Making Peace with the Earth & Each Other: Gandhi, Globalisation & GNH

1 April – 10 April 2016
in partnership with GNH Centre, Bhutan

Faculty:  Satish Kumar, Dr Saamdu Chetri, Madhu Suri Prakash, * Rajiv Vohra, *Neeru Vohra, Dr Vandana Shiva

Speakers: PV Rajgopal & Jill Carr- Harris

Violence has become the signature of our times whether it is the violence against the Earth, violence against cultural diversity or violence against other countries. The 2nd January 2016 attack on Pathankot Air Force Station and 13th March 2015 attack in Paris exemplify the convergence of violence bred in the context of injustice, inequality, exclusion and brutalisation. Non sustainable production and consumption systems are creating scarcity and conflicts. While also aggravating inequalities. There will be no peace between people without Making Peace with the Earth.

Climate change is one dimension of the violence against the Earth which is also undermining human well being. The floods of Chennai, air pollution in Delhi are forcing us to question our economic paradigms. An example of how Illusions of growth are destroying well being is that in Beijing the capital of China, the factory of the world, air is having to be bought.

The food and agriculture crisis is another dimension of the violence. Industrial agriculture has destroyed 75% of the planet and is also responsible for 75% of contemprory diseases and ill heath, from being a source of nourishment while its systems have made food a hazard.

Today , the greed of the 1% is devastating the planet and people’s lives across the world.

As Gandhi said, the Earth has enough for everyone’s needs , but not for a few people’s greed.

A century ago, through his ideas and practice of Swaraj, Swadeshi, Sarvodaya and Satyagraha, Gandhi gave us alternatives to a violent order - based on greed, imperialism, industrialism. He cultivated non-violence at every level, from paradigms of Science and technology to structures of politics and economics.

In contemporary times an alternative to the illusion of limitless growth on a planet with limits has emerged from Bhutan in the form of Gross National Happiness (GNH).

GNH, as a new development paradigm, is a holistic nature centred, human centred measure for well being and happiness. While “growth” as increase in GDP measures the conversion of nature into cash , the privatisation of the commons , the increase in consumerism and the commodification In this age of consumerism, GNH focusses on improving the health and well being in nature and society.

Together we will explore this exciting convergence between Gandhi ’s legacy of nonviolence and Ahimsa and the GNH paradigm based on well being for all to help make us transition from violence to non violence.

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