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Video: Arun Ghandi gives presentation in SF

Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, spoke in Seneca Falls on Saturday at the National Women’s Hall of Fame. He spoke to an energized, curious, and packed room — which was filled with eager ears, and a wide-range of individuals. On Friday, he spoke at Mynderse Academy, drawing significant interest from the young people he works to mentor and inspire. The program on Saturday was dedicated to his book — The Forgotten Woman: The Untold Story of Kastur Gandhi. He told the attentive crowd that the transcript, which would later become the book released in 2008, sat idle for nearly 30 years. Her story was a challenge to sell to publishers, he recounted. Publishers weren’t interested in the story of his grandfather’s wife — rather they were intensely interested in a story written by Arun, about his grandfather’s life.The book was written by himself, and his late-wife Sunanda Gandhi. It was a piece that the two worked on together, and became something that encompassed all of the things the two had spent their lives fighting for. Arun told the onlookers, “[Mahatma] wouldn’t have achieved his status without great cooperation with his wife.” He spoke to the connection the pair had, and how much of a team they had become over the years.The pair grew up as neighbors, were married at a very young age, and Mahatma attributed one of his first lessons in peaceful conflict resolution — through an experience with his wife. Arun believes that it was his grandmother’s spirit, which drove his book to sit unpublished for those years. He said, “She wanted the money from this to go to a worthy cause,” and not just feed a commercial machine, he explained in the program. “This is why it took so long,” Arun concluded. Arun explained that while his grandmother didn’t have any formal education, she was an incredibly wise individual. “She learned from everyday life, parents, and others,” he explained. While much of the conversation spoke to the life his grandmother lived, it also spoke to some real-life concerns that people have had today. He spoke about waste, and the impact it has on nature. He told the crowd, “Waste is violence against nature.” He also pointed out that “lifestyle is a major cause of violence,” reminding those in attendance that “thinking of ourselves,” is a social undoing that plagues most societies. His grandmother died in a British prison, but she died fighting for a cause she was passionate about. Arun explained that non-violent conflict resolution is the key to most successes that can be achieved in life. He identifies himself as a “peace farmer,” and enjoys the work he does — even just a month before his 82nd birthday, which he will celebrate on April 14th. After the presentation he signed a number of books for spectators, and those who gathered afterwards to sit down and ask Arun questions directly. His presentation lasted a little more than one-hour and was an experience for these individuals that they likely will not forget anytime soon.Check out all of Arun Gandhi’s presentation at the National Women’s Hall of Fame in the video above.

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