Club explores life and teachings of Gandhi

The life and philosophies of Mahatma Gandhi (Oct. 2, 1869-Jan. 30, 1948) was the focus of the semester’s first official philosophy club meeting on Sept. 30. Mohan Ramanan, a visiting Fullbright scholar from the University of Hyderabad, served as the meeting’s guest speaker. He spoke about Gandhi, a non-violent protester who led the nation of India to independence from British rule in the 20th century

Ramanan, a native to Gandhi’s own birth country of India, has published a handful of materials about the well-known historical figure since the late 1960s, and has also been a part of numerous lectures about him in both the U.S. and Europe.

“I’ve written a little, but nothing to signify a Gandhi scholar, or anything like that. I’m just an interested person,” said Ramanan.

During the lecture, Ramanan covered key aspects of Gandhi’s personal philosophies, such as the concepts of Satya and Ahimsa, as well as his motivations and personal struggles in life.

“He’s not a systematic philosopher … like students studying philosophy as a discipline—they’re systematic philosophers. Gandhi practiced a certain philosophy in his life, so we’re probably going to talk about things related to that,” said Ramanan prior to the event.

Ramanan also expressed some of his more personal connections with Gandhi during the “Gandhi–Who was he?” symposium hosted by Southern’s English department on Oct. 1.

“We had here on campus Dr. Ramanan … and this is his area of expertise so we thought, ‘Let’s take advantage of Dr. Ramanan while he’s here to talk about something of philosophical interest that he’s got some expertise in,’” said Barry Brown, professor of philosophy and adviser to the philosophy club.

The philosophy club is a student-driven club that has been active on campus for decades, according to Brown, it typically cover a broad range of topics that invoke philosophical thought. For more information, contact Brown at (417) 625-9659.