Standing Room Only – the sign that should have been posted outside Schorling Auditorium 3:45 p.m. yesterday. Hundreds of people who could not enter the auditorium to hear Rajmohan Gandhi’s speech, “Clinging to the Truth in the 21st century: What the Legacies of King and Gandhi have to offer,” stood outside and watched the speech from a live television screen.

Rajmohan, the grandson of humanitarian Mahatma Gandhi, spoke about the relationship Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi shared in their vision for peace.

“It was interesting to hear what he said and to see how he related Gandhi and King to the theme,” RC senior Kevin Fosnacht said.

Rajmohan illustrated the parallel between his grandfather’s fight for the Untouchables in India and King’s fight for the blacks in America.

“Violence against the weak had to be condemned,” Rajmohan said. “Gandhi

knew the caste system and the inequity of the Untouchability had to be attacked … Gandhi would have rather abandoned the whole movement for independence if he had to abandon the Untouchables.”

Quoting his grandfather, Rajmohan said, “It is a matter of shame … that there are farmers who feel Untouchables are their slaves.”

Rajmohan drew upon the Sept. 11th events to denounce racial discrimination against Muslims in the United States.

“Racial discrimination against Muslims was legitimized,” Rajmohan said. “Great and unforgettable crimes were committed.”

Drawing on increased suspicion from the U.S. government toward Muslims, Rajmohan said that in the United States an individual is usually innocent until proven guilty, but after the Sept. 11 events, Muslims are first considered guilty until they demonstrate their innocence.

Rajmohan also spoke about how America incorrectly connects the war on terrorism with Islam by the rhetoric of “us” versus “them”.

“Today colonialism is out but politically correct racism is in,” said Rajmohan.

With the Middle East crisis, Rajmohan stressed the importance of using nonviolence on both sides to bring “justice to the Palestinians and security to the Israelis,” explaining how violence in the region was counterproductive.

“Why is nonviolence not being given more of a chance?” Rajmohan asked.

In order to bring peace to the Middle East, Rajmohan said the United States must be more objective in its involvement.

“America needs to have an even-handed approach,” Rajmohan said.

Rajmohan brought the title of the lecture into his discussion of nonviolence when an audience member asked, “How can we cling to the truth when we don’t know what it is?”

In response, Rajmohan explained the importance of an objective search for what is right by looking at both sides. However, he said, as hard as it is to search for the truth, nonviolence is the better solution because the conclusions drawn about what is right may be imperfect.

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