Activities

Gandhi International Peace Award

Nonviolence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart and it must be an inseparable part of our being – M. K. Gandhi

2006 Gandhi International Peace Award

Shabana Azmi

The Gandhi International Peace Award was inaugurated in 1998. Recipients have included:

  • 1998 Michael Harbottle, founder of Generals for Peace
  • 1999 Nicholas Gillett, a life-long peace educator
  • 2000 “Jubilee 2000″ founders Martin Dent and Bill Peters
  • 2003 Denis Halliday, former UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Iraq.
  • 2004 Helen Steven and Ellen Moxley, for their work in campaigning against weapons of mass destruction and the arms industry over the past 30 years.
  • 2005 Clive Stafford Smith, human rights lawyer, for his work representing Guantanamo detainees and campaigning against extraordinary rendition.
  • 2006 Shabana Azmi, Indian film actress, social activist and United Nations Population Fund Goodwill Ambassador. The award was for Ms. Azmi’s tireless work over many decades helping the slum dwellers of Mumbai through the organisation Nivara Haak, her activism in championing women’s rights and her passionate opposition to religious fundamentalism.
  • 2007 Media Lens founders David Edwards and David Cromwell. Media Lens is an online, UK-based media watch project, set up in 2001, providing detailed and documented criticism of bias and omissions in the British media.
  • 2008 Rev. Harold Good OBE & Father Alex Reid CSSR, for their work in Northern Ireland as independent witnesses to the disarmament conducted under General John de Chastelain.
  • 2009 The Children’s Legal Centre, for its work in representing young and vulnerable children, especially girls, and in helping to change the legal structures relating to children.
  • 2010 The Parents Circle Family Forum. The PCFF is a grassroots organization of bereaved Palestinians and Israelis, families who have lost loved ones to violence in the conflict. It promotes reconciliation as an alternative to hatred and revenge. Each year they arrange hundreds of dialogue encounters between Israelis and Palestinians, to promote mutual understanding.
  • 2011 Dr Binayak Sen and Bulu Imam ‘for their humanitarian work’ amongst the tribal peoples of India, the Adivasis.
  • 2012 The St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group for their humanitarian work in very difficult circumstances and for bringing people together through that work for the betterment of all.
  • 2013 Jeremy Corbyn in recognition of his consistent efforts over a 30 year Parliamentary career to uphold the Gandhian values of social justice and non‐violence. 

Annual Lecture

I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows and doors to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible – M. K. Gandhi

The Annual Lecture is usually held on or near Gandhi’s birthday, the 2nd October. The chronological list of lecturers together with the titles of their lectures is as follows:

  • 1985 ­ Prof. Johann Galtung, Founder, International Peace Research Institute, Oslo. “Gandhi Today”
  • 1986 ­ Jonathon Porritt, Director, Friends of the Earth. “Gandhi and the Green Movement”
  • 1987 ­ Martin Ennals, Secretary General, Amnesty International. “The International Concept of Human Rights”
  • 1988 ­ Prof. Paul Blau, Austrian Green Party. “The Beginning of an Epoch: Time for the Great Peace Treaty”
  • 1989 A discussion programme was broadcast on Channel 4 instead of a lecture
  • 1990 David (Lord) Ennals, Chair of the Gandhi Foundation, former Cabinet Minister. “Non-violence in International Relations”
  • 1991 ­ Dr L.M. Singhvi, Indian High Commissioner. “Gandhi Today”
  • 1993 The Dalai Lama (Nobel Peace Prize 1984). “Compassion: ­ The Basis of Nonviolence”
  • 1996 ­ Lord Donald Soper. “Total Repudiation of Mass Violence the Only Way to Peace”
  • 1997 ­ Prof. Madhu Dandavate, Delhi. “Gandhi’s Human Touch”
  • 1998 ­ Mairead Maguire, Peace People, Northern Ireland (Nobel Peace Prize 1976). “Building a Culture of Nonviolence”
  • 1999 ­ Bruce Kent, former Chair CND, former President, International Peace Bureau. “Time to Abolish War”
  • 2000 Prof. Adam Curle, Founder, Department of Peace Studies, Bradford University. “Mahatma Gandhi: the Master of Truth”
  • 2001 ­ Dr. Scilla Elworthy, Founder, the Oxford Research Group. “Gandhi’s Legacy: the Vibrancy of Nonviolent Conflict Resolution in the 21st Century”
  • 2002 John Hume MP & MEP (joint Nobel Peace Prize 1998). “An Eye for an Eye”
  • 2003 Simon Hughes MP, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London. “India and Gandhi: Their Legacy to London”
  • 2004 Helen Steven, founder of The Scottish Centre for Nonviolence, on “Our World at the Crossroads: Nonviolence or Nonexistence”.
  • 2005 Sir Mark Tully, former BBC South Asia correspondent, on “Was the Mahatma too Great a Soul? Pulling Gandhi off his Pedestal”
  • 2006 Kamalesh Sharma, Indian High Commissioner to the UK, on “Encounters with Gandhi”
  • 2007 Lord Bhikhu Parekh, Centennial Professor, Centre for the Study of Global Governance, LSE, and Patron of the Gandhi Foundation
  • 2008 Rev. Harold Good, independent witness to the disarmament conducted under General John de Chastelain
  • 2009 Justice Aftab Alam of the Supreme Court of India, who spoke on “The Role of the Indian Supreme Court in Upholding Secularism in India”
  • 2010 Panel discussion on the Middle East with Robi Damelin and Ali Abu Awwad with Denis Halliday and Huw Irranca-Davies MP; Lord Parekh chairing
  • 2011 Professor Anthony Parel on “Pax Gandhiana: Is Gandhian Nonviolence Compatible with the Coercive State?”
  • 2013 Rt Hon Vince Cable MP on “What Would a Gandhian Business model look like? and what steps would a LibDem Govt take to get there”

    Justice Aftab Alam of the Indian Supreme Court giving the Annual Lecture

Multi Faith Celebration

“I believe in the fundamental Truth of all great religions of the world. I believe they are all God-given and I believe they were necessary for the people to whom these religions were revealed. And I believe that if only we could all of us read the scriptures of the different faiths from the standpoint of the followers of these faiths, we should find that they were at the bottom all one and were all helpful to one another.” – M. K. Gandhi

Every year, around the anniversary of his assassination (30th January 1948), there is a Multi Faith Celebration of Gandhi’s life. It is normally held in London, and brings together people of different faiths such as Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh. Our aim is to remember Gandhi, and to share words, music and dance from our religious traditions.

Summer Gathering

Live simply so that others may simply live – M.K. Gandhi

Every year in July there is a Summer Gathering in the UK, where people of all ages live together for a week in the countryside, sharing the necessary tasks of cleaning, cooking, and washing-up, and attending daily workshops to explore different aspects of the chosen theme for the year. A variety of crafts are taught, and our usual lifestyles and attitudes are challenged.  Many find this an enlightening experience and return year after year.  Some of the participants come from India and other countries.
You can read an account of the Summer Gathering 2012 here.

Annual Gathering & Workshop

The Annual Gathering is usually held in Spring, around late May, at Kingsley Hall.  Its purpose is (a) a gathering of GF Friends (although visitors are also welcome); (b) to present our Annual Report & Accounts; (c) to offer a workshop on Gandhian principles. Workshop topics have included the following:

  • 2003. Debate on asylum seekers, led by Simon Hughes MP & Gill Casebourne, Kent Refugee Action Network. Workshop on “Listening Skills & Communication” led by Binnie Degli Innocenti
  • 2004. Workshop on “The 5 Listening Skills”, led by Paul Vincent
  • 2005. Presentations  by Susan Denton-Brown “A Future Legacy & Global Citizenship”, Cecil Evans on “The Surur Hoda Memorial Fund”
  • 2006. Workshop “The Ethos of Gandhi in Educating for Peace”, by Susan Denton-Brown
  • 2007. Workshop on “Martin Luther King”, led by Yeoshahfaht Israel
  • 2009. Workshop on “Peace Through Encounter and Dialogue”, led by Susan Denton-Brown
  • 2010. First lecture in a series exploring “Violence and Social Justice – Tribes and Tribulations” – How do we bring peace and justice to the dispossessed, and who is responsible? with Felix Patel and exhibition by Robert Wallis
  • 2011. Gandhi in Noakhali – Film screening. Testimonials from Gandhi’s visit – Shaheen Westcombe MBE talks about her father’s archive. And a mid-season exhibition by resident artist Saif Osmani who examines the spaces inhabited by Gandhi.
  • 2012. Photographer Brijesh Patel delivered a post AGM presentation on his “Salt: Land & People” project inspired by Gandhi’s Satyagraha campaign.
  • 2013. Ruhul Abdin and colleagues from Paraa gave a lecture, slideshow and video presentation about their work to establish a community learning and resource centre in the Mohammadpur Geneva Camp in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This project has been helped by the Gandhi Foundation.

You can read an account of the 2012 AGM and Lecture here

Publications

The Gandhi Foundation publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Gandhi Way, containing essays, articles, reports, letters, book reviews, Friends news, etc. Many of the articles are now being made available via this website. Edited by George Paxton for over 20 years, The Gandhi Way celebrated its 100th issue in 2009. Appropriate articles are always welcome, so if you would like to submit something for publication in  The Gandhi Way, please email contact@gandhifoundation.org

Additional Activities

In addition to the regular events we have held a number of seminars, produced a small number of publications, held a vigil against nuclear tests by India and Pakistan, produced a video on cooperative games, given talks and workshops, erected stalls at other organisations’ events, taken the Gandhi banner on peace marches; helped others in preparing two exhibitions on “Gandhi’s visit to east London” and “Gandhi and Ruskin”.

In the past we were given financial and other support to five villages in Orissa, and are at present planning a project on conflict resolution for schools in the area of London close to Kingsley Hall community centre where the foundation has an office.

For information on other projects undertaken by The Gandhi Foundation, please click here

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