by Dr Anthony Pun
The international Day of Non-Violence is marked on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence.
“There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no causes that I am prepared to kill for:- Mahatma Gandhi – The Story of My Experiences with Truth 1927.
According to General Assembly resolution A/RES/61/271 of 15 June 2007, which established the commemoration, the International Day is an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”. The resolution reaffirms “the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence” and the desire “to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, -understanding and non-violence.
I Gambhir Watts, take the liberty of informing you about my recent active participation at the “Roots to Fruits: Nonviolence in Action” conference at Durban University of Technology, South Africa held between 31st July to 2nd August 2012. I am grateful for the chance to meet revered Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi and founder and trustee of Gandhi Development Trust, South Africa. Inspired by and with the support of Ela Gandhi, Gandhi Development Trust and ICON (International Centre of Nonviolence) Durban, we are launching the International Centre of Nonviolence (ICON) Australia. Announcement was made on 2 October 2012 when celebrating UN International Day of Nonviolence and commemorating the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth.
The main objective of the ICON Australia will be to part education on action in nonviolence at various levels.
Our vision is of a nonviolent society based on the celebration of our common humanity and of the natural environment that sustains us. We will work to make strategic interventions in education – development of educators and curricula, teaching and writing – that challenge structural violence, enable learning untainted by violence and advance a culture of nonviolence. It works through reflective practice and focused research.
On 2 October 2014, I was invited to participate in a ceremony to commemorate the International Day of Non-violence at the University of New South Wales campus, in Kensington (Sydney suburb). The event took place in the University Library Lawn where the bust of Mahatma Gandhi was located.
The world peace advocates since Gandhi, is Aung San Suu Kyi, Daisaku Ikeda, Dalai Lama, and the late Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.