International scholars who learn Gandhigiri in Bhopal
World history is a vast subject, but the name of Mahatma Gandhi is known to everyone because of his work in India and South Africa. Born in 1869, his philosophies and ideals are still relevant today. To study the life of Gandhi and his non-violent techniques, scholars from countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, Ecuador, El Salvador, the Philippines and South Africa spend 21 days in India. They are on a walking march and have covered places like Sanchi and Vidisha to learn and understand nonviolence. Also in their countries, these fellows are working in the social sectors to address social problems related to equality, gender bias, poverty, unemployment and the climate crisis, etc. During your stay in Bhopal, we talked with some of them to understand their perspective on Gandhi.
Molatelo Mohale, South Africa
Gandhi ji shares a deep connection with South Africa and there is even a place that bears his name in Johannesburg. What makes me most admire him is that he has the identity of a defender of peace and justice. Today people struggle to find his identity and he was a man who was without violence throughout his life. Through this scholarship, my perspective towards violence has changed. We always talk about physical violence, but nowadays violence towards the environment and the economy has the same importance. The rich become richer and the poor become poorer. Those who have the resources are exploiting them to the fullest, while the excluded are struggling with the basic rights to live,
Md. Mostafizur Rahman, Bangladesh
We visited a local village near Bhopal and there I learned how these locals fight against violence. In conference sessions I learned how internal aggression can be treated by replacing negative judgment with a positive one. Gandhi as a freedom fighter fought for the people until his last breath. I was strictly against the land hoarders who took the land from the hands of weak people and that is something that is also happening in my country against which we are constantly fighting and convincing people to follow non-violent ways of doing That things work. . What touches me most about him is that Gandhi never left behind people who were not treated equally and were not given the right to live, eat and study. Any change that occurs these days is temporary and to achieve permanent change, Gandhi's principles are the best way.
Fatima Pinango, Ecuador
In my country, people believe and use violence as the only means to do the job, and the important thing I have observed here is how peacefully people live and do their jobs. Although the concept of nonviolence seems very easy, it can only be preached and used by people who have inner peace and the inner voice is the only one that controls it. There is no doubt in the fact that Gandhi is a role model, but people in Ecuador do not follow him much and it is a distant dream of people walking in their path shown. My favorite Gandhian philosophy is 'Be the change you want to see in the world', because I feel that as soon as an individual begins to be positive change, he/she automatically finds people with similar ideas around him, which leads to a major change I can't wait to go back to my country to find a way to apply my knowledge to help people and share learning with women and young people. Since childhood, I have learned and read a lot about Gandhi and I know he was a pacifist and that is a quality that makes me admire him more.
Vilma Chanta, El Salvador
Gandhi is recognized as a hero in my country and his work is very commented there. There are murals and quotes from Gandhi in many prominent places there. Being a person who led the weakest section of society to fight the then British superpower is something that inspires me the most. Just as he used his education and dedicated his life to the service of humanity, I am also trying to do something similar helping the people of my country, especially women. The important learning that I have learned so far in India is that nonviolence is still relevant today and how people are using it as a tool to manage their problems from the lowest section of society to that of power. . I am overwhelmed with happiness to see the love for the people of India for Gandhi.
Melissa Alamo, Philippines
For me, nonviolence is like a strategy of global transformation to achieve social change that facilitates peace and justice. On one line, I can say that nonviolence is the answer to all world problems. But you cannot use the strategy until and unless you also apply it in your own lives. It is necessary to change the mentality and, like Gandhi, he has always believed that nothing can be achieved by forceful means. For me, Gandhi's teachings and way of working are a tool through which the gap between government and people can be closed. Gandhi is a national symbol in my country and our history classes have been full of his work and wonders. He is the one who not only introduced the philosophy of nonviolence but also lived with it. What I learned from him and followed so far is that leadership must be simple, kind and humble. That is the way in which one can lead oneself, another and the entire system of society. I have also adopted their ways of being more demanding, patience and critical thinking. I only speak when necessary and I don't just say everything. I also take moments of silence where I reflect on my actions and rectify the wrong ones.
Josua Rian Martin Situmorang, Indonesia
In addition to all the social problems such as poverty, unemployment and crime against women, etc., that people face in my country, the climate crisis is one that needs immediate attention. Here in this community we walk to learn and understand how people in the land of Gandhi are following their work and ideologies. Gandhi silent marches were the reason why the British people left the country. And their march on foot is a technique that will save us all from this crisis I feel. Back in Indonesia, I stopped using transport vehicles, so at least I can avoid making the gases in Earth's atmosphere. This will not only help the environment but also help me maintain a healthy life.