» Report on International Webinar

Mahatma Gandhi once said "If we want to reach real peace in this world, we should start educating children".

Celebrating the 152nd birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, GSC organized a cultural programme and an International Webinar on 1st October, 2021 on the topic 'Remembering Gandhi in the 75th year of independence'. The programme began on a melodious note with Baapu's favorite bhajan 'Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram' and was followed by a declamation video which mainly comprised of Gandhiji's thoughts and sayings articulated by students of GSC.

For the International Webinar the convener of the study circle Dr. Natasha Nongbri, introduced the two prolific speakers of the program, Akeel Bilgrami, Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University and Professor Anand Kumar (Retd.) from Jawaharlal Nehru University. The session was moderated by Dr. Saumya Gupta, Associate Professor, Department of History, Janki Devi Memorial College.

Prof. Anand Kumar briefly explained the journey of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi becoming Mahatma Gandhi, he mentioned how Gandhiji was a part of the narrative of Independence, a pioneer of Swaraj and its vociferous critic as well. He also laid emphasis on Gandhiji's "Sarwa Dharma Sambhav" ideology and how Gandhiji considered purity as the soul of salvation. After discussing the pre modern era debates, Prof concluded by explaining the three categories of people who remember Gandhi.

Prof Akeel Bilgrami highlighted the difference between the western ideas of Secularisation and secularism and the sentiment of Mukti-cultural pluralism that existed in India. He talked about why Gandhi started talking about secularism somewhere in 1940s. Prof. explained the importance of nation-state being together and also the feeling of nationalism among people. He also drew the link between Gandhiji and secularism.

The session was followed by a lively question and answer session.

The programme ended with a vote of thanks by the president of the society to the honourable speakers, principal, teachers and students for making the webinar a successful as well as fruitful event followed by the national anthem which concluded the event.



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Report of SeminarC

'Gandhi in His Times and Ours', October4, 2019

As part of the Distinguished Speaker Series commemorating the Diamond Jubliee of the JDMC, and celebrating the 150th year of the Mahatma, Gandhi Study Circle and theHistory Department of Janki Devi Memorial College organized a day long Seminar on the theme 'Gandhi in His Times and Ours', on October4,2019. Renowned historian and scholar, Prof. Sudhir Chandra gave the keynote address, which was followed by the two panel discussions. The first panel was on the theme Remembering Gandhi, Forgetting Gandhi, with Prof. AlokRai and Prof. Shahid Amin as panelists. The second post-lunch panel was on the theme Gandhi's Philosophy in Practice, with Dr. NishikantKolge and Dr. RinkuLamba as panelists.

The seminar was inaugurated with the planting of saplings by Professor Sudhir Chandra, Prof. AlokRai and Prof. Shahid Amin. Thereafter, Dr. Saumya Gupta addressed the gathering on behalf of the Gandhi Study Circle. In her Introductory remarks Dr. Saumya Guptastressed upon how Gandhi Jayanti should be a time for introspection rather than ostentatious celebration. She spoke aboutthe pressing need to remember and engage with Gandhi and his philosophy, especially his insistence on truth in our present world dominated by fake news. Dr. Swati Pal, Principal, Janki Devi Memorial College also addressed the gathering and spoke about the close association of our founder ShriBrijKrishanChandiwalla (Bhaiji) with Gandhiji and his philosophy of selfless service, that forms the bedrock of the foundation of Janki Devi Memorial College. The Teacher-in-Charge of the History DepartmentMs. Natasha Nongbri addressed the gathering on behalf of the History Department and introduced the keynote speaker.

Professor Sudhir Chandra gave an enthralling keynote speech at the occasion. He spoke at length on the deep connection between Gandhiji and Bhaiji, on the importance of mother tongue and the importance of Gandhi in the present times, whetherit be with reference to the crisis of non- violence or the crisis of environment. Prof Chandra noted the myriad divisions and untruths prevalent in independent India that grieved Gandhi during his lifetime and would definitely have saddened him if he had lived longer. The keynote speaker was so well received that the jam-packed hall echoed with a long round of applause in response to the address by Prof. Chandra.

After a break for tea, the session opened with Professor AlokRai, who spoke about the idea of Hindustan and how it became a Hindi-land. He referred to Gandhi with reference to his propagation of Hindustani over Hindi language. The next in line of the distinguished speakers was ProfessorShahid Amin who spoke of Gandhi in the context of his close relations with the peasants. He touched upon hitherto unpublished anecdotes and testimonies of indigo peasants collected by Gandhi during the 1917 Champaran Satyagraha. Thus between them the three speakers touched upon various facet of Gandhi's life, work and philosophy from his emergence as an all India leader in 1917 to his brutal murder in 1948.

Dr. Saumya Gupta chaired the post lunch session and introduced the last two distinguished speakers, Dr. NishikantKolge and Dr. RinkuLamba. Dr. NishikantKolge'stalk delved upon Gandhi as a pragmatic tactician, a politician for whom the practical application of his ideaswas as important as their moral and philosophical considerations. He showed how Gandhi utilized the idea of non-violence not only as a spiritual belief but also as a strategyduring the freedom struggle. Dr. RinkuLambaspoke on a rather interesting and new aspect of Gandhi's understanding of religion and politics through the prism of Kabir and the Bhakti movement. She noted that both Kabir and Gandhi, removed as they are in time and space, believe in persuasion and democratic discussion between opposing views. The program ended with a vote of thanks by Dr. SandhyaGarg, member of the Distinguished Lecture SeriesCommittee and by Dr. ManishaAgnihotri on behalf History Department, JDMC.




EVENTS

Since its inception, the society has conducted various workshops and competitions in the college.

Workshops for Prose, Poetry, Fiction, Journalism and Script-Writing see a huge number of interested candidates from within and outside the Creative Writing Society. Workshops by Esteemed literary figures like Akhil Katyal, Anannya Dasgupta and more have helped students understand the nuances behind good writing.

The society in collaboration with The Department of English organised a one-day international conference, titled Poetic Montage: Indian Poetic Traditions and the Emerging Subject/Citizen, on 2nd March 2017. Purushottam Agarwal, Vishwanath Tripathi, Ajmal Kamal, Uday Prakash and Michael Creighton were the speakers at the event. The conference had panel discussions about how poetry has been a major source of history. The event also saw students performing their pieces at the end .

The society conducted Intra-College Freshers' Creative Writing in 2016 and 2018, which had a huge turnout. Apart from that, the society also collaborates with the Department of English in organising The Atul Krishna Binodini Creative Writing Competition every year.

 


For the past two years, Iridescent has also hosted the Writers' Festival in collaboration with The Department of English and Logos: The English Literary Society of JDMC. The event has a unique format where a panel discussion takes place, followed by Individual workshops with the panelists about the genres they specialise in. The one-to-one discussions help aspiring writers to enhance their knowledge about writing.

 

Janki

Iridescent also contributes extensively for the Annual college magazine, Janki. It has submissions for various genres, from every department in the college. The Magazine consists of sections on poetry, fiction, non-fiction, satire and the like. It is a Trilingual magazine with Sanskrit and Hindi sections in it. Lumeire: The Film and Photography Society of JDMC works on a photo essay for the magazine. The Maths Department also has a section where they put forward the discipline in a way that it is understood by all. Iridescent is responsible for curating the English section of the magazine and compiling the whole, along with the design team of Lumeire, to craft the annual magazine of JDMC.



Society Meetings

The members of the society meet regularly and discuss literary works that inspire them. They also hold short writing and reading sessions to showcase their work amongst each other. It allows them to foster a community that is conducive for individuality and growth in writing.