GANDHI’S NOTION OF PEACE

Anniversary of Mahamat Gandhi                          
October 1, 2019                   
The Light Millennium
Written and Presented by:
Abdelkader Abbadi, Ph. D
The world is celebrating the International Year of peace and the 150th anniversary of Mahamat Gandhi.
Every year on September 21, the United Nations calls on all nations and people to put down their weapons and reaffirm their commitment to living in harmony. 

My brief intervention here is to try to answer the question: how relevant is the Gandhian notion of peace to our world today?  

Our world is characterized by deep and rapid transformations in almost every area. The 21st Century will bring unimaginable and profound changes in technology, medicine, agriculture, space, healthcare, but also in the peace process.

First, we must remember that Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace Prize even though he was nominated for that Prize five times. It is a complex question.

Second, Gandhi was a pacifist. He believed in non-violence and forgiveness.

Abdelkader Abbadi, Ph. D, is delivering his brief remarks at Salvation Army on October 1, 2019.

Third, Gandhi was against violence between Hindus and Muslims.

Today’s peace process is also complex. It has several stages including preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, cease-fire, peacebuilding, reconstruction, humanitarian assistance, etc…

Gandhi’s political philosophy is inner peace. It is spiritual. It is based on tolerance, forgiveness, compassion, and patience. Gandhi lived a simple life, dressed simply, and was a vegetarian. For him, poverty is the worst form of violence. Intolerance is itself a form of violence. His is the inner peace, the peace of the heart.

He said:

 “The day the power of love overrules the love of power the world will know peace.”

 He also stated:

There is no way to peace: there is only peace.”

 This suggests that he may not have considered peace as a

process, but rather, as a full realization of peace.

Gandhi inspired leaders like Nelson Mandela. It is about forgiveness and national reconciliation.

Therefore, Gandhi’s political philosophy of nonviolent resistance is applicable globally, but his notion of inner peace is particularly relevant in the post conflict stage of reconciliation, forgiveness, healing of wounds of wars, of torture, and imprisonment.

 Gandhi remains an important figure on the international scene who continues to inspire many leaders in the world.

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ABDELKADER ABBADI, PhD, Political Science, International Affairs University of California, Co-author of two Books, including “Vision for a New Civilization”. Speech title:  Gandhi’s notion of peace: is it relevant today?

Dr. Abbadi wrote many articles in the political, economic, cultural and security fields in a variety of journals, including the Paris based Weekly, “Jeune Afrique”. Author of: “From the Garden to the Glass House: An Undiplomatic Look at the United Nations” (2016). Recipient of several Awards, including the “Award of Merit” from Morocco, and the International House Award for Advancing International Understanding, jointly with Former Secretary of State George Shultz and the President of Bank of America. Formerly, UN Editor for the World Diplomatic Observer and other Journals. Activities and Societies: Former Director, Political Affairs, United Nations. Former Special Adviser to the Delegation of Kyrgyzstan, UN. Former Consultant, Media and Global Affairs, World Culture Open Organization. Currently, renowned UN Correspondent, with the unique distinction of “serving under the United Nations roof for 50 years.

Photos by: Demet DEMIRKAYA, Representative of The Light Millennium to the United Nations Department of Global Communications

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