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Indo-Japan Joint Symposium to commemorate the Centennial of Gandhi’s Satyagraha

On April 3, 2007, Indian Committee for Gandhi Studies and the Institute of Oriental Philosophy (IOP) cosponsored the symposium “Satyagraha and Declaration on Abolition of Nuclear Weapons” at the IOP.

The term “Satyagraha,” known as nonviolent resistance, was coined by Mahatma Gandhi. He deployed Satyagraha during his earlier struggle in South Africa for Indian rights. Gandhi was 24 when he arrived in South Africa and employed as a lawyer. However, he faced the discrimination directed at all colored people. On September 11, 1906, a mass protest meeting was held in Johannesburg. Gandhi spoke in front of 3,000 people and adopted his methodology of Satyagraha, non-violent protest, for the first time. Gandhi defined Satyagraha as devotion to the truth. This idea was successful in the Indian independence movement and it influenced the civil rights movement in the United States.
The symposium“Satyagraha and Declaration on Abolition of Nuclear Weapons” was held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Satyagraha movement and also the 50th anniversary of president Toda’s call for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
At the symposium, N. Radhakrishnan, Chairman of the Indian Council of Gandhian Studies presented a lecture and three representatives from the IOP gave presentations. IOP Research Fellow Mikio Matsuoka spoke on the connection between Gandhi and Toda. IOP Director Yoichi Kawada presented a paper on the “Declaration of the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons and the Power of Spirit” and IOP Senior Research Fellow Toshie Kurihara offered a perspective on struggle of women in India and Japan.

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