Arun Manilal Gandhi
|Parent(s)||Manilal Gandhi, Sushila Mashruwala|
|Sister(s)||Sita Gandhi , Ela Gandhi|
Arun Manilal Gandhi is an Indian-American socio-political activist, and the fifth grandson of Mohandas Gandhi through his second son Manilal. Although he has followed in the footsteps of his grandfather as an activist, he eschews the ascetic lifestyle of his grandfather.
Arun Manilal Gandhi considers himself to be a Hindu but expresses universalist views. Gandhi has worked closely with Christian priests and his philosophies are strongly influenced by Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian concepts. Like his grandfather, he also believes in the concept of 'non-violence' (Ahimsa). In 2003 he was one of the signatories to Humanism and Its Aspirations (Humanist Manifesto III).
In 1987, Arun Gandhi moved to the United States along with his wife, Sunanda, to work on a study at the University of Mississippi. This study examined and contrasted the sorts of prejudices that existed in India, the U.S., and South Africa. Afterward they moved to Memphis, Tennessee and founded the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence hosted by the Christian Brothers University, a Catholic academic institution. This institute was dedicated to applying the principles of nonviolence at both local and global scales. For his work at the Institute, Gandhi was presented with the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. In 1996, he cofounded the Season for Nonviolence as a yearly celebration of the philosophies and lives of Mohandas Gandhi and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..
In fall of 2007, Gandhi co-taught a course entitled "Gandhi on Personal Leadership and Nonviolence" at Salisbury University in Salisbury, Maryland. On November 12, 2007, Gandhi gave a lecture for the Salisbury University Center for Conflict Resolution’s “One Person Can Make a Difference” Lecture Series, entitled “Nonviolence in the Age of Terrorism”. In late 2008, Gandhi returned to Salisbury University to co-teach a course entitled "The Global Impact of Gandhi".
Gandhi has given many speeches about nonviolence in many countries. During his tour to Israel, he urged the Palestinians to resist Israeli occupation peacefully to assure their freedom. In August 2004, Gandhi proposed to the Palestinian Parliament a peaceful march of 50,000 refugees across the Jordan River to return to their homeland, and said MPs should lead the way. Gandhi also claimed that the fate of Palestinians is ten times worse than that of blacks in South African Apartheid. He asked: "What would happen? Maybe the Israeli army would shoot and kill several. They may kill 100. They may kill 200 men, women and children. And that would shock the world. The world will get up and say, 'What is going on?'."
On October 12, 2009 Gandhi visited the Brunton Theatre in Musselburgh to talk to P7's from all over Eastlothian in Scotland. On November 11, 2009 Gandhi visited Chattanooga State Technical Community College in Chattanooga, Tennessee to speak and spread his message of peace. On November 13, 2009 Gandhi visited Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland, TN to speak and spread his message of peace. On November 16, 2010 Gandhi visited The University of Wyoming in Laramie, WY to speak and spread his message of peace.
On March 2, 2011, Arun Gandhi spoke at the East West Center on the campus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii. He spoke about Nonviolence: A Means for Social Change. On the same day he also spoke at Iolani School in Honolulu, on the subject of The Wisdom of Choosing Peace. On March 3, 2011, Gandhi spoke at the University of Hawaii Architecture Building, in an event sponsored by the Spark Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Honolulu, Hawaii. On March 4, 2011 spoke at the Pacific Buddhist Academy in Honolulu, Hawaii. He also spoke at the Hawaii State Capitol (public auditorium) on the subject of "The Power of Peace to Create a Culture of Human Rights in Hawaii and the World." This was part of the Human Rights Week, sponsored by the State of Hawaii. He also spoke at the Pioneer Plaza Club in downtown Honolulu on the subject of "Gandhian Peace (Nonviolence) A Pathway for Resolving Modern Day Conflict." On March 5, 2011 Gandhi visited The International Society for Krishna Consciousness Temple in Honolulu, Hawaii to speak and spread his message of peace. He also spoke at To Ho No Hikari Church in Honolulu, in an event sponsored by Dr. Terry Shintani, on the subject of "The Way of Nonviolence Towards All Living Beings", and at the Hawaii Convention Center as part of the PAAAC Youth Conference. On March 6, 2011 Gandhi spoke at Unity Church, Diamond Head, Honolulu on the subject of "Lessons I Learned With My Grandfather".
Gandhi's 2011 tour of Honolulu was sponsored by Barbara Altemus of the We Are One Foundation and by the Gandhian International Institute for Peace. Gandhi is featured in “THE CALLING: Heal Ourselves Heal our Planet” a Documentary Film in Production created by Barbara Altemus, directed by Oscar-nominated William Gazecki.
- Arun Gandhi reaches beyond Hindu religious traditions
- "Notable Signers". Humanism and Its Aspirations. American Humanist Association. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
- Housden, R. (1999) Sacred America: The emerging spirit of the people. Simon & Schuster. p 201.
- Morrissey, M.M. (2003) New Thought: A Practical Spirituality. Penguin.
- Salisbury University press release, July 17, 2007.
- Salisbury University press release: Dr. Arun Gandhi Speaks on Nonviolence November 12, October 23, 2007.
- "SU's Polkinghorn Receives Second Elkins Professorship". Salisbury University. September 12, 2008
- Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence Relocates to University of Rochester, June 1, 2007 press release, University of Rochester.
- March home, urges Gandhi grandson, August 31, 2004.