India’s Deputy High Commissioner to Canada visits U of R

By Greg Duck Posted: October 2, 2018 3:30 p.m.

Mr. Arun Kumar Sahu kicked-off International Day of Non-Violence with a presentation of the teachings of Gandhi at the U of R on September 14.
Mr. Arun Kumar Sahu kicked-off International Day of Non-Violence with a presentation of the teachings of Gandhi at the U of R on September 14. External Relations

Mr. Sahu’s presentation was about Ahimsa, the Hindu concept of non-violence.
The presentation attracted dozens of students, faculty, and members of the public.
Darpan Patel left the presentation inspired to incorporate non-violence into his everyday life.

The acting Deputy High Commissioner of India to Canada, Mr. Arun Kumar Sahu, was recently on campus to give a presentation about the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and meet with students. This visit was a kick-off to International Day of Non-Violence, and to celebrate the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

In 2007, the United Nations declared October 2 as International Day of Non-Violence to coincide with the birthday of Gandhi, the leader of the Indian independence movement. Gandhi’s teachings revolved around the Hindu concept of Ahimsa, the principle of non-violence towards all living things.

“Non-violence isn’t just a physical concept-it has to do with everything you think, say, and eventually do,” said Sahu.

October 2, 2019 will be the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi. The Government of India is celebrating the event with a two-year celebration beginning this year through to 2020, with the goal to spread Gandhi’s ideals and philosophies to a global audience.

With over 900 students from India currently studying at the U of R, Sahu knew this was an important visit to make to help spread the message of Gandhi. Sahu believes that given the state of the world, the current generation will find the teachings of Gandhi more relevant than ever.

Dozens of students attended the presentation to hear the Deputy High Commissioner’s message. One of the students in attendance was Darpan Patel, a MSc in Chemistry student, and a native of Khambat, Gujarat, India. He discussed how important these concepts are to live out every day.

“Being Indian, I was aware of the basic concepts, but the presentation today really helped to increase my knowledge of Gandhi’s teachings. I’m inspired to incorporate non-violent values into my life”.

Sahu also noted that this is not just a concept bound to Hindus, but has relevance for everyone.

“There isn’t a religion on earth that teaches violence towards another living thing. Gandhi refuted that war can be a tool in the balance of power. We must do all possible to protect the marginalized, the disadvantaged, and the vulnerable,” said Sahu.

To learn more about International Day of Non-Violence, visit http://www.un.org/en/events/nonviolenceday/

To learn more about the celebration of Gandhi’s 150th birthday, visit http://gandhi.gov.in/