-Gandhi era, HH the Dalai Lama symbolises in him and in the struggle of universal quest for non-violence, justice and peace.

In brief the conference aims at highlighting the efficacy and universality of the Gandhian vision of swaraj and methods of non-violence. Thus the conference will also try to bring in the center of debate how this vision could be translated into action under different conditions, situations and areas.

Background: “Hind Swaraj”, an unassuming book by Mahatma Gandhi holds a special place as a root text or Manifesto from among his entire corpus of work. The book is the essence of his life-long experiment with truth and it gives the correct diagnosis of the problem of humanity in modern times, the causes of it and also the effective remedy for it. Gandhi usually doesn’t care for consistency as he is always on the journey of experimentation of the truth but he did not find anything he mentioned in this book that needs to be revised even after more than two decades. It goes to show that the book carried matured findings of his persistent enquiries into the truth of human destiny.

Mahatma Gandhi wrote this book on his way from London to South Africa onboard SS Kildonan Castle between November 13-22, 1909, which means, the year 2009-2010 would be the Centenary Year of this great book. Hence many organisations and individuals who believe in truth and non-violence have engaged themselves to commemorate the Centenary of this wonderful work in various ways including academic deliberation and social interaction.

Swaraj Peeth undertook to commemorate the Centenary of Hind Swaraj since 2001. It has since then engaged in series of public dialogues on Hind Swaraj such as Swaraj Dialogue, Hind Swaraj study camps and discourses, and, building a community-based voluntary, non-violent social force – Gandhi Shanti Sena. Due to large number of participants from Muslim community, Swaraj Peeth brought out on the occasion of the Centenary of the Birth of Satyagraha, September 11, 2006, the first-ever Urdu translation of Hind Swaraj. Swaraj Peeth was first to initiate, since 2003 the public commemoration of September 11, ‘9/11’, as birthday of Satyagraha (Sept 11, 1906, Johannesburg, South Africa). An Urdu edition of the Hind Swaraj for people involved with Swaraj dialogue in Pakistan is also ready to be released.

Rajiv Vora
(Chairman, Swaraj Peeth Trust)

HSCC Committee: Prof Samdhong Rinpoche (Chairman), Janab Saiyid Hamid,
Prof UR Ananthamurthy, Prof DL Sheth, Prof Partha Nath Mukherjee, Prof Ashish Nandy, Shri Anil Bordia, Dr Varsha Das, Shri Rajiv Vora, Dr Niru Vora (Convener)

Programme Schedule

Driving Directions for the Venue

View Driving directions for the venue in a larger map


Post a Comment