Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Peace March for Non-Violence to Honor Gandhi

About 100 people marched from Corpus Christi University Parish to listen to an in-character presentation of Gandhi on the University of Toledo campus. Dr. Shall Sinha represented Mohandas Gandhi in a presentation entitled, 'Conflict Resolution the Gandhi Way.'

The presentation was sponsored by the Hindu Temple and The University of Toledo. Prior to marching to the Doermann Theater, members of the temple gathered at the parish and were presented a tapestry of Gandhi identical to the one which hangs at the parish. It was a gift to the Hindu community from the Catholic community to hang in their newly remodeled facility.

As the marchers walked, in honor of both Gandhi's birthday and International Day of Non-violence, October 2, people held hands in solidarity and sang songs as they marched, representing Gandhi march to the sea.

Before the main presentation, children of the Hindu Temple danced several numbers in honor of peace.

Dr. Sinha, an engineer by profession, has spent the past 20 years casting himself in the role of Mohandas Gandhi. He spoke for nearly an hour and kept the audience on the edge of their seats the entire time. He told of his poor childhood and the prejudice he felt in India and in South Africa. Naturally, he spent much of his presentation speaking of his efforts for change, for justice using non-violent means.

At the end of the performance, he took questions from the audience ranging from India's nuclear bombs to the demonstrations in Burma. He was also asked about religious scripture which promoted aggression and about India's relationship to Pakistan. Each answer, not surprisingly, was wrapped in justice and acts of non-violence.

This was the first in the series: Initiative for Enhances Inter-Religious Understanding and is presented by the Department of Philosophy at the University of Toledo. The next presentation in the series will be, 'The Dead Seas Scrolls and the Canonical shaping of the Hebrew Bible,' October 25. 'The role of women in religious leadership -Jewish, Christian and Muslim' will be on Feb. 12.

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