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Monday, May 02, 2005

Mahatma Gandhi Visits West High

Mahatma Gandhi
Originally uploaded by Sally Ann.
Last week, Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi of passive resistance fame and believed that all religious paths lead to God, gave lectures about peace and non-violence to West High students and the general public. Gandhi's visit to the area was sponsored by West High Students Against Violence and Discrimination (SAVAD) and Peaceful Gatherings, a local anti-war group.

The questions are:
1.) Why would these two groups raise money, over the course of a year, to bring Gandhi's message to West High students while the US is engaged in military action in Iraq and Afghanistan?
2.) Gandhi's philosophy of passive resistance was formulated from all the great religions of the world. Gandhi's religion was a federation of different religious creeds, theological schools and sectarian faiths that have survived in India from ancient times. Why did the Corning-Painted Post School District allow a religious message in the classroom when anything resembling a Christian message has been banned on school property?
3.) A SAVAD advisor was quoted in The Leader: "Gandhi's message was an important one for students and the community to hear. These kids are looking for answers. They are kind of lost. Gandhi acknowledges the culture of violence we live in. It's a lot easier to be violent than non-violent." Wouldn't parents with sons and daughters who are planning military careers be offended the school district subjected them to an anti-war message?
4.) And wouldn't Gandhi's message been better directed at another audience, preferably one with Osama bin Laden and al-Zarqawi sitting in the bleachers?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone needs evidence that a message of passivity is a wee bit untimely, they need only to observe what subject dominated the same section of the Leader that announced the wonderful Gandhi speech at West.Actually after I finished the piece I flipped to the back page and there was a terrific photo of 204th Bravo co.-from Horseheads marching straight at me.Coudn't Help but be proud of these young guys, especially after reading about their good work for the people of Afganistan.
Anyway, after pondering this picture of these men not long out of school themselves, I had to flip back to a quote I had just read in the other report.Some organizer of this Gandhi thing said, 'These kids are kind of lost, they are looking for answers' Right then I got the feeling that this Gwen Feldman person would not agree with me that a future service in something like the 204th Bravo Co. would provide some answers for the 'kids' she was referring to.
My hope is that the military has as much access to get their message to the 'kids' as someone who speaks for a group of passive poets.

11:18 PM  

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