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‘A searchlight to understanding violence'

Special Correspondent

National seminar on 'conflict and Gandhian perspectives' held at GITAM University

VISAKHAPATNAM: Gandhiji's thought is a searchlight to find insights into understanding the phenomena of violence and its ugliest current incarnation as terror politics, observed the chairman of Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR) Chairman K. Rama Krishna Rao.

Participating in a National seminar at GITAM University on ‘Current Scenes of Conflict -- Gandhian Perspectives for Resolution” on Saturday, he elaborated Gandhiji's philosophy and said that Gandhiji saw violence in thought as well as in action, in economic exploitation and social injustice, and in all forms of discrimination and exclusiveness. In Gandhiji's view, any act or thought that is conflict-prone is an instance of violence and non-violence on the contrary is conflict-containing and not conflict-generating. Violence breeds more violence in a never-ending cycle of conflict and Gandhiji's moral stance makes violence in all its forms a vice to be avoided and non-violence a virtue to be cultivated.

Prof. Rao pointed out that the current conflicts that the country was convulsing from as well as the global unrest were conflicts largely due to identity crises precipitated by the fast moving events that had overtaken human resources to absorb and adapt to them. The growth of science and technology, democratization in the last century and globalization and communication revolution in the present are some of the rapid changes that our societies are unable to digest and adjust. Individuals are lost in the complex maze of competing structures; and communities have become amorphous facing a crisis of identity.

While participating in the discussions on present Andhra-Telangana issue, Center for Policy Studies Director A. Prasanna Kumar, former MLA K. Haribabu, former Vice-Chancellor of Acharya Nagarjuna University C.V. Raghavulu and former Minister Bhattam Sriramamurthi briefed about the root-level problems and historical backgrounds. They observed that political parties were the main vehicles for democratic accountability and they linked the state and civil society, could influence the executive and formulate public policy. But political parties in India were often weak which decreased democratic competition and representation. The speakers felt that social unrest in the country was only due to political opportunism.

Seminar conveners K. Ashok and Sonali Bhatt Marwaha participated in the discussions .

The three day national seminar would discuss the issues such as Andhra-Telangana issue, Gandhian perspective to resolving this issue, Naxal movement, conflict solution, case studies of identity conflict in Jammu and Kashmir and conflicts in north east India.

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