` Friends of Tibet: People's Movement for an Independent Tibet

Tushar Gandhi Kochi Lectures (July 17, 2019)
Report: Dr Appu Jacob John & Yeldtho T Mathew
Photography: OPK & Friends of Tibet

Tushar Gandhi at St Alberts College (July 17, 2019)

DOWNLOAD: Tushar Gandhi Profile (Malayalam & English) | Reports


DEPARTMENT of English, St Albert's College (Autonomous), Ernakulam in association with Friends of Tibet organised a talk by Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of the Mahatma and Kasturba Gandhi at the Milano Hall, St Albert's College (Autonomous), Ernakulam on July 17, 2019.

Tushar Gandhi spoke on the topic 'Students and Education: A Beacon of Hope for Future India in the Post Truth/Post Human Age'. The session was inaugurated by Dr ML Joseph, Principal of the College and was presided over by Dr Appu Jacob John, Head of the English Department, St Albert's College (Autonomous), Ernakulam. The meeting was attended by around hundred students of the UG and PG programmes of the department. The programme was anchored by the II MA students.

Tushar Gandhi reminded the students about the purpose of education. "We gain education since we have a goal - a goal for future. But the current educational system has indoctrinated us to such levels that education itself has made it into materials of propaganda. We have to overcome it by educating ourselves by reading and understanding multiple materials around us" he said. Tushar Gandhi traced his own life experience as he was able to overcome the problems of formal education; was able to read across many books from his institution library and was able to gather great knowledge through it. He said as a student, he wanted to read across many of the library books during many days of his education and was able to gather the world of knowledge and was able to express freely on any of the subject. The students to participated actively in the discussion that followed.

Dr Appu Jacob John, welcomed and Jose Babu, Course Coordinator (PG) thanked the gathering.

Tushar Gandhi at St Alberts College (July 17, 2019)


Tushar Gandhi at St Teresa's College (July 17, 2019)

Tushar Gandhi at St Teresa's College (July 17, 2019)

DEPARTMENT of Economics, St Teresa's Girls College, Ernakulam in association with Friends of Tibet organised a talk by Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of the Mahatma and Kasturba Gandhi at the Milano Hall, St Albert's College (Autonomous), Ernakulam on July 17, 2019. Tushar Gandhi spoke on the topic 'Relevance of Gandhian Ideologies in Contemporary Economy and Society' which was attended by thousands of students from the College.


Tushar Gandhi at OPK Evening Cafe (July 17, 2019)

ORU Pazhampori Katha (OPK) is a modest evening tea-n-snacks joint situated near Cochin University, Kerala, small in size but enormous in terms of the kind of people who frequent there. On July 17, 2019, Friends of Tibet in association with OPK organised a 'Chai pe Charcha' with Tushar Gandhi, the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and Katurba Gandhi. He was in his best informal mood while he visited OPK. A small group of students and journalists were assembled to listen and to question. Tushar Gandhi threw a question to the youngsters: "What is your concern regarding the future of India and how far your ideal India matches with the present?"

One of the young students felt that the India he thought of is long gone. Inequality reigns; unemployment is mounting; guiding philosophy of the wonder we call India is pushed to oblivion; feel betrayed. If he was pessimistic, there were other students who felt that the India cannot be completely decimated.

Tushar Gandhi went on: Whole world is witnessing a rise of intolerance and puritanism. India survived as a wonderful, multi-coloured and multi fabric tapestry. Any effort to assign a monolithic type of identity will definitely be unfortunate and un-Indian. The youngsters should not fall prey to the propaganda. For example, a vile propaganda is unleashed against the state of Kerala. Now it is being portrayed only a place of beef-eaters. This portrayal has to be conscious and deliberate because what all actually Kerala represents (highest education; lowest child mortality; highest female-male sex ratio; highest health and longevity index; etc.) are conveniently ignored and the negative campaign continues unabated.

This is a continuum of propaganda of hate enacted at several places in several states in the country. Thoughts are being manipulated through social media. Even the very educational system, rather than being a means of liberation is corrupting young minds. Corruption of minds if far more serious than corruption involving money, as it will change the very nation-scape. Ideological polities are in the vanishing. Were the recent political developments in the states like Goa and Karnataka, driven by ideologies?

To another question, he said that walking alone is no longer an option. We no longer have such leaders as we had during the independence movement, whose charisma alone was enough to move people. Citing example of the farmers' movement in Maharashtra, he said that there has to be a strong unifying thread binding the people together for any leader to lead and for any movement to succeed.

Hope is on the youth. They have to take charge. Ideologically driven personalities might open a window wherefrom the light pops out. It is for the youth to absorb this light and internalise the ideologies to fuel their movement.

To a question whether we should be returning to Gandhi, he said, returning to Gandhi in absolute sense is almost impossible. However, as Gandhiji termed himself, one can be an anarchist in the sense of breaking down existing debilitating and fragmenting thoughts and rebuilding unifying concepts and a unified society. One can start by adopting the soft and practical aspects of Gandhiji and move on. Even if one could travel only a small stretch along this path, it will be great.

Tushar Arun Gandhi (born 17 January 1960) is the son of journalist Arun Manilal Gandhi, grandson of Manilal Gandhi and great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.

Born on a train between Mumbai and Kolkata, Tushar Gandhi was raised in Mumbai. He studied at Adarsh Vinay Mandir, a local Gujarati-medium school. He holds a diploma in printing from the Government Institute of Printing Technology, Mumbai. He is best known for having established in 1998 in Vadodara, Gujarat the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation. It is now located in Mumbai (and he is still its President). Since 1996 he has served as President of the Lok Seva Trust, an NGO which a nephew of Mahatma Gandhi had establish in central Bombay in the mid-1950s for the welfare to textile-mill labourers. In 2000, Tushar Gandhi portrayed himself in a fictional Bollywood movie directed by Kamal Hassan, "Hey Ram," and in 2009 he did likewise in a semi-fictional movie, "Road to Sangam," based on an episode in his own life. A nonfiction book by him, Let's Kill Gandhi, was published in 2007 and became for a few weeks a best seller in India. In 2008 he was appointed Chairman of the Australian Indian Rural Development Foundation (AIRDF). In March 2005, he led the 75th anniversary re-enactment of the Dandi March. From 2007 to 2012, he was the Goodwill Ambassador of the CISRI-ISP Intergovernmental Institution for the use of Micro-algae Spirulina Against Malnutrition. In 2018 he played a significant role in petitioning successfully the Supreme Court of India to direct the states and Union Territories to comply with its orders to curb cow-vigilante lynch mobs. In 2019 Tushar Gandhi became a Director of the Gandhi Research Foundation in Jalgaon, Maharashtra.

Gandhi lives in Mumbai with his wife, Sonal Desai and two children, a son Vivan Gandhi and daughter Kasturi Gandhi. Kasturi was so named after Kasturba Gandhi.

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