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Workshop on Gandhi’s concept on religion
Correspondent Kohima, OCT 14 (NPN):
Published on 15 Oct. 2010 12:09 AM IST
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A one day workshop on Mahatma Gandhi’s concept on religion in a humanistic perspective on the theme “great lives great deed” was held at ATI Kohima, Thursday.
Talks by resource persons from various fields and audio visual show of Mahatma Gandhi were presented to a crowd of students and teachers from ten schools in Kohima.
Resource person for the day Niketu Iralu, a prominent social worker, said the programme on Gandhi and his peace studies was very relevant to the present situation.
Dwelling on Gandhi’s Doctrine of Ends and Means, Iralu said the means of achieving a desired goal must always be good and clean. If it is not, the process will destroy the goal, he said.
He advocated Gandhi’s practice of turning his hurt and humiliation to understanding humiliation of others, and underlined the power in each person to change the society.
While challenging the gathering quoting Gandhi “be the change you want to see in the world”, he further referred to Naga society as a tree in danger and urged students to be more interested in the “health of the tree rather than the fruit of the tree.”
Lecturer of Clark Theological College, Dr. Pangernungba said Gandhian principle of peace was relevant to the present situation of conflict. He asserted that working for peace was an important task and need of the hour.
Dr. Pangernungba highlighted the deep religious foundation of Gandhi in promoting peace in education system.
He underlined the importance of peaceful education system to produce non-violent, holistic persons.
The speaker urged the teaching community to promote non-violence and peace to their students, stating “if peace is not taught to students, someone might teach them about violence.”
He further encouraged students to strive to be peace-loving students by practicing non-violence in their daily activities.
Dr. Venusa Tinyi, joint secretary of Overseas Naga Association, said that religion’s ultimate goal for Gandhi was liberation of the whole range of human life and activity. Gandhi harnessed the authoritative power of religion to address the crisis of life and affect social actions to bring about transformation in life and society, he said.
Dr. Tinyi also pointed that Gandhi, who considered anything that is true to have a religious character, committed to truth his whole life.
The speaker also stated that Gandhi did not allow himself to be challenged by doubts and questions of science or western secular ideas but made use of western ideas to combat the evil forces prevalent amongst the Indian societies, thereby displaying all the positive traits of a universal outlook despite his commitment to Indian nationalism.
Also speaking on Gandhi’s concept of religion, James Swu, EAC Tuensang, said Gandhi’s religion was “religion of truth” that underlies all religions of the world.
Swu stated the concept of truth was important to Gandhi as he believed truth gives identity and direction.
More than structured or rigid doctrine or religion, Swu pointed that Gandhi believed in personal religion applied differently according to historical or social settings.
Dr. Arenla Mollier, Ph. D in Gandhian studies stated Mahatma Gandhi opened a new path for humanity amid religious chaos.
She said Gandhi taught the people on fundamental equality and truth in every religion and advocated that inter-religious dialogue would be conducive to lasting inter-religious harmony.
She also highlighted the essence of religion according to Gandhi that included morality, truth and righteousness.
Quoting Gandhi Mollier said “There is no religion higher than truth and righteousness”.
Earlier, director of ATI, V. Shanshak Shekhar delivered the welcome address. The one day programme was an initiation of the administrative training institute (ATI) Kohima.

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