The University of Nairobi community joined other dignitaries in celebrating the International Day of non-violence on October, 2, 2016 which coincides with the birthday of Indian icon Mahatma Gandhi.
The Guest Speaker, Prof. PLO Lumumba, Director, School of Law, noted that the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi of non-violence is applicable even today in a world full of violence. He cited the Rwandan genocide, South Sudan, Congo and Middle East among others. PLO Lumumba called on the audience to observe the ideals of Gandhi such as humility, truth, integrity, righteousness, peace and non violence.
Speaking during the celebrations, University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor, observed that the University is at the forefront in promoting peace and non-violence. He singled out the late Prof. Wangari Maathai who was a champion of the peace and environmental conservation. The university has immortalized her by building a campus in her honour.
India High Commissioner, H.E. Ms. Suchitra Durai praised the late Mahatma Gandhi who was a man of action. He was an economist, a nationalist and a man of religion who prided himself in experimentation. Gandhi practised what he preached. He practised peace and non-violence. Mahatma Gandhi cherished values as ; strength coming from righteousness, unworthy means can’t produce worthy ends; struggling to win over adversary, understanding others and compromise.
In her speech, United Nations Secretary General, Madame Sahle-Work Zewde urged the audience to practise the ideas of Gandhi of protecting the environment, avoid pollution, taking care of the surrounding. She delivered a message from United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon: “We must respect nature, practise environmental sustainability and non-violence.” She took the opportunity to congratulation India for climate change ratifications.
The Chancellor, Dr. Vijoo Rattansi noted that we must reflect the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi to avoid so much violence that permeates the world. “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. Humility, truth, respect for other race is the joy of life. I beseech you to reject all forms of segregation, “she said.
The Vice-Chancellor took the opportunity to thank the Indian High Commission for the USD 1M grant given to the University of Nairobi towards the construction of the ultra-modern library. The High Commission as well has played a leading role in skills development for both teaching and non-teaching staff.
Also present during the celebrations were: Dr. Manu Chandaria, University Management Boad, University Senate, Hindu Community, dignitaries from the United Nations, among others.