The 2007 Gandhi Foundation Annual Lecture was given on Sunday 2nd December by Professor Lord Bhikhu Parekh. The theme of the lecture was “Why is Gandhi still Relevant?”. The text of the lecture was similar to Bhikhu’s Fred Blum Memorial Lecture: Gandhi in the 21st Century
Professor Bhikhu Parekh is well-known as an intellectual on Gandhi and solutions to current ethical and social problems. Bhikhu Parekh is Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Westminster, Emeritus Professor of Political Theory at the University of Hull, U.K., and was until recently Centennial Professor at the London Schools of Economics. He has been a Visiting Professor at several universities including McGill, Harvard, Institute of Advanced Study in Vienna, the University of Pennsylvania, and Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. He delivered Litowitz Lecture at Yale University in 2003, and was recently invited as Distinguished Visitor by the Cardozo Law School in New York. He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Baroda, India, from 1981 to 1984.
Prof. Parekh is the author of several books including Hannah Arendt and the Search for a New Political Philosophy, (Macmillan, 1981), Marx’s Theory of Ideology, (Johns Hopkins University, 1982), Contemporary Political Thinkers, (Johns Hopkins University, 1982), Gandhi’s Political Philosophy, (Macmillan, 1989), Colonialism, Tradition and Reform, (Sage, 1989), and Gandhi, (Oxford University Press, 1998). He has edited a dozen books including four volumes of Critical Assessments of Jeremy Bentham, (Routledge, 1994) and published nearly a hundred articles in academic journals and anthologies. His Rethinking Multiculturalism was published by Harvard University Press in the U.S.A. and Macmillan in Britain in 2000. He is about to complete his new book titled Identity and Rationality.
Professor Parekh is also active in British political life. He was for five years Deputy Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, and chaired the Commission on the Future of Multi Ethnic Britain, whose report (called the Parekh Report) was published in 2000. He received the BBC’s Special Lifetime Achievement Award for Asians in November 1999, and was appointed to the House of Lords in March, 2000. Last year he received Sir Isaiah Berlin Prize for Lifetime Contribution to Political Philosophy, and Pravasi Bharatiya Samman from the President of India. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, and President of the Academy of Learned Societies in the Social Sciences. He has received nine Honorary Doctorates from British Universities.