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Two day National Seminar commences at JU

JAMMU: To commemorate 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and also the 50 glorious years of existence of University of Jammu, the Department of Political Science, University of Jammu, Jammu is organizing the two day National Seminar on 'Relevance of Gandhi's Ideas in the Contemporary World' which commenced today.

Professor Karori Singh, Former Director, South Asian Studies Centre, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur delivered the keynote address.

While speaking on the topic 'Gandhi in the Globalized World', Professor Singh placed Gandhi in the Contemporary World wherein he tried to figure out the social, economic and political issues confronting humanity today and suggested their solutions according to Gandhian Philosophy. Gandhian philosophy explains how the contemporary world looks like and how it ought to look like, said Prof. Singh.

The contemporary world ought to look like not an utopia but it is attainable by correcting the balance among different institutions and structures in order to achieve peaceful, prosperous and harmonious society. In the face of the given modern problems conflict and violence, Gandhian model of society is the only sustainable solution.

Moreover, Gandhi highlighted that western model based on knowledge, is not in conflict with eastern society based on wisdom but eastern wisdom is more appropriate in mitigating the challenges the modern society is facing. In essence Gandhian ideas and practice are the only option to save the planet from social turmoil, political conflict and natural catastrophe.

As regards concentration of wealth and power, Gandhi explained that microscopic minority is controlling the wealth, power and honour and other resources which are the main causes of conflict. He propounded a theory of trusteeship wherein the society is the owner and individuals are only the trustees on the behalf of the society.

Similarly, Gandhi was against hierarchical relationship and explains that all type of relationships must be 'Oceanic Circle Life' where no one is first and none is the last and thereby harmonious society becomes a reality and peace within and peace between can be established on the planet.

Obviously, Gandhian ideas are relevant and the strategy is workable for the peaceful and prosperous model of humanity and posterity. He summed-up his speech by invoking Gandhi who stated that change has to begin at the individual level which would lead to change at national and international levels.

Professor Manoj Dhar, Vice-Chancellor, University of Jammu, in his presidential address underlined the quote of Mahatma Gandhi that planet earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs but not every man's greed. He further articulated that Gandhi stated that God who is all powerful had no need to store rather created from day to day and human beings also need to live from day to day and not store things.

Professor Dhar talked about the Sustainable Development Goals in the light of the Gandhian philosophy and also underlined principle of equity in context of economic development of society.

He dwelled at length about Gandhian philosophy about environmental consciousness and conservation. While concluding his Presidential Address, he stated that Mahatma Gandhi not only worked for the well-being of people of India but also for the well-being of entire humanity.

Earlier, Professor Baljit Singh Mann, Director of National Seminar and Head, Department of Political Science, delivered formal welcome address and introduced the theme of the seminar to the audience and the delegates.

While introducing the theme, Professor Singh highlighted the Mahatma Gandhi's contribution to freedom struggle and also highlighted the strategy of Struggle-Truce-Struggle (S-T-S) used by him to transform Indian National Congress from elite to a mass movement. He elucidated the Gandhian strategy to bring transformation in political, social and economic order in India.

Professor Singh concluded his speech by arguing that Gandhi's critique of modernity and western civilization was not unqualified and he was not against mechanization. Of course Gandhi was against consumerism, over exploitation of resources and excessive use of machinery.

Professor Harish K. Thakur from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, Professor K. S. Sidhu from Punjabi University, Patiala, Professor M Tajuddin, University of Jammu, Professor John, M.S., from Central University of Kerala, Professor Sukhdev S. Sohal from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Dr. Rajesh Kumar from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Dr. Seema Rohmetra from University of Jammu, Arvind Kumar and U.S. Liza from University of Jammu presented papers on various sub-themes of the National Seminar.

Ellora Puri, Organizing Secretary of the National Seminar proposed the formal vote of thanks.

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