PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Rajmohan Gandhi, a biographer, leading public intellectual and humanitarian, and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, will deliver a lecture at Brown University on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009. His talk, titled “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi,” will explore King and Gandhi’s historical and philosophical roots, their similarities and differences, and their “embrace across time and distance.” This event, presented as part of Brown’s Year of India initiative, begins at 5 p.m. in the Salomon Center for Teaching, De Ciccio Family Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.
Gandhi is currently a research professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has written widely on the Indian independence movement and its leaders, India-Pakistani relations, human rights, and conflict resolution. He has also written major biographies of his grandfathers, including a comprehensive biography of Mahatma Gandhi. Published in 2006, Mohandas: A True Story of a Man, His People and an Empire was chosen for the prestigious National Biennial Barpujari Prize of the Indian History Congress, given once in two years for an outstanding work of history. His other publications include a biography of Indian freedom fighter and statesman Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and Eight Lives: A Study of the Hindu-Muslim Encounter.
His research interests include the history and current state of South Asia, Hindu-Muslim and India-Pakistan relations, and ethnic tensions and their resolution. He has held appointments as visiting professor in the United States and Japan and received honorary degrees from universities in Canada, Japan and the Kyrgyz Republic. Gandhi also served as a member of the Upper House of India's Parliament and led the Indian government delegation to the U.N. Human Rights Commission annual meeting in Geneva.
For the last several decades, Gandhi has been actively involved with Initiatives of Change (IofC), a nongovernmental organization working for trust and reconciliation. In 2009 he was elected President of IofC-International.
The Year of India
Throughout the 2009-2010 academic year, Brown is hosting a series of events to advance understanding of India’s people, culture, economy, and politics, and their growing impact around the world. The Year of India lineup includes major public lectures, art exhibitions, academic conferences, and other explorations of India’s dramatic rise on the global stage. Upcoming events include a literary festival featuring Jhumpa Lahiri, Suketu Mehta, and Rana Dasgupta, and lectures by Infosys founder Narayan Murthy; Ela Bhatt, founder of India’s Self-Employed Women’s Association; and Rachel Dwyer, a leading scholar of Bollywood cinema.
The Year of India initiative is the latest in a series of Brown University programming focusing on international issues and research. The 2007-08 academic year featured events and programs related to Latin America, followed by a Focus on Africa series in 2008-09.
For more information and a complete list of events, visit brown.edu/india.