Emory Report

January 18, 2000

 Volume 52, No. 17

International Affairs: Rajmohan Gandhi to visit Emory Jan. 24 to Feb. 11

Indian scholar and political commentator Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson and biographer of Mahatma Gandhi, will be on the Emory campus for three weeks starting Jan. 24 as the second Distinguished Fellow of the Halle Institute for Global Learning.

During his visit, Gandhi plans to meet with students and professors across many academic disciplines ranging from the social sciences to business, law, theology and literature. In addition, he will give several public lectures and participate in collaborative events with other educational institutions in metro Atlanta, including Agnes Scott College, Georgia Tech and the Atlanta University Center.

Gandhi also plans to meet with members of metro Atlanta's Indian and Pakistani communities during his visit, which ends Feb. 11.

"My primary message in Atlanta will be that nothing worthwhile is possible without research, reflection and dialogue," Gandhi said. He added that he hopes to add to the "bridge of understanding" between the United States and South Asia, which he said is vital to the future of the world.

"I hope to strengthen that constituency in Atlanta which strives for a greater exchange of scholarship and culture between the United States and South Asia," said Gandhi, a research professor at the Centre for Policy Studies in New Delhi, India. "I trust that I would return to India with an improved understanding of the questions confronting America at the start of a new century."

Gandhi has been to Atlanta several times but only for "fleeting visits," he said, though he has met both the father and widow of Martin Luther King Jr., as well as President Jimmy Carter. "This time round I look forward to a solid interaction with Emory and the wider Atlanta community," Gandhi said.

During this visit, Gandhi will again meet with Carter. He also plans to meet with Andrew Young, former Atlanta mayor and United Nations ambassador, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Young and Gandhi will participate in a public lecture, "Can Non-Confrontation Work?" at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 25 in the WHSCAB Auditorium. This event is part of Emory's "Year of Reconciliation" exploration, and the two men will focus on the philosophy and use of nonviolent confrontation in the Indian independence and American civil rights movements.

"Any historian viewing the 20th century would find Dr. King and Mahatma Gandhi standing together," Gandhi said. "Both stood for struggle plus love, a combination tough to achieve but crucial to the future."

Gandhi also will participate in a panel discussion on Feb. 1 at 3:45 p.m. with Tutu in Cannon Chapel on "Christian and Hindu Roots to Forgiveness and Reconciliation."

Another public lecture is set for 7 p.m., Feb. 2, in Winship Ballroom. This event will be cosponsored by the Friends of Emory's Indian Studies, an organization with members from Emory and the Indo-American community. The topic is "India as an International Actor: Regional and Global Perspectives."

A final public lecture is set for Feb. 8 at 4:30 p.m. in the business school on "India's Commitment to Open Markets: Illusion or Reality?"

Elizabeth Kurylo is international communications coordinator for the Office of International Affairs and the Halle Institute for Global Learning.

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