University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) Bengaluru students were given the extraordinary opportunity to have a deeply relatable conversation about the impact of Mahatma Gandhi — one of the most revered international figures in history — with the esteemed figure’s great-grandson, Tushar Gandhi. A Mumbai-raised author and influential leader, Tushar Gandhi delivered a special presentation as a guest speaker for the USAC course, Gandhi and Peace Studies.
Tushar Gandhi is the founder-president of the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation, president of Lok Seva Trust and director of the Gandhi Research Foundation, Jalgaon. He organized a re-enactment of the 241-mile-long walk on the 75th anniversary of the Dandi Kooch in 2005, which helped formally declare the path as India’s historic heritage route.
The guest speaker discussed several topics about his great-grandfather, who is often referred to as Bapu. Mahatma Gandhi, is considered the father of India for his internationally esteemed doctrine of ahimsa, which means non-violence. Students learned about his views on racial bias, the relevance of color in India’s caste system, the influence he has on daily life in India and beyond, plus much more.
“I do not agree with the personality of the Mahatma. It is the biggest disservice to Bapu. To put him on a pedestal and say that he is far above our reach. I would rather like him to be remembered as an ordinary human being, who through his striving did extraordinary things. I feel that is more inspiring and challenging as it thrives me more to become like him. So, I see myself as an ordinary descendant of an ordinary person, who attempted to do something extraordinary in his life.”– Tushar Gandhi, great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi
Moderated by USAC India Resident Director Abhishek (“AB”) Bhagwat, the virtual event included students from the University of Alabama, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and University of Nevada, Reno. All listened intently to the speaker and asked several questions.