Gandhian way to confront challenges: Experts

Bhubaneswar: Mahatma Gandhi has actually become all the more pertinent in the 21st century. “Whichever the challenge we confront, you can be sure that the Gandhian way is a real, live option, an option that informs and illuminates. As the world faces growing challenges of terrorism, the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi have become all the more pertinent and the Gandhian way is a real option to confront the global challenges,” said former Vice Chancellor of Ravenshaw University Prof. Prakash Chandra Sarangi here on Friday.

Addressing a national seminar on ‘Idea of Swaraj and Contemporary Challenges’ organised by RUSA CoE – Centre for the Study of Language, Literature & Culture – of Utkal University at PG Council Hall, Prof. Sarangi said Mahatma Gandhi’s ideologies are still relevant today. “His ideas are timeless. Gandhiji focused on upliftment of marginalized sections of the society. I would say Gandhiji’s principle was not about social welfare but social solidarity. While there is no communications between rich and poor in the society today, new threats to peace and harmony have emerged”, he stressed.

Vice Chancellor of the Utkal University Prof. Sabita Acharya said, “Today, we are celebrating 75 glorious years of Independence. We are living in a competitive world where self-empowerment is the need of the hour among students to find out the challenges towards Swaraj. We are living in a country like India where Mahatma Gandhi, a great human being, sacrificed his life with his great ideologies.”

Former Joint Secretary to Rajya Sabha Sri. Satya Narayana Sahu recalled the steps taken by Gandhi during his studies in South Africa and Indian freedom struggle. Dadabhai Naoroji had theorised on the drain of wealth from the nation in his book ‘Poverty and Un-British Rule in India’ (1901). Indian self-government was developed by Naoroji that had been entrusted to Odisha famine and American Civil war, he added.

Speaking on fearlessness of Naoroji, Sahu said despite sedition charges against him, the Grand Old Man of India had guts to write a book about the British rules. Similarly, Gandhi had been an ardent critic of sedition law during his life; he added and stressed to promote the idea of Swaraj in the society.

Chairing the inaugural ceremony, Coordinator of RUSA CoE and Professor of Sanskrit Department Dr. Subhas Chandra Dash welcomed the guests. Assistant Professor of Political Science department Dr. Swapna Prabhu elaborated the seminar topic, while Assistant Professor of English S. Deepika gave the vote of thanks.

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