Demystifying the relevance of Mahatma Gandhi in the times of terror attacks,violence and discrimination of the marginalised,Martin Luther King III,son of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.,enthralled the diverse student community at the YMCA on Thursday.
This city just saw unprecedented violence which shook the global community. It could have responded with violence,but chose not to. That was the true embodiment of the humane spirit, said King III.
Citing his personal example to overcome hatred,he said the younger generation should especially realise that violence cannot be an answer. I lost most of my family because of violence. It was easy for me to react with hatred,but I understood that only power of love could save me,my family,my community and ultimately the country, said King III. The world is becoming very difficult with conflicts everywhere but we need to learn to forgive and apologize to move on, he added.
King III was accompanied by Dr Clayborne Carson,historian from the Stanford University,Gandhian Usha Thakkar and Dr Narendra Jadhav,vice-chancellor of University of Pune,at the event.
For the students of YMCA,it was an interesting opportunity to learn how to celebrate differences and not just merely tolerating them. YMCA is like a mini-India. You have students from every community,caste,creed and background living here. It is very important that they realise the importance of celebrating these differences. Who better to teach this than Martin Luther King III,hence we decided to invite him and his delegation here, said Paul George,senior secretary,YMCA.
The students echoed his opinion. Considering the tricky times we live in where differences can be easily manipulated to gain political mileage,it is important to meet people like King III. This is the best teaching that no class room can probably give, said Antonio Santimaro,a medical student from Goa.
King III himself and the way he spoke about the relevance of Gandhiji was truly heartfelt. Today when violence is seen everywhere and when suddenly Taliban has raised its ugly head once more,it is important to learn the message of non-violence. For the Muslim community his message is even more relevant for all of us need to realise that extreme forces like Taliban are not real Muslims. King IIIs message will hopefully affect the young Muslims minds, said Zeenat Shaukat Ali,professor of Islamic studies from St Xaviers College.