Gandhi Study Circle, JDMC

Gandhi Study Circle JDMC
Dr. Saumya Gupta (Department of History)
Dr. Ruchi Shree (Department of Political Science
Dr. KhurshidAlam(Department of History)


Annual Report (2017-18)

Gandhi Study Circle (JDMC)

Convenors - Dr. Saumya Gupta, Dr. Ruchi Shree and Dr. Khurshid Alam

In the academic year 2017-18, the GSC (JDMC) inaugurated its short-term course titledPeace and Conflict Studiesby organizing a workshop on Peace and Conflict Resolution: AN Introductionon 13th September. Prof. Kaushikee from the Nelson Mandela Centre of Jamia Millia Islamia University familiarized the students with the twin concepts of ‘peace’ and ‘conflict’. Though, the concepts were available and being used in ancient times by Buddha, Mahavir, Aristotle but Peace and Conflict as a discipline is a 20th century development. While stressing on inevitability of conflicts for social transformation, she talked about its dimensions viz. conflict resolution, conflict management, etc.

A lecture on Martin Buber and Gandhi: Dialogue as a mode of Conflict Resolution by Ms Swaha Das from Indraprastha College (DU) was organized on 18th September. She traced the roots of Israel-Palestine Conflict and the debate between Buber and Gandhi on separate homeland for the Jewish. Both of them stood for harmonious living and considered dialogue as a very important mechanism. While Gandhi stood for unconditional non-violence and appealed to the Jews to use Satyagraha to persuade the Arabs, Buber felt that if non-violence does not work in certain circumstances then use of violence should be allowed. The intention is important and should be taken into consideration. Buber’s philosophy of I and Thou is about relationship based on openness and ethical engagement.

On 10th November, Dr. Rakesh Pandey from CSDS delivered a lecture on Gandhi’s Ethics of Speech: Prayer as Inner Dialogue. He started with the renewed interest in Gandhi among the scholars of different disciplines of social sciences. He talked about Gandhi as a legacy/heritage, its contemporary relevance, Gandhi as an idea rather than merely as a person. Gandhi’s use of prayer as a means for transformation is so significant. The act of congregational prayer was not so much a devotional act in strict sense but the act of cleansing. To Gandhi, prayer needs no speech, not even a language but some kind of an inner voice prompting from within.

As part of college annual fest SYMPHONY, 2018, the GSC collaborated with Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA). Ekta Organics, a co-operative of SEWA had set up a stall to sell the organic products such as rajma, haldi(turmeric), malta, lemon, etc. produced by the women farmers of Uttarakhand.On 30th Jan, 2018, we organized an excursion trip for the students to Gandhi Peace Foundation (GPF) to attend Hamid Ansari’s lecture on Who was Gandhi on the Martyrs’ Day. Few students also joined the walk to Rajghat after the lecture. On 2nd Feb, 2018, Dr. Rityusha Mani Tiwary delivered a lecture on Dynamics of Peace. She familiarized the students with the ideas of renowned peace theorists viz. Johan Galtung and Joh Burton.

On 5th Feb, 2018, two representatives of the MCKS-Food for the Hungry Foundation visited the college. They conducted interviews of the students and agreed to give 100 percent scholarship to 22 girls for the academic year 2017-18. It is part of the social outreach programme of the GSC. Next month, GSC is planning to organize a day-long seminar on Peace and Conflict Studies.

Dr. Rakesh Sinha from CSDS for a lecture on Gandhi’s Ethics of Speech: Prayer as Inner Dialogueon 10th November, 2017.

GSC Poster for the event

Ms. Swaha Das from IP College for a lecture on Dialogue as a Mode of Conflict Resolution: Martin Buber and Gandhi, on 18th September, 2017

Prof. Kaushikee (Nelson Mandela Centre, Jamia) to speak on Peace and Conflict: An Introductionon 13th September, 2017

On 30th Jan, 2018, the GSC (JDMC) girls joined the March to Rajghat

5th Feb, 2018, MCKS Representatives at JDMC to conduct interviews for scholarship

2nd Feb, 2018, Dr. Rityusha Tiwary (Shaheed Bhagat Singh college, DU) delivering a lecture on Dynamics of Peace

The basis of Gandhian philosophy is the idea of freedom, a critique of established power structures and welfare of every member of society through non-violent speech and action. The Gandhi Study Circle JDMC is a decade old co-curricular society in JDMC that strives to popularise Gandhian values in contemporary times, through pedagogy, social outreach and promotion of Gandhian values.

The three major thrust areas of activities undertaken by Gandhi Study Circle -JDMC viz. Peace and Conflict Studies Course, the Free Meal and Scholarship initiative, and Talks and Discussions onContemporary Issues - continue to be guided by Gandhi’s advocacy of peaceful co-existence among nations and peoples on equal footing, his insistence on social service, and his confidence in the creativity and openness of the people of India.

The GSC-JDMC launched a re-designed Certificate Course on Peace and Conflict Studiesin 2017. As re-envisioned by the GSC Convenors, Dr. Saumya Gupta and Dr. Ruchishree, the course specifically addresses alternative approaches to conflict resolution and transnational communication, and will benefit students hopeful of pursuing development and peace studies as a future career option. The Course is open to students from different disciplinary backgroundsfor a nominal fee. It includes 30 hours of instruction and participation. Lectures and workshops wereconducted by eminent scholars and activists.The students are also provided with a Reader (a compilation of articles) on the subject. The Gandhi Study Circle –JDMC awards a certificate to the students enrolled in this course on the basis of a Research Paper and presentation at the end.

The GSC-JDMC is pleased to announce that the Peace Research Institute, Oslo, one of the premier institutions engaged in Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies in the world, has sponsored one student enrolled in the GSC-JDMC Peace and Conflict Studies Course for the prestigious International Summer School,at the University of Oslo, Norwayfrom June 24 - August 4 2017. Ms.Pratyasha Ghosh, has received full funding for this trip, including international travel, accommodation on campus, full fee waiver, and a stipend.

In collaboration with the NGO MKCS-Food for Hungry Foundation, The GSC-JDMC facilitated one free meal a day to 25 students and scholarship to 30 deserving and needy students. The GSC received around 100 applications across departments for these initiatives, and students were shortlisted on the basis of merit and means by GSC convenors. Mr. NavneetGaliyanfrom the MKCS Foundation visited the college on 16th September, 2016 to interact with students to make the final selection.

The following Lectures, Seminars, and Talks inspired by Gandhian thought and praxis were organized by the GSC-JDMC in 2016-17:

    • Prof. Vinay Srivastava (Head, Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi) delivered the first lecture on Gandhian View on Human Nature and Conflicton 7th September, 2016.
    • A Workshop on Concept of Conflictwas held on 23rd September, 2016 by Dr. Kaushiki from Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, JamiaMillia University, New Delhi.
    • To celebrate Gandhi Jayanti on 30th September, 2016 Prof Avijit Pathak (Professor, CSSS, JNU) delivered a lecture on From Experiments to Swaraj: Locating Gandhi in Contemporary Discourses on Civilizationwas held.
    • On 20th October, 2016, a conversation was organizedbetween Prof. Shakti Sinha (Director, NMML) and Dr. Uttam Sinha (Senior Research Fellow, IDSA) on the themeIndo-Pak Relationship: Exploring the Prospects for Peace.
    • On 18th January, 2017, Dr. Uttam Sinha (Senior Research Fellow, IDSA) delivered a lecture on Different Aspects of Peace.
    • On 30th January 2017, the GSC students visited Gandhi Peace Foundation (New Delhi) to attend a lecture on Nature-Farmer-Consumer: Ideas for a Healthy Triangleby Dr. Ramanjaneyulu G. V. (Executive-Director of the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Secunderabad).
    • Dr. Shweta Singh (Assistant Professor, South Asia University)delivered a lecture to the GSC students on Conflict, Peace and Security in South Asia: Critical Explorations on 3rd February, 2017.
    • On 15th Feb, 2017, GSC along with AVANI (the environmental club of the college) screened the TED lecture The Traditional Ingenuity of Water Harvesting by Late Shri Anupam Mishra (Noted Gandhian and Environmentalist). It was followed by a lecture cum interactive session on Jalaur Mal, Raj aurSamajby Sopan Joshi (Journalist and Researcher).