Park University to Host Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi for Celebration of 150th Birthday
Aug. 5, 2019 — Park University’s Center for Global Peace Journalism will host a pair of events in the Kansas City area in late August featuring historian, journalist and peacebuilder Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of his birth.
On Monday, Aug. 26, Park University will present a program on “Gandhi: The First Peace Journalist” starting at 7 p.m. in Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel on the University’s Parkville Campus. The discussion will include: Rajmohan Gandhi; Abhijit Mazumdar, Ph.D., assistant professor of journalism at Park; and Cynthia Lukas, co-producer of the documentary “Gandhi’s Gift.” Steven Youngblood, director of the CGPJ and associate professor of communications, will moderate the event, which will include an examination of Mahatma Gandhi as a journalist and his promotion of journalism as a tool for societal development and peace.
The following evening (Tuesday, Aug. 27), Rajmohan Gandhi will present a symposium on “The Status of Peacebuilding Between India and Pakistan” starting at 7 p.m. in Hudson Auditorium on the campus of Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan. This event is also co-sponsored by the International Relations Council. A reception will precede the presentation starting at 6:30 p.m.
Through writing, speaking, public interventions and dialogues, Rajmohan Gandhi has been engaged for 60 years in efforts for reconciliation and democratic rights. Currently a research professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he was a faculty member in UIUC’s Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies from 1997 to 2012. Among his published books include Why Gandhi Matters: An Appraisal of the Mahatma’s Legacy (2017) and Gandhi: The Man, his People and the Empire (2008). From 1990 to 1992, Gandhi was a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament and he led the Indian delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1990.
Associated with Initiatives of Change (formerly known as Moral Rearmament) since 1956, Gandhi served as president of Initiatives of Change International in 2009 and 2010. In the 1960s and early 1970s, he played a leading role in establishing Asia Plateau, the 68-acre center of Initiatives of Change in the mountains of western India, which fosters dialogue, reconciliation and ethical governance, and is recognized on the Indian subcontinent for its ecological contribution.
Admission to both events are free and open to the public.