Speaker: Michael Nagler, Rajni Bakshi & Friends

What Would Gandhi Do?

Coronavirus has uprooted the fabric of our lives. The global pandemic has unveiled gaping holes in our economic and social systems, unleashed humanity's capacity for goodwill, and propelled us into an uncertain future. How do we embrace not-knowing, recognize fear without giving into it, and respond with a heart of compassion? What would Gandhi do? How do we align with the laws of love and nonviolence in such times?

On Sunday 10th May at 9AM IST, Gandhian scholars, social change luminaries and "love warriors" will dive into these questions, and more. We invite you to join us.

In this inaugural Awakin Talk webinar, our panel will be composed of ...

Rajni Bakshi, the Mumbai-based journalist, author and activist who, for more than 40 years, has used the power of storytelling to navigate the complex interface of India’s social and spiritual fabric to affect social change. Her 1988 book, Bapu Kuti: Journeys in rediscovery of Gandhi, was the inspiration behind 2004 Indian Blockbuster film, Swades. A child of India's partition, advocate for transforming market systems, and fearless voyager into uncharted territory, Rajni's visionary conversations reflect her deep search for truth overlaid on the breadth of her knowledge and experiences. [more]

Prof. Michael Nagler is a world-renowned Gandhian scholar and founder of the first Peace and Conflict Studies program at University of California, Berkeley. His university lectures have supported over 20,000 students to absorb and incorporate ahimsa in their personal and social lives. The copious author is a recipient of many awards, including prestigious Jamnalal Bajaj Award for promoting Gandhian values outside India. Based in Northern California, Michael serves as President of Metta Center for Nonviolence Education, which released the documentary The Third Harmony in 2020. Michael resides at Eknath Easwaran's Blue Mountain Center of Meditation, where he has been based since 1970. [more]

Drishti Trivedi, our youngest panelist, launched into experiments in service at the ripe age of eighteen. Galvanizing friends to do acts of kindness on the streets of Mumbai -- from gifting friendship bracelets and tea to strangers, to sweeping the city streets, to organizing distributed clothing drives, befriending slum children (and eventually hosting an informal street school!), and beyond -- her experiments in the power of small has naturally nurtured values-based community, unleashing umpteen ripples of goodness. Upon graduating university, she delved into NGO sector working with differently-abled populations, and has been a compassionate volunteer, witty conversationalist, big-hearted "love warrior," and unsung force of goodness in India's Moved By Love ecosystem. This powerful story of listening conveys her dynamo spirit.

The panel will be moderated by Nipun Mehta, founder of ServiceSpace, a global community at the intersection of technology, volunteerism and gift-economy. Most recently, their pandemic response has showcased the unique beauty of its global ecosystem. Nipun was honored as an "unsung hero of compassion" by the Dalai Lama, not long before former U.S. President Obama appointed him to a council for addressing poverty and inequality in the US. Yet the core of what strikes anyone who meets him is the way his life is an attempt to bring smiles in the world and silence in his heart: “I want to live simply, love purely, and give fearlessly. That's me.” [more]

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