Gandhian philosophy finding many takers in neighbouring Pak

The presence of Gandhian philosophy or literature has been sparse in Pakistan. But over the years,a wave of change has swept across the country,according to Prof Mehtab Ali Shah of the Sindh University.

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published: February 1, 2009 12:27:05 am

The presence of Gandhian philosophy or literature has been sparse in Pakistan. But over the years,a wave of change has swept across the country,according to Prof Mehtab Ali Shah of the Sindh University.

Prof Shah is in Ahmedabad to attend the centenary year celebrations of Hind Swaraj written by Mahatma Gandhi.

“The change is evident only at the idea level. Many academicians are openly talking about introducing the philosophy and principles in the school and university curriculum. The syllabus is now being moulded from teaching India as an enemy to a neighbour,” said Prof Shah,an associate of the International War Resistors’.

He added: “The teaching of hate is slowly giving way to fresh perspectives on India although it is happening only in clusters. But an overall trend of acceptance of Gandhian principles is becoming visible at the curriculum level.”

At present,the South-Asian Study Centre in Lahore and the Regional Study Centre in Islamabad are the only two study centres to house books on Gandhi.

A strong believer in Gandhian principles,Prof Shah is planning to carry back literature by Gandhi as part of his effort to preach non-violence.

He said: “At present,there is no Indian study centre at any university or college in Pakistan

although Indian universities have Pakistan study centres. It is required to be developed as an integral part of the educational set up to break free of misconceptions,and to develop mutual trust between the people.”

He added: “Mutual trust is what will force the government to change its policy. While the wave is just a staring point,the fact that some sections in Pakistan have started paying homage to Gandhi and his beliefs,is in itself an achievement. People are now interested in reading Gandhi.”

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