Xavier University, Bhubaneswar organized Conference on “Remembering Mahatma Gandhi: Compassion and Relevance for Our Times”

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Bhubaneswar: The Centre for Humanities and Compassion Studies, Xavier University, Bhubaneswar, organized a National Conference on “Remembering Mahatma Gandhi: Compassion and Relevance for Our Times”, on January 30th & 31st 2018. The conference was inaugurated at the Xavier City campus by the esteemed Major General Chris J Eze (retired), High Commissioner, Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Ashok Das, Vice Chairman, Odisha State Higher Education Council, and Shri S. N. Sahu, Former OSD and Press Secretary to the late President of India, K. R. Narayanan. Prof. Dr. Fr. Paul Fernandes, S.J., Vice Chancellor, Xavier University delivered an insightful welcome address. While addressing the Xavier fraternity, Shri Sahu spoke about the application of the Gandhian worldview in today’s world. Dr. Das, coming from the background of academia, elaborated on how the current education system, including the best of institutions have failed to produce job creators, instead of job seekers. Major General Chris J Eze (retired), High Commissioner, Republic of Nigeria illuminated on the impact of the Mahatma’s teachings and values across the globe, especially in the South African peninsula. Fr. E. A. Augustine, S.J. Registrar, Xavier University, thanked the eminent panel for sharing their thoughts.
As the session ended, the students of XUB engaged in a debate on, “The Relevance of Gandhian Perspective”, especially the “7 Deadly Social Sins”, which was chaired by Dr. Snigdha Pattnaik, Dean, Xavier School of Human Resources and Dr. S. Peppin, Dean, Xavier School of Sustainability Management.
The conference was conducted with the objective of commemorating Gandhiji on his 150th death anniversary in 2019; and included an Indigo Dyeing Workshop by Mr. Brij Ballav Udaiwal, and an enthralling Urdu recitation popularly known as “Dastangoi” on Gandhiji’s Sabarmati Experience, by Mr. Ankit Chadhha and Mr. Vedanth Bharadwaj.
The afternoon saw the Honorable Governor of Odisha, Dr. S.C. Jamir, delivering the keynote address of the two-day conference. After being invited to the dais by Prof. Dr. Fr. Paul Fernandes, S.J., Vice Chancellor, Xavier University, the governor spoke of the relevance of the Mahatma in today’s time, stating how his teachings are indestructible as the laws of gravity. Quoting the Mahatma himself, he said, “Hate the sin; love the sinner”. He emphasized on how non-violence is the basic and eternal value; the genesis of humanity, and its progression. He rightfully stressed on the relevance of Gandhiji’s teachings; with globalization on the rise, he quoted the Mahatma again by stating that one cannot divide life into water-tight components. His poignant insights were deeply appreciated by the diverse audience, as reflected in the vote of thanks delivered by Fr. E. A. Augustine, S.J. Registrar, Xavier University.
The technical session on “Satyagraha, Non-Violence and Humane Development” began in the evening. The panelists for the occasion were – Dr. Shiv Viswanathan, Dr. D. Jeevan Kumar and Prof. Rajsekhar Basu.
The evening concluded with a cultural performance on the campus premises. Mr. Pradip Dey regaled the audience with his mastery in Rabindra Sangeet, along with a mesmerizing Odissi recital was performed by Padma Shri Aruna Mohanty and troupe.