KHANAPARA: Universities should contribute to peace in the community, in the society, and in the country as a whole. Students gather knowledge and skill at university, but at the same time they should also inculcate the fundamental human values like honesty, self-respect, dignity, compassion and serve as peace ambassadors.
This was stated by noted Gandhian scholar Prof Prasad Gollanapalli, Managing Trustee of Gandhi King Foundation, Hyderabad and the coordinator of the Gandhi King Conference, Stanford University. Prof Gollanapalli was addressing a two-day workshop on Gandhian principles and values here on Wednesday which was organized by IQAC, University of Science and Technology Meghalaya (USTM).
Addressing the students and faculty members in the workshop, the Gandhian scholar and visiting professor to many universities in India and in the USA said, "In society, we are all equal by birth, all human beings are fundamentally equal, any kind of discrimination or differentiation among people in the name of religion or caste is wrong. Our happiness is related to others, so we need to follow 'sarvodaya' -welfare of all". Gandhian philosophy is against greed and selfishness, he added.
Prof Gollanpalli said that the ambience and cleanliness at USTM are really appreciable. "Gandhi also said that cleanliness is next to Godliness. I have seen that here, this campus has got extremely positive vibration, a perfect learning atmosphere", he added. He urged USTM to connect with universities and people in the North-East region and engage them in peace. "Peace process is very important in the North-East, and I hope USTM will take initiative to promote Gandhian values in all the Northeastern States", he said.
He encapsulated the Gandhian ideas broadly into the principles of truth and non-violence.
"The idea of Gandhi is simple and fundamental," he said, explaining 'Sarvodaya, Swaraj, Swadeshi and Satyagraha', which the icon of global peace stood for.
Prof Gollanapalli said that Gandhi had influenced the world through his powerful weapons of non-violence and peace.
"We have a long way to go", he said, adding, "There is violence in the food we eat, violence in the clothes we wear, violence in the words we use, violence in our deeds. So, first we need to work on ourselves and stop cultivating violence in ourselves, in our children who grow up playing with toy machine guns."
The event was spread over two sessions and had eminent delegates, speakers and scholars from around the world, who emphasized peace as the central principle of life and the Gandhian perspective about it.
Gollanapalli, a Gandhian scholar, has spent around four decades spreading the peace and non-violence dialogue around the world through Gandhian ideology.
"Gandhian philosophy can help individuals develop peace within themselves, in their family, in the society, in the country and then in the whole world. Unless we change ourselves, we cannot change the world. It has to start with us," said Prof Gollanapalli.