Northern Ireland news

Gandhi grandson in Derry for Ulster University peace lecture

Dr Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, pictured with Professor Brandon Hamber and Dr Adrian Johnston, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland.
Seamus McKinney

A grandson of revered Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi visited Derry yesterday to speak about his lessons in building a 'culture of peace'.

Arun Gandhi delivered the inaugural lecture under the John Hume and Thomas P O'Neill Chair in Peace at the Ulster University's Magee campus.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi - known as Mahatma - is still admired worldwide for his example of non-violent protest to fight for Indian independence from British rule and for the rights of the Indian poor.

Former SDLP leader John Hume is one of a small number of people world-wide who hold the Gandhi peace prize along with the Nobel prize and the Martin Luther King peace prize.

Dr Gandhi grew up in his grandfather's home in Durban, South Africa where he experienced first-hand discriminatory apartheid laws.

He said he learned from his parents and grandparents that justice did not mean revenge and about the use of love and suffering to transform opponents.

Brandon Hamber, the new John Hume and Thomas P O'Neill Chair in Peace, said he felt hugely privileged to welcome Dr Gandhi to Ulster University.

“His visit is a huge endorsement of the university's international peace and conflict centre ‘Incore' which is linked to the John Hume and Thomas P O'Neill Chair in Peace.”

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