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Arun  Gandhi

Arun Gandhi

Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi & President of the Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute 


Arun Manilal Gandhi was born in 1934 in Durban, South Africa, and is the fifth grandson of India’s legendary leader, Mohandas K. “Mahatma” Gandhi. Growing up under the discriminatory apartheid laws of South Africa, Arun Gandhi was beaten by “white” South Africans for being too black and by “black” South Africans for being too white. Arun sought eye-for-an-eye justice. However, he learned from his parents and grandparents that justice does not mean revenge, it means transforming the opponent through love and compassion. Read More >

His Grandfather taught Arun to understand nonviolence through firstly understanding violence. Mahatma Gandhi said: “If we know how much passive violence we perpetrate against one another, we will understand why there is so much physical violence plaguing societies and the world.” Through daily lessons from his grandfather Arun says he learnt to understand the nature and origins of violence. The very first lesson Arun received from his grandfather was to understand that anger is good. There is of course great negative potential if we abuse the energy of anger. Like electricity it can harm or destroy. The real potential with anger is to best response by channelling this powerful energy to motivate ourselves toward positive and constructive action.

Arun Gandhi has been sharing the Gift of Anger and other lessons from his grandfather all around the world for over 30 years. In recent years he has regularly participated in the Renaissance Weekend deliberations with President Clinton and other well-respected Rhodes Scholars and has spoken many times at the United Nations.

Arun has given keynote talks, lectures and workshops as well as participated in symposia, facilitated dialogues and conversations, panel events and other gatherings and meetings around the world for community organizations, large and small NGOs, charitable organizations in the fields of healthcare, human rights, the environment, national and international corporations, associations and government agencies. Furthermore he visits and talks at schools, colleges and universities and prisons. Arun’s work has transformed the lives of many who are currently in Prison. He works with a number of prison facilities in New York State and has significantly contributed to a measured reduction in prison violence by a staggering 70%.

Invitations and requests have taken Arun to all 50 States of the U.S. with numerous repeat visits. Additionally he has traveled to a variety of events and meetings around the world including: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Dubai, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Haiti, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Lithuania, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Japan, Jordan, Israel/Palestine, Scotland, Sweden and many others.

Dr. Arun Gandhi has received 7 honorary doctorates. Arun has been a board member of the Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Hospital in South Africa and the Parliament of the World’s Religions. He is the founder and was a director of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence that is located at the University of Rochester, NY. Furthermore Arun is the Founding President of the Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute. This charitable organisation currently supports over 1000 children in India with shelter, food and education.

Arun Gandhi is also very involved in social programs and writing. Shortly after Arun married his wife Sunanda, they were informed the South African government would not allow her to accompany him there. Sunanda and Arun decided to live in India, and Arun then worked for 30 years as a journalist for The Times of India, retiring as the Deputy Editor. Together, Arun and Sunanda started projects for the social and economic uplifting of the oppressed using constructive action programs, the backbone of Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence. The programs have changed the lives of more than half a million people in over 300 villages and they continue to thrive. Sunanda died in February of 2007 and the family is currently working to establish a school in poorest rural India in her name.

Arun is the author of several books. The first, A Patch of White (1949), is about life in prejudiced South Africa; then, he wrote two books on poverty and politics in India; followed by a compilation of M.K. Gandhi's Wit & Wisdom. He also edited a book of essays on World Without Violence: Can Gandhi’s Vision Become Reality? With his late wife Sunanda they wrote The Forgotten Woman: The Untold Story of Kastur, the Wife of Mahatma Gandhi. One of his more recent books is a memoir: A Legacy of Love: My Education in the Path of Nonviolence. His most recent book The Gift of Anger and Other Lessons from My Grandfather is now an international bestseller.

Arun Gandhi is an agent for change and communicates motivational approaches to personal and global transformation from the perspective of ‘be the change’. Arun’s Grandfather coined the phrase ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’ and now we can see a growing climate for such an approach to personal and global transformation.

Arun’s talks include first hand experiences of the time he lived with his grandfather Mahatma Gandhi and what he learnt during that time in the ashram in India in the years immediately preceding the assassination. These lessons, values and principles guide Arun Gandhi’s life today and he travels extensively to share the living philosophy of nonviolence and plant seeds of peace.

Arun’s life commitment as a Peace Farmer is to pass on the message, principles and wisdom of one of the world’s greatest men, his grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

Lessons Learned from My Grandfather: Non-Violence in a Violent World

In this unique presentation, peace activist Dr. Arun Gandhi shares personal memories and reflections on his grandfather, legendary spiritual leader Mohandas Gandhi. As our culture becomes smaller, we truly become global citizens. As the globe’s population explodes, growing pains are to be expected as we attempt to live and work closer together—so how can we interact peacefully? There are many cultural, personal, religious and ideological differences that set us apart and keep us at war—both figuratively and metaphorically. Dr. Gandhi says that “9/11 has brought violence to a new level… in 1945, after the bomb was thrown on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a correspondent asked grandfather: ‘What do you think the future of the world is going to be?’ And his response was that ‘we no longer have the luxury of choosing between violence and nonviolence. The option is nonviolence or non-existence.’” Read More >

Dr. Gandhi tailors each presentation as he discusses the issues that segregate us, as well as on how we can coexist in harmony and peace. Read Less ^

Why Racism Still Plagues the U.S.: Where Did We Go Wrong?

Gandhi & King Shared a Dream: Has it Become Irrelevant?

Is Peace Possible in a Culture of Violence?

Activism on Campus