This is one of speakers at The Rachel Corrie Foundation’s 2006 Peace Works Conference. Go Here To see the main Peace Works Conference page.
Arun Gandhi is the fifth grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, a social-political activist, and founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence in Memphis, Tennessee.Born in 1934 in Durban, South Africa, Arun is the fifth grandson of India’s legendary leader, Mohandas K. “Mahatma” Gandhi. Growing up under the discriminatory apartheid laws of South Africa, he was beaten by “white” South Africans for being too black and “black” South Africans for being too white; so, Arun sought eye-for-an-eye justice. However, he learned from his parents and grandparents that justice does not mean revenge, it means transforming the opponent through love and suffering.
Grandfather taught Arun to understand nonviolence through understanding violence. “If we know how much passive violence we perpetrate against one another we will understand why there is so much physical violence plaguing societies and the world,” Gandhi said. Through daily lessons, Arun says, he learned about violence and about anger.
Arun shares these lessons all around the world. For the past five years, he has participated in the Renaissance Weekend deliberations with President Clinton and other well-respected Rhodes Scholars. This year, some of his engagements included speaking at the Chicago Children’s Museum and the Women’s Justice Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He also delivered talks at the Young President’s Organization in Mexico, the Trade Union Leaders’ Meeting in Milan, Italy, as well as the Peace and Justice Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Sometimes, his journeys take him even further. Arun has spoken in Croatia, France, Ireland, Holland, Lithuania, Nicaragua, China, and Japan. Also, he is a very popular speaker on college campuses. In the past year, he spoke at the University of Rochester, North Dakota State University, Concordia College, Baker University, Morehouse College, Marquette University, and the University of San Diego.
Arun is very involved in social programs and writing as well. Shortly after Arun married his wife Sunanda, they were informed the South African government would not allow her to accompany him there. Sunanda and Arun decided to live in India, and Arun worked for 30 years as a journalist for The Times of India. Together, Arun and Sunanda started projects for the social and economic upliftment of the oppressed using constructive programs, the backbone of Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence. The programs changed the lives of more than half a million people in over 300 villages and they still continue to grow. Arun is the author of several books. The first, A Patch of White (1949), is about life in prejudiced South Africa; then, he wrote two books on poverty and politics in India; followed by a compilation of M.K. Gandhi’s Wit & Wisdom. He also edited a book of essays on World Without Violence: Can Gandhi’s Vision Become Reality? And, more recently, wrote The Forgotten Woman: The Untold Story of Kastur, the Wife of Mahatma Gandhi, jointly with Sunanda.
— From the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
- Legacy of Love: My Education in the Path of Nonviolence
- The Forgotten Woman: The Untold Story of Kastur Gandhi, Wife of Mahatma Gandhi
- Mahatma Gandhi: His Life and Ideas