Mahatma Gandhi Center for Peace Studies

Vision & Mission

The Mahatma Gandhi Center for Peace Studies is an integral part of the Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU). JGU is a leading academic organization dedicated to promoting the philosophy of nonviolence and advancing peace studies nationally and globally.  The Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Peace Studies is committed towards enhancing research and developing knowledge in relation to all aspects of nonviolence and peace. The center conducts research and teaching that targets the reduction of violence in our world. It does so by developing the principles and practices of Gandhian nonviolence and by providing profound knowledge and understanding of the history and theory of nonviolence to students, scholars and all those who can positively contribute to spreading peace in the world. With the aim of establishing a value based research institute with global ambitions and capabilities, the Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Peace Studies will strive to promote interdisciplinary studies in broad areas like conflictology, cultures of peace, mediation, and management of peace among others. The center hopes to build a global culture of peace in a world plagued by excessive violence.  

Objectives

  • To expand and strengthen the links between practitioners of nonviolence and reserachers from prestigious universities.
  • To establish contacts and collaborate with peace research institutes from different countries around the world.
  • To train students, civic actors and political and economic decision makers in all applications of nonviolence and peace (social, political, international, armed conflicts and corporate life).
  • To facilitates internships, conferences and seminars and the development of research programs on the subject matter
  • To bring together the largest network of people working to promote peace in today’s world.

Students for Peace:

Students will initiate and contribute to, both theoretical and practical endeavors towards a more peaceful society: They take concrete steps to instill their own education with the ideals of peace, by:

  • Encouraging their university/school to introduce courses primarily concerned with or related to peace.
  • Demanding that the university/school invite people working towards peace to address them and their fellow students, in order to initiate and nurture a university wide discourse on Peace.
  • They organize and participate in workshops, organized at local and international levels, on themes related to peace, generating empathy and mutual understanding.
  • They take ownership of the society around them, as they discourage violence and promote peace in creative ways, which may include – street plays, organization of workshops, using peaceful means of protest for any cause they pursue, practicing and promoting peace among fellow students using both explicit actions and subliminal promotion of peace in their everyday lives.
  • They undertake research and scholarship within areas of peace, including conflictology, cultures of peace, mediation, and management of peace among others.

These non-exhaustive steps along with a strong conviction and the motto –“Do Not Touch Peace” will allow SFP to re-ignite the dream and aspiration of living in a peaceful society. SFP is determined to work with passion and vigor to realize Gandhi’s vision of bringing peace and education into a mutually interacting and empowering relation and herding culture out of its, present, violent rut

Upcoming Events

The centre hopes to continue organizing events as laid down above. Many workshops ad projects are in the pipeline. To name a few:

  • Schooling Non-Violence: This project entails the creation of manuals/comics/skit scripts for primary school students. It aims at instilling the importance of Peace and Non-violence among school going students. We plan to begin with Government Schools in Haryana.  The project will involve JGU students researching on some of the great Indian thinkers who have written and worked on non-violence (including Gandhi). We will then convert this research into creative comic books or skit scripts with the help of the creativity of our volunteer students and faculty coordinators. These scripts/comics will be presented to the Education authorities (starting with Haryana).  This project does not only offer JGU students to an opportunity to become well versed with the ideas of great Indian thinkers in the areas of non-violence and peace but potentially will impact the lives of many school students across Haryana and India.
  • Workshop #3 Gandhian Solutions to Contemporary Violent Conflicts : September 2019
  • The Fourth Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture: October 2019
  • Conferences on Indian Philosophers including Tagore and Ambedkar.
  • Many Students for Peace Events, envisioned and organized by the  student community.

Past Events/ Achievements

 

The First Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture: 2nd October 2016



The First Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture was also the launch of the Centre. The Key Note Address was delivered by Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar, Former Member of Parliament. The Inaugural address was delivered by Prof. Ramin Jahanbegloo (Addendum 1), Executive Director of the Center. The audience was also addressed by our Vice Chancellor, Prof. (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar. The lecture was unique as it opened with Bhanjans which created an inimitable ambiance. The Key note address changed the perception of many a people and transposed Gandhi’s image from that of a Mahatma to that of a relatable human being who was fallible and yet charismatic and extremely innovative and influential. It opened the doors for many a people to dream bigger and set higher goals.

Conference: ‘From Revenge to Forgiveness”: 9th March, 2017



The Conference on the theme – From Revenge to Forgiveness was organized in association with the India International Center. It was enlightening and innovative. Breaking the monotony, it included sessions on Literature, Religion and Politics. It gave a platform to young researchers, alongside seasoned scholars. The discussions were lively and the binary of revenge and forgiveness was complicated by asking questions such as “Could Forgiveness be a type of Revenge?” The Conference ended on a poetic note, where Mr. Ashok Vajpayee created space where multiple realities could co-exist.  

Students for Peace : A Social Movement with Global Potentials

The Center has conceptualized a social movement promoting non-violence and Peace that integrates students into the Polis such that they may drive change within and without. The center created a pamphlet explaining the said movement (attached as Addendum 2). As the first step to realize this aspiration, the Center has organized a three-day Workshop on Peace and Non-violence. Scheduled for April (14th – 16th) at the JGU campus.

Workshop #1: 14-16 April 2017

 

The workshop witnessed students from various nations (including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, India and Mozambique) grapple with complicated issues and political realities. The students experienced the complications first hand as they were put into simulations that represented, present-day violent conflicts. The Workshop also awarded students with the most innovative peace models and provided them a platform to implement their ideas of peace.

Workshop #2 Paths to Peace: 24th – 26th May 2017

This workshop was organized in collaboration with the EAFIT University in Colombia. It took place in Medellin Colombia with student volunteers, corporate heads, government actors etc. It made a huge influence the university as they established their own wing of Students for Peace ‘Estudiantes por la Paz’. The students are creating cross border friendships. They may embark on collaborative projects in the future.

The Second Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture: 2nd October 2017



Mr. Sudhir Chandra delivered this lecture. He spoke on the theme – “Education for Non-Violence, Reflections of a Historian”. The event was followed by a small art exhibition where art on the theme contributed by student volunteers was displayed. This was organized at the JGU campus. This event was also the commencement of the Research Project “Schooling Non-Violence”.

Conference: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the American Civil Rights Movement: 50 Years Later

The Conference saw a wonderful collection of work on Martin Luther King’s thoughts, his contemporary relevance and the applicability of his work within and intersection with various fields including Constitutionalism, Religion, Leadership, Values etc. This Key Note address was delivered by Mr. Michael Hayes (CIU Chief, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi). It was organized in collaboration with the Jindal School of International Affairs and the India International Centre (IIC). It was held at the IIC, Delhi.

The Third Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture: Book Launch – The Disobedient Indian: 1st October 2018

This event was organized in collaboration with The Raza Foundation at the India International Centre (Annexe). It was constituted by a  round-table on “Gandhi and Dissent” where many including Mr. Ashok Vajpayee and Mr. Ashis Nandy spoke on the themes addressed in the book. Students and faculty members from JGU alike attended the event. 

Conference: Simone De Beauvoir – From Existentialism to Feminism: 26th October 2018

This daylong event commemorated the 70th Anniversary of Simone De Beauvoir’s seminal book – The Second Sex. It was organized in collaboration with Apne Aap and Alliance Française (AF). It was held at the M.L. Bhartia Auditorium, New Delhi. Four thematic panels constituted the conference and Ms. Urvashi Butalia delivered the keynote address.

Conference: Isaiah Berlin – A Beautiful Mind: 1st March 2019

This day long conference commemorated the  beautiful nuances of thought Prof. Berlin introduced.His work, initially pure philosophy, then branched out into the ‘History of Ideas’ and Political Sciences. His engagements with India, especially Tagore were highlighted during the conference. The event brought together many wonderful minds.

Conference: Gandhi in and On Election: 1st May 2019



This half-day event was organized with the Students for Peace taking the lead in organization and planning. The event comprised of an intriguing discussion on Gandhi’s take on the democratic electoral process, philosophical and otherwise. It was then followed by a discussion about his potential views on the current election. The Panel comprised of our Executive Dirctor – Dr. Ramin Jahanbegloo, out Research Fellow, Mr. P.A. Purohit and Mr. Peerzada Rouf, a Kashmiri faculty member at JGLS, who had intriguing views on the topic. Thereafter, first year students engaged in an exciting parliamentary debate on whether Gandhi would transform the current Indian system into a village based democracy, as envisiouned in Hind Swaraj.

Conference: The Intellectual Geography of Albert Camus: 3rd May 2019

This daylong event was about reading into the life and the work of Albert Camus. His philosophy and ways were discussed in depth and his unique methods were analyzed.

The enquiries into the works of various philosophers and activists helps the Centre stay positive towards its mission. The people ‘in focus’, help serve as inspiration, and their ideas encourage people from all walks of life to engage in social innovation. It motivates us all to create the society these “gadflies” would dream up and helps students develop new visions of the world they live in.