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Peace and Disarmament

Back to listFeb 28, 2013

SGI-Australia Hosts Lecture by Ela Gandhi

Ela GandhiEla Gandhi delivers her lecture

On February 28, Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, delivered a lecture titled "Human Security and Sustainability" at the SGI-Australia (SGIA) Culture Centre in Sydney. The lecture was based on  SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's 2012 Peace Proposal.

The lecture was attended by some 300 people, including Auburn City Councillor Le Lam and Gambhir Watts, president of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Australia, an organization dedicated to sharing Indian culture and promoting nonviolence in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Gandhi highlighted both the rapid depletion of natural resources and the lack of acknowledgement of this depletion as central issues exacerbating the problems facing humanity. She also stressed the importance of education, noting that it is not something limited to the classroom but that people can learn from their environment wherever they are. 

Ms. Gandhi's message was one of hope in which she encouraged members of the audience to identify the small things that they could do as individuals in their daily lives and in their immediate environment to contribute to "building a peaceful, contented, conserving and compassionate world." She emphasized the importance of perseverance and remaining positive in the pursuit of constructing such a world, even though change takes time.

Following the lecture, the SGIA Blue Sky Choir sang "Great Heart" by South African activist Johnny Clegg, whose music combines African Zulu rhythms with western pop.

A former member of parliament in South Africa, Ms. Gandhi is vice chairperson of the International Centre of Nonviolence (ICON) and was visiting Australia to officially open the Australian chapter of the organization. She is also an honorary president of the World Council of Religions for Peace and a board member of Legal Aid South Africa.

[Adapted from a report from SGI-Australia (SGIA); photo courtesy of SGIA]