3rd International Course, 2013 -14
Gandhian Nonviolence: Theory and Application
Part A: Rationale of the Programme
As the title suggests, the overall purpose of the course is to give its seekers orientation in the theoretical and practical dimensions of Nonviolence as explained and applied by Mahatma Gandhi in his personal and public life. However, the course content will not be limited to the Gandhian framework only; the examples and interpretations of other practitioners of nonviolence will also be relied upon.
We know that the contemporary world is in turmoil. The chief characteristic of the contemporary world is violence; escalating and intensifying violence has become the key defining feature in public life and discourse. Terrorism and war on terrorism mark the worst manifestations of violence and has created a new discourse. Some of the sensitive people in the west even ask: Are we facing End –Time? The more pertinent question, of course, is how we address and get out of the vicious circle of violence. It is here that Gandhi steps in with his message of all-embracing nonviolence or ahimsa.
It is well known that there is
a growing interest world-wide, particularly in the west, on Gandhi and his
theory and practice of nonviolence. Peace activists are trying to understand Gandhian nonviolence in order to equip themselves better in
their struggle for peace and justice. Many of them have expressed their desire
to get a formal training in Gandhian nonviolence in
The duration of the course will be one semester i.e., four months - two months for theoretical input and two for gaining practical experience. Though Gujarat Vidyapith campus will serve as the main/central venue, the students will be taken out other Gandhian Institutions and Ashrams in partial fulfilment of the course requirement. The details of such visits and stay will be worked out from time to time by the Course Coordinator and will be communicated to the students at the beginning of the course.
Part B: Course Structure and Regulations
v The first two months of the programme will cover the
academic parts and will be held in Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad,
v The participants will be accompanied by the Course Coordinator and/or another faculty member throughout the two months out station programme.
v There will be provision for concurrent evaluation and a comprehensive evaluation at the end.
v On completing institution visits, the students will move back to Vidyapith for the next phase which will consist of a few days to reflect and assimilate. Subsequently they will have to prepare and submit a Field Experience Report.
v There will be no end semester examination. Instead, there will be an open house with a select group of acharyas (teachers) and activists for further clarification and appraisal.
v It will be mandatory to submit a consolidated report on what they learned and experienced.
v There will be a separate course evaluation by students which can comprise of the evaluation of the faculty as well.
v There will be an evaluation from the side of Vidyapith.
v A convocation will be held in which Course Diplomas will be presented to the candidates. And there will also be farewell programme.
v In Vidyapith Campus and G.R.F., double room accommodation will be provided.
v It is expected that the participants will follow the discipline and daily routine of Vidyapith, G.R.F., and other institutions of placement. Wearing Khadi dress and Vidyapith uniform is compulsory in the campuses.
v Food will be (strictly) vegetarian but the diversity of the food habits of the participants will be taken into consideration.
v No fee will be charged for the
course. But travel into
v Financial assistance in order to purchase return air ticket will be provided to a student who requires financial aid due to his/her own limited financial resources as well as shows that he/she is a great fit for the International Course on Gandhian Nonviolence : Theory and Application.
v The course will commence on 16th September, 2013 and will be completed on 23th January, 2014.
v Participants are expected to arrive in Vidyapith from 5th September, 2013 onwards and will be given accommodation in the campus up to 31th January, 2014. On completing the course they should leave the campus positively on or before the last date mentioned i.e., 31st January, 2014.
v There will be a mid-semester break from 18th November
to 25th November when participants will be free to visit places of
their choice in
In order to avoid legal
complications and to make the granting of Resident Permit (from the Home
Department) to stay in Vidyapith campus hazel-free participants are required to
arrive first in Ahmedabad and report directly to the
Registrar, Gujarat Vidyapith on the above mentioned dates. Travel in other
v Application containing a brief bio data (which should necessarily include the educational background and activist profile of the applicant) and a short note explaining the reason why she/he would like to take the course should be sent to The Registrar, Gujarat Vidyapith, Ashram Road, Ahmedabad, PIN: 380 014, India, (e-mail < firstname.lastname@example.org >) so as to reach him on or before 30th June, 2013. Candidates sponsored by organisations should attach the sponsoring letter also to the application.
Acquiring VISA and other
official permits for travel to
· It is obligatory for the participants to sign an affidavit of agreement consenting to abide by the rules and regulations of Gujarat Vidyapith and the visa related rules of the Government of India and submit it for verification to Vidyapith well in advance.
· Gujarat Vidyapith reserves the right to cancel the studentship of any of the participants on violation of the rules or norms and such candidates will have to vacate the campus as directed by the Registrar of Gujarat Vidyapith.
Part C: Course Modules
Course 1: Defining Features of Gandhian Nonviolence
1. Correlation between Truth and Nonviolence – Truth as the end and Nonviolence the mean.
2. Meaning of nonviolence - Ontological, Epistemological and Ethical dimensions of nonviolence – negative and positive dimensions of nonviolence - Gandhi’s emphasis on the positive dimension
3. Basic Assumptions: spiritual basis - oneness of life – human nature and nonviolence
4. Nonviolence as Soul Force – invincibility of soul force – atom versus atman – universal applicability of nonviolence.
5. Nonviolence as ‘the law of our being’ – as ‘the law of our species’ and the law/direction of human evolution – History (of human evolution) as the unfolding of progressive nonviolence.
6. Nonviolence, the moral equivalent of the law of gravitation – revolutionary potential of nonviolence – the need for making nonviolence the central organising principle of all life activities.
7. Types of nonviolence – principled and strategic nonviolence – nonviolence of the weak and the coward – nonviolence, true/genuine and counterfeit – absolute and existential violence.
8. Nonviolence – Gandhi’s prime concern – why nonviolence – futility of violence and efficacy of nonviolence.
M.K.Gandhi Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (CWMG), [Relevant Volumes](Publication Division)
In Search of the Supreme (Navajivan)
Non Violence in Peace and War (Navajivan)
(ed.) The Moral and Political Works of Mahatma Gandhi (
Fisher The Life of Mahatma Gandhi (
Gandhi: His Life and Message for the World
UntoTahtinen Ahimsa: Non-violence in Indian Tradition (Ahmedabad, Navajivan)
Yogendra Singh Traditions of Non-violence (
Bose Dimensions of Peace and Nonviolence : The Gandhian
M.P.Mathai Mahatma Gandhi’s World-view (
Albert Schweitzer Indian
Thought and Its Development (Wilco
V.K.Kool The Psychology of Nonviolence and Aggression (Palgrave Macmilan)
and Barry L.Gan Nonviolence in Theory and Practice (
Course 2. Application of Nonviolence: Gandhian Approach
1. Gandhi’s life as a paradigm of nonviolence in action
2. Nonviolence in personal life – as a way of life: intra-personal, inter-personal and ecological/cosmic dimensions.
3. Consolidating the power of nonviolence through personal sadhana – moral/spiritual authority of a nonviolent person – power of authentic nonviolence of an individual developing into an objective social force – its power and potential - examples from history, past and present.
4. Organised and collective use of nonviolence – Satyagraha/nonviolent direct action.
5. Basic assumptions and principles of Satyagraha.
6. Variants and techniques of Satyagraha.
7. Universal applicability of Satyagraha – reformative and revolutionary applications
8. Satyagraha and Constructive Programme in the Gandhian scheme – Gandhian Constructive Programme as illustrative example.
9. Case studies/examples of nonviolent resistances in different countries and situations - paradigmatic satyagrahies/nonviolent fighters.
M.K.Gandhi Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (CWMG), [Relevant
In Search of the Supreme (Ahmedabad,Navajivan)
Non Violence in Peace and War (Ahmedabad, Navajivan)
Saga of Satyagraha (
Richard B. Gregg The Power of Non-violence (Ahmedabad, Navajivan)
Sharp The Politics of Nonviolent Action Part 1, 2,
& 3 (
Valerie Bondurant Conquest of Violence: The Gandhian Philosophy of Conflict (Princeton,
Dennis Dalton Gandhi’s Power Nonviolence in Action (Oxford India Paperback)
and Jack DuVall A Force More Powerful (Palgrave Macmillan)
Clark People Power: Unarmed Resistance and Global
Sanderson Nonviolent Action Handbook (
Narayan Desai A Handbook for Satyagrahis (
Christopher Kruegler Strategic
Nonviolent Conflict: The Dynamics of People Power in the 20th Century.
Albert, David H. People
Power: Applying Nonviolence Theory.
Course 3. Dealing with Conflicts – Conflict Transformation
1. Meaning of Conflict
2. The sources of conflict- political - economic - environmental - historical - cultural - psychological
3. Analysis of conflict- actors – causes- issues, scope and stage of the conflict- power resources and relationships – stakeholders – facilitators- spoilers
4. Conflict- different phases- Conflict Prevention and early warning- ripeness
5. Problem –solving, including workshop approach in protracted conflicts
6. Negotiations – positions and interests- negotiating style – principled negotiation- elements of Gandhian style negotiations- negotiating with difficult people
7. Third Party Intervention – Types of Third Party Intervention – Mediation- prescriptive vs. elicitive approaches
8. Thomas – Killman’s Five Conflict Styles
9. Satyagraha and Conflict Transformation
10. Conflict Transformation- Reconciliation- Truth, Justice, Mercy and Forgiveness
11. Essential skills – analyzing, communicating clearly, synthesizing, listening, drafting, inventing new options- cultural sensitivity- anger management etc.
Jurgensmeyer Gandhi’s Way A
Handbook of Conflict Resolution (
Collins, Randall Conflict Sociology: Toward an Explanatory Science. (New York: Academic Press, 1975)
Galtung, Johan. Solving Conflicts: A Peace Research Perspective. (Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press, 1989)
Galtung, Johan. Peace by Peaceful Means: Peace and Conflict, Development and Civilization (London: Sage, 1996)
Lederach, John Paul. The Moral
Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace. (
Lederach, John Paul. The Little Book of Conflict Transformation (Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 2003)
Carolyn, (ed.) Mediation and Facilitation Training Manual: Foundations and
Skills for Constructive Conflict Transformation. (
Oliver Ramsbotham, Tom Woodhouse
& Hugh Miall Contemporary Conflict Resolution (Oxford, Blackwell, 1999)
Ronald J. Fisher Transforming Violent Conflicts (Syracuse University Press, 1997)
Vayrynen, Raimo, ed. New Directions in Conflict Theory: Conflict Resolution and Conflict Transformation. (London: Sage, 1991)
Blalock, Hubert M. Power and
Conflict: Towards a General Theory (
and Burgess, Guy M. Encyclopaedia of Conflict Resolution. (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 1997)