I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life.-Mahatma Gandhi-
On Friday 2nd October 2009, GHRD, in collaboration with the municipality of The Hague, hosted a symposium entitled: “Gandhi’s Values in the 21st Century” at the Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague to honour the International Day of Non-Violence.This event aimed to create awareness on Gandhi’s values and enhance the culture of Peace and Non-Violence.
The event incorporated two programmes, an afternoon discussion session and an evening cultural session. Both programmes were officially opened by the Deputy Mayor of The Hague, Mr Baldewsingh, who stressed on the need to respect each others’ values and cultures, and create peace and harmony amongst nations globally.
Mr. Tushar Gandhi, the great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, and Chairman of the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation, India, was invited as the honourable guest for the event. During both programmes, he shared his views and perspectives on Mahatma Gandhi’s life, principles, and pacifist beliefs. His approach of using particular practical experiences from Gandhi’s life, were very touching and provided the audience with thoughts to ponder upon.
The programmes included many prominent speakers such as Professor Anand Kumar (Sociologist from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi), Dr. Rekha Wazir (Co-Founder and Senior Associate of the International Child Development Initiatives), and various Ambassadors. Their speeches were based on Gandhi’s philosophy in many ways, from historical perspectives to present actions in the field of human rights, peace, environment preservation, children’s rights and so forth. In the end, they all called for more respect and tolerance for each other, integration and sobriety.
The evening session of the programme included a combination of interactive debates, speakers, and live entertainment. It was also highly attended by approximately 350 people. Ms. Pravini Baboeram, GHRD’s Ambassador and a well known singer/songwriter, entertained the audience in an innovative manner with live music incorporating the theme of Peace and Non-violence. There were also other forms of entertainments, such as the well known dance group, Urban Dance Crew, who used its unique hip hop dance routine to create a chain of non-violence, peace and happiness.
The symposium had also attracted different media institutions such as OHM TV, Hindostani TV, and Holland Times.
The event was a great success as it attracted a large audience and left many with a feeling of inspiration and increased awareness on encapsulating different ethnic groups, races, languages, dialects and cultures, thus creating a Rainbow Nation at peace with itself and the world.
GHRD would like to thank everyone and all its partners, including the media, the speakers, and the volunteers for their inspiring contributions in making this event successful. We look forward to welcoming you again next year on the 2nd of October.