Gandhi in Today’s Times: AIPF Symposium

ALL India People’s Forum organized a symposium on the topic ‘Gandhi in Today’s Times’ at the Gandhi Peace Foundation on 5 October 2019. The main speakers were renowned economist Prof Arun Kumar, cultural personality Prof Shamsul Islam and writer Subhash Gatade.

Prof Arun Kumar said that Gandhi was a staunch advocate for a decentralized system which he associated with Gram Swarajya. Today the rich who are successful in trade and business are the kings, whereas Gandhi always spoke for the last man and equality through education and trusteeship. Prof Arun Kumar said that today Gandhi is more relevant than ever when the prevailing model of ‘development’ snatches away employment and causes terrible harm to the environment. Today the World Bank policies are such that developed countries are able to avail themselves of green technology whereas developing and undeveloped countries are forced to use e-waste, plastic waste and recycling of polluted technology. Market policy has reduced man to becoming a part in a huge machine and the aim is to increase consumerism and accumulate capital and resources.

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Prof Shamsul Islam said that in today’s fascist times, it is the Communists and not the Gandhians who are coming forward to defend Gandhi. Fascism in India is in the form of Manusmriti-based Brahminism, and it is the need of the hour to fight this Brahminical fascism. Renowned writer Subhash Gatade said that RSS is spreading the lie that the reason for Gandhi’s assassination was that he wanted to give 55 crores to Pakistan, whereas the truth is that there had been 5 attempts on Gandhi’s life in 1935 and earlier when Pakistan was non-existent. He said that Gandhi always stood firm against communalism and for Hindu-Muslim unity. In the present era of mob-lynching, glorification of killers and rapists and jailing of rape victims, this is the time to remember Gandhi and stand like him firm as a rock in support of truth.

The symposium was presided over by AIPF National Councilor Shambhu Saran Shrivastava and conducted by National Convener Girija Pathak, and the cultural team Sangwari team presented revolutionary songs. People associated with political, social and cultural organizations as well as students and intellectuals attended the symposium in large numbers.