Juan Villa / The Collegian
Children are getting abused by loved ones. Wives are being murdered by husbands. Terrorists are bombing synagogues and mosques. The United States military is entangled in a brutal war with Iraq.
Examples of violence, such as these, in many ways affects us all. This week Fresno State will host events to spread a message of non-violence, and to remember the word and spirit of activist Mahatma Gandhi.
Tuesday, Oct. 2, has now been declared â€œInternational Day of Non-Violenceâ€ by the United Nations general assembly.
It also marks what would have been Gandhiâ€™s 138 birthday.
Ceremonies began yesterday when Fresno State held a musical and floral tribute honoring Gandhiâ€™s life.
Tomorrow night the school will host the first â€œCandlelight Vigil for World Peace.â€
The vigil will take place at dusk in Fresno Stateâ€™s Peace Garden and begin with speakers, singing, poetry and the candle light vigil, followed by a showing of a documentary detailing the famous Salt March led by Gandhi.
Event coordinator and former Fresno State professor Sudarshan Kapoor, Ph.D., said this will be a landmark event that is vital given the current state of events within the world.
â€œIt is time for us to remember that we are brothers and sisters sharing this world together,â€ Kapoor said. â€œWe must stop the hate, stop the violence and build a culture of peace.â€
Kapoor believes the message and teachings of Gandhi need to be remembered and reiterated to the younger generation.
â€œGandhi was such an influential and inspirational man, so itâ€™s important for us to understand that his message is timeless,â€Kapoor aid.
According to the website â€œGandhiâ€™s Lifeâ€ at www.mkgandhi.org, Gandhi was born and raised in a traditional Hindu family in India. He was later educated as a lawyer in England. Gandhi then fought against racial prejudice, discrimination and injustice in South Africa. He later returned to India and led the liberation movement for his countryâ€™s political independence from Great Britain in 1947.
Gandhiâ€™s messages of pacifism and the Salt March he led were the inspiration for other renowned spiritual leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Cesar Chavez.
Kapoor hopes this event will get people thinking and help break barriers of hate and prejudice.
â€œThis day was declared to make people aware of how our destructive and violent nature is damaging the world around us,â€ Kapoor said. â€œHow much more can our world take?â€
Kapoor urges anyone and everyone to attend this special event and tribute tomorrow night here at Fresno State.
â€œEveryone is welcome,â€ Kapoor said. â€œWe will even have a open mic session for those that attend to voice their opinion and to honor the life of this very memorable human being, Mahatma Gandhi.â€
Candlelight Vigil for World Peace
The vigil will take place at dusk in Fresno Stateâ€™s Peace Garden and begin with speakers, singing, poetry and the candlelight vigil, followed by a showing of a documentary detailing the famous Salt March led by Gandhi.
â€¢ Peace Garden in front of Henry Madden Library.
â€¢ Vigil to start at sunset on Tuesday.