The Gandhi Ashram Trust held a discussion titled ‘Delivering Gandhian Philosophy in a Changing World: What Contribution Can Present Generation Make?’ to mark the 148th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and International Day of Non-Violence on Saturday.
The programme was organised at the Centre on Integrated Rural Development of the Asia and Pacific in Dhaka.
Speakers present at the discussion said exploring and practicing Gandhism [the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi] is imperative for ensuring a world free of violence, as communalism and acts of violence have emerged as a common threat for the humanity in the current state of the society.
Present at the programme as the chief guest, Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor said if Bangladesh fails to form a humanitarian society, the country will not be able to enjoy its significant progress achieved in the line with Sustainable Development Goals.
“Gandhism is not a religion, rather it is a philosophy in which truth and non-violence are two pillars. The philosophy has advanced with the flow of time and still very much relevant with the present global circumstances,” the minister said.
He further added: “The Gandhian philosophy is based on non-violence, universality and multiplicity, which are vital to form a humanitarian world. Therefore, we need to focus on the philosophy of religious acts”.
Meanwhile, addressing the discussion, Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla said a country can become peaceful, with the force of non-violence and truth.
Bangladesh Country Manager of United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), Sudipto Mukharjee said: “Many of the Sustainable Development Goals match with the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi. If we want to implement these goals effectively and practice the ideals and philosophy of Gandhi meaningfully, then our leadership should benefit from the participation of the youths.”
Speaking at the programme, writer, and publisher of Dhaka Tribune Kazi Anis Ahmed said the utilitarian system has become dominant in our education system. The system is not teaching the children proper ethics.
He further added that if we change our education system and make it more sensitive, emphasize critical thinking skills and encourage the children to be more psychologically and emotionally aware, then we will not have to deliver Gandhian philosophy to the children, instead they will deliver it to us.
“Currently more and more people are dying in violence, instead of hunger in the human history,” Kazi Anis said.
The programme was chaired Gandhi Ashram Trust Chairman Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya.
Bangladesh Adivasi Forum General Secretary Sanjeeb Drong, BRAC University teacher Dr Samia Huq, The Daily Star’s Star Youth Editor Elita Karim and Institute of Hazrat Mohammad (pbuh) Director Barrister Rizwan Yusuf were also present there among others.