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Gandhis grandson to speak at Vol State

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Being the grandson of a legendary civil rights leader cannot be easy.

When that civil rights activist is also the spiritual leader of a nation the family tie takes on even more weight. Arun Gandhi shares his unique experiences, and his vision for peace, in an International Speaker event at Volunteer State Community College on Friday, Feb. 13. {mosimage}

Mahatma Gandhi began his fight for justice in South Africa. It is where his civil disobedience methods first came to action. The young lawyer soon took the cause home to India, where he organized the poor, peasants and women, in campaigns to ease poverty and expand human rights.

His grandson, Arun Gandhi, stayed behind in South Africa, struggling with the racism and strife of apartheid. He found himself a target for not only white violence, but also black anger. His parents, worried about constant beatings, moved him to India to be with his grandfather. It was an 18-month visit at one of the most turbulent times in Indian history. Arun Gandhi witnessed the non-violent struggle of Mahatma Gandhi and his followers to end British rule and bring independence for India.

Arun Gandhi moved to the United States later in life and founded the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence. He now speaks to audiences world-wide about how to put non-violent action to practical use. Gandhi is coming to Vol State as part of the TnCIS conference, which is the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies.

“Arun Gandhi’s background and the time he spent with his grandfather give him a unique perspective on international events,” said Dr. John Espey, dean of business at Vol State, who is helping to organize the conference. “His message of non-violence is very appropriate for the times we are in.”

Arun Gandhi will speak in a public event on Friday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m. in the auditorium at Caudill Hall, on the Vol State campus at 1480 Nashville Pike in Gallatin. The event is free and everyone is invited. For more information call (615) 230-3570.

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