Bhubaneswar:The two-day national conference on ‘Remembering Mahatma Gandhi: Compassion and Relevance for Our Time’, got off, here on Tuesday. The conference, organized by the Centre for Humanities & Compassion Studies of Xavier University,Bhubaneswar(XUB), was inaugurated by retired major general Chris J Eze, who is now the high commissioner, Republic of Nigeria. The Odisha governor, Dr.SC Jamir,  delivered the key note address of the conference.

The vice-chairman of Odisha State Higher Education Council, Dr. Ashok Das, former president of India late KR Nayanan’s OSD and press secretary S.N. Sahu, the Xavier University vice chancellor Prof. Dr. Fr. Paul Fernandes, S.J. and the registrar Fr. E.A. Augustine graced the inaugural session.

The session was followed by a debate competition among the XUB students on the topic ‘The Relevance of Gandhian Perspective: 7 Deadly Social Sins,  chaired by deal of Xavier School of Human Resources Dr. SnigdhaPattnaik, and dean of Xavier School of Sustainability Management.Dr.S. Peppin.

The conference, which will be held on January 30 and 31st, is  conducted with the objective of commemorating Gandhiji on his 150thdeath anniversary in 2019. An Indigo Dyeing Workshop by Brij Ballav Udaiwal, and an enthralling Urdu recitation popularly known as “Dastangoi” on Gandhiji’s Sabarmati Experience, by Ankit Chadhha and Vedanth Bharadwaj are part of the conference.

The Odisha governor, Dr. S.C. Jamir, graced the after-noon session and delivered the keynote address of the two-day conference. The governor spoke of the relevance of the Mahatma in today’s time, stating how his teachings are indestructible as the laws of gravity. Quoting the Mahatma himself, he said, “Hate the sin; love the sinner”. He emphasized on how non-violence is the basic and eternal value; the genesis of humanity, and its progression. He rightfully stressed on the relevance of Gandhiji’s teachings; with globalization on the rise. He quoted the Mahatma again by stating that one cannot divide life into water-tight components.

The technical session on “Satyagraha, Non-Violence and Humane Development” began in the evening. The panelists for the occasion were- Dr. Shiv Viswanathan, Dr. D. Jeevan Kumar and Prof. RajsekharBasu.