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Scientific meeting on “Gandhi’s Political and Social Life” held at FWS

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The scientific meeting on “Gandhi’s Political and Social Life” was held at Iran Hall of the Faculty of World Studies on Monday, May 15, 2017. Dr. Sadredin Mousavi Jashni, Member of the Faculty of World Studies was the main lecturer at the meeting that was organized by the Student Committee of Iranian World Studies Association. Sayed Mustafa Mustafavi, an alumnus of Indian Studies at the Faculty of World Studies and the Supervisor of the Workgroup on Public Relations and International Affairs of the Student Committee of Iranian World Studies Association, began the meeting by presenting his essay on “Tolerance, Nonviolence Turned Gandhi into Mahatma”. The next speaker was Dr. Heshmatolsadat Mo’inifar, Director of the Student Committee of Iranian World Studies Association and Head of the Department of South and Eastern Asia and Oceania Studies. Talking about Gandhi’s political influence, she said that, “He could be considered as a great political theorist and ideologue whose efforts led India to independence from Britain in 1947. What caused this independence was Gandhi’s and Indians’ acts that are known as ‘civil resistance’, a nonviolent resistance.” Dr. Sadredin Mousavi Jashni was the main speaker at the meeting. Lecturing on the political and social life of Mahatma Gandhi, he said that, “Gandhi experienced various crises during his life. He passed through various self-knowledge, theological, epistemological, and ontological crises.” Member of the Faculty of World Studies continued, “Gandhi was born in 1869 in India. He was born in a family that was included in the third cast or class in Hinduism social hierarchy which is constituted of four casts. He grew up in a cultural environment. He tried to learn musical instruments, but he was unsuccessful. His father dies early and because he was poor, he does not leave much for his children. Gandhi decides to move to Britain after high school to continue his studies. Before leaving for Britain, however, he passed through identity crises one after the other and later on turns into the Gandhi we are familiar with.” “A biographer writes that Gandhi was a shy individual. He adapted himself with his school, but it does not mean that he was not a rebel outside the school. He, later on, turns into a rebel against British occupation of his country, in a nonviolent manner, however,” Dr. Mousavi Jashni added. Discussing the elements of Hinduism and the influences of Hindu norms and beliefs on Gandhi’s character, Member of the Faculty of World Studies continued, “Gandhi’s ideology is individual-oriented. He believes that, in order to build a society, each individual must be made by itself because, according to the four principles of Hinduism, salvation relies upon the body’s boundaries and limitations and you could be self-made and achieve a level of salvation when you are free of your body. Then, you may be sure that you will not go back into the creation circle.” Dr. Mousavi Jashni continued his lecture by talking extensively about Gandhi’s personality and how different experiences in his life and his readings of Hinduism and his obedience and disobedience of Hindu teachings turned him into Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the Indian independence movement. He concluded his lecture by remembering an incident where Gandhi was supposed to speak in front of a large audience, “He was shy. He could not speak a word as he began to tremble. This shy personality who was afraid of darkness, loneliness, and snakes during his childhood, passes through crises and strengthens his ideological foundations to achieve a maturity in his midlife that turns him into a great leader.”

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