Arun Manilal Gandhi – South Africa and USA

Linked with The Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute.

Arun Manilal Gandhi (born April 14, 1934, Durban, South Africa) is the fifth grandson of Mohandas Gandhi through his second son Manilal. Following the footsteps of his grandfather, he is also a socio-political activist, although he eschews the ascetic lifestyle of his grandfather.[1] In January 2008, Gandhi resigned as director of the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence, which he founded, following publication by the Washington Post of an essay “calling Jews and Israel ‘the biggest players’ in a global culture of violence”[2], an act that sparked criticism of Gandhi, as well as criticism of his detractors …(full text).

1946-1948 – He lived with his grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi considers himself to be a Hindu but expresses universalist views.[8] Gandhi has worked closely with Christian priests and his philosophies are strongly influenced by Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian concepts. Like his grandfather, he also believes in the concept of non-violence (ahimsa). In 2003 he was one of the signatories to Humanism and Its Aspirations (Humanist Manifesto III). (on wikipedia /Principles).

In 1987, along with his entire family, Arun Gandhi moved to the United States to work on a study at the University of Mississippi. This study examined and contrasted the sorts of prejudices that existed in India, the U.S., and South Africa. Afterward they moved to Memphis, Tennessee and founded the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence hosted by the Christian Brothers University, a Catholic academic institution. This institute was dedicated to applying the principles of nonviolence at both local and global scales. In 2007, the institute moved to Rochester, New York, and is currently located on the University of Rochester River Campus … (on wikipedia /Nonviolent activism).


Arun Manilal Gandhi – South Africa and USA

Watch this video:

  • Arun Gandhi: Lessons from My Grandfather, first, 55.40 min, Aug 29, 2008.

He writes (about his grandfather): … “Ironically, if it hadn’t been for racism and prejudice, we may not have had a Gandhi. See, it was the challenge, the public need for the public victory that developed the private victory. He may have been just another successful lawyer who had made a lot of money. But, because of prejudice in South Africa, he was subjected to humiliation within a week of his arrival. He was thrown off a train because of the color of his skin. And it humiliated him so much that he sat on the platform of the station all night, wondering what he could do to gain justice. His first response was one of anger … (full text).

And three short videos:

  • Arun Gandhi on Overcoming Anger, 6.13 min,
  • Building Positive Relationships, 4.28 min,
  • the Sunanda Gandhi Memorial School, 4.34 min.

In 1987, along with his entire family, Arun Gandhi moved to the United States to work on a study at the University of Mississippi. This study examined and contrasted the sorts of prejudices that existed in India, the U.S., and South Africa. Afterward they moved to Memphis, Tennessee and founded the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence hosted by the Christian Brothers University, a Catholic academic institution. This institute is dedicated to applying the principles of nonviolence at both local and global scales. Arun has given many speeches about non-violence in many countries. During his tour to Israel, he urged the Palestinians to resist Israeli occupation peacefully to assure their freedom.  In August 2004, Gandhi proposed to the Palestinian Parliament a peaceful march of 50,000 refugees across the Jordan River to return to their homeland, and said MPs should lead the way. Gandhi also remarked that the fate of Palestinians is ten times worse than that of blacks in South African Apartheid … (full text).

On July 22, 2007 Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Manilal Gandhi, was interviewed by Peter Sissons of the BBC News 24. Peter asked what Mahatma Gandhi would have done had he seen the Al-Qaeda problem. “Why don’t all the Muslims, Christians and other religions have a day of fasting to show Al-Qaeda that we reject their philosophy,” Arun Manilal Gandhi, founder of M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence replied … (full text).

Find him and his publications on NNDB; on IMDb; on; on FreeBase; on BookRags; on Google Video-search; on Google Group-search; on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search.

On January 7, 2008, in an article entitled “Jewish Identity Can’t Depend on Violence,” published in the Washington Post online “On Faith” section, Mr. Gandhi wrote that the “Jewish identity in the past has been locked into the holocaust experience,” which he considered “a very good example of a community can overplay a historic experience to the point that it begins to repulse friends.” He concluded: “We have created a culture of violence (Israel and the Jews are the biggest players) and that Culture of Violence is eventually going to destroy humanity” … (on wikipedia /Controversy).

He says also: … “Nonviolence is something very powerful, and the power behind it is not weapons, but the support of the people … and: People need to realize that they need to take the initiative … and: Nonviolence, therefore, can be described as an honest and diligent pursuit of truth. It could also mean the search for the meaning of life or the purpose of life, questions that have tormented humankind for centuries. The fact that we have not been able to find satisfactory answers to these questions does not mean there is no answer. It only means we have not searched with any degree of honesty. The search has to be both external and internal. We seek to ignore this crucial search because the sacrifices it demands are revolutionary. It means moving away from greed, selfishness, possessiveness, and dominance to love, compassion, understanding, and respect … and: So many people around the world have used nonviolence as a way to resolve a conflict that they faced in their lives. And they continue to use it everywhere all over the world there. And I think, in a way, nonviolence is our nature. Violence is not really our nature. If violence was our nature, we wouldn’t need military academies and martial arts institutes to teach us how to kill and destroy people. We ought to have been born with those instincts. But the fact that we have to learn the art of killing means that it’s a learned experience. And we can always unlearn it” … (more quotes on BetterWorldHeroe).

… At twenty-three Arun returned to India and worked as journalist and reporter for The Times of India. He, his wife Sunanda, and several colleagues started the successful economic initiative, India’s Center for Social unity, whose mission is to alleviate poverty and caste discrimination. The Center’s success has now spread to over 300 villages, improving the lives of more than 500,000 rural Indians. Having written eight books and hundreds of articles, Dr. Gandhi is an accomplished author and journalist. He published the Suburban Echo, a weekly, in Bombay from 1985 through 1987. Recently Arun envisioned and edited World Without Violence: Can Gandhi’s Dream Become Reality?, a collection of essays and poetry from noted international scientists, artists, and political and social leaders on the  ideals of nonviolence. This popular volume was published in October 1994 for the celebration of the  125th anniversary of Gandhiji’s birth … (full text, 2007).

… Arun’s stay with his grandfather coincided with the most tumultuous period in India’s struggle to free itself from British rule. His grandfather showed Arun firsthand the effects of a national campaign for liberation carried out through both violent and nonviolent means. For eighteen months, while Gandhi imparted lessons to his grandson, the young man was also witnessing world history unfold before his eyes. This combination set Arun on a course for life … (full text).

My life and my work are my message, and that should be carried on,” Indian independence leader Mohandas K. Gandhi once said. “Nobody should rest until the tears from the last person are wiped out.” Seven years ago, his grandson responded with the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, hosted by Christian Brothers University. Arun Gandhi now asks the same of the local, national, and global communities … // … Arun offers an example: A student in one of the peer mediation programs went home to find his parents having a heated argument. “‘I’m going to mediate,’ he told them. He sat his parents at opposite ends of the table, went through the steps of mediation, and calmed them down. His parents were so surprised they forgot what they were arguing about. When the youngster returned to the program, he told Arun, “‘Mr. Gandhi, can I be a mediator when I grow up – like you?’ Neither of us thought we would reach this much success,” Sunanda says, offering her own example. “Sometime, when [the students] sit back, they will recognize and remember [the teachings of nonviolence]. Even if the kids don’t know it now, they will recognize it and eventually be able to use it. That is success” (full text, Oct. 01, 1998).

… Declaring a war on terrorism was not, in his view, the answer. The causes of terrorism have to be eliminated. There have to be drastic changes in the relationships between different parts of the world: states, like individuals, have to build relationships that were based on more than self-interest but included respect/ understanding/acceptance/appreciation. Mr Gandhi urged the concept of trusteeship: we are trustees of our talents and wealth, which we need to use for other people as much as for ourselves. If necessary we must reduce our own standard of living so as to help bring peace to the world. We must act towards others out of compassion, not pity; above all, it was on the poor of the country that the fundamentalists thrive. Like his grandfather, Mr Gandhi advocates a friendly study of the world’s religions. We all need a greater modesty in our belief that we ‘possess’ the truth. Mahatma Gandhi never argued that he possessed the truth; he argued that he pursued the truth. Individuals, communities and states needed to understand that violence proceeds from anger. We need to understand our anger, and channel its energy into positive action. Above all, we need to avoid the arrogance of power which leads to recklessness and violence … (full text, December 3, 2002).




Join us on the 9th of July (2009) for at one of our Exciting Pre-conference Sessions (for Lessons from My Grandfather);

Assassination of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi;

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