Gandhi Family

Ela Gandhi Dedicates Bridge in Honor of Grandfather Gandhi

Posted by on Feb 4, 2015 in Gandhi Family | Comments Off on Ela Gandhi Dedicates Bridge in Honor of Grandfather Gandhi

Readers of Grandfather Gandhi who have wondered about Arun’s sister Ela, can see her in this news clip of her dedication of a bridge dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi’s message of nonviolence. “I think today the world needs that message much more than ever before,” she said. “The message of non-violence, of respect for each other, of love, of compassion and interfaith harmony.” What better symbol of harmony than a bridge from one shore to...

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Grandson Honoring Grandson, Grandfathers Remembered

Posted by on Dec 15, 2014 in Appearances, Gandhi Family | Comments Off on Grandson Honoring Grandson, Grandfathers Remembered

Ustad Ghulam Farid Nizami’s grandfather performed for Mahatma Gandhi.  By the incredible coincidence that Ustad Ghulam Farid Nizami’s colleague, Vivek Bakshi is the husband of Grandfather Gandhi author, Bethany Hegedus, Nizami had the opportunity to perform for Mahatma’s grandson, author Arun Gandhi.  Grandson honored grandson and two astounding grandfathers were remembered. A standing ovation performance by Ustad Ghulam Farid Nizami and his son Faraz opened the Grandfather Gandhi event at the Texas Book Festival in October. Later in the weekend, Vivek Bakshi and Bethany Hegedus welcomed Ustad and Faraz Nizami at their home for an extended performance for Arun Gandhi and his family.   Gallery Photos Photo © Sam Bond Photography   Ustad (Professor) Ghulam Farid Nizami is of the Senia Gharana tradition and is a descendant of Mian Tan Sen, court musician of 16th century Moghal Emperor Akbar the Great. He apprenticed with his father, Ustad Ishaq Nizami beginning at the age of 4 years. After his father’s death, he continued his studies with his elder brother Ustad Mohammad Akhtar Nizami as well as other esteemed Pakistani music maestros in sitar, vocals, tabla and harmonium. He received instruction in the tradition of Sufism from Khawaja Mohammad Moeen Khan Nizami and Haji Faiz Ahmed. Ustad Nizami created and hosted several educational television shows on Pakistan TV that featured the traditional music of North Pakistan, and has made innumerable radio and television appearances. He has worked extensively with the Folklore Museum at Lok Virsa in Islamabad and performed widely for the Pakistani National Council for the Arts for over 25 years. He has performed for all Pakistani heads of State as well as for a long list of foreign dignitaries, including 3 US presidents, Saudi King Abdullah, Jordani King Hussein, Nelson Mandela, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana. In over 30 years of teaching at Pakistani educational and performing arts institutions, including 14 years at the Beacon House School, Nizami has helped to create a new generation of musicians. Among his students are the first professional female tabla and sitar players in Pakistan. In 2008 he came to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar and taught at The University of Texas in Austin from ‘08- ‘09. Currently Nizami is performing in concerts in Texas and the United States and is a member of the Texas Commission of the Arts  Touring Artist Roster. TCA provides grants to arts presenters, schools, libraries, theaters and other non-profits throughout Texas to help with the cost of bringing in artists from the community. To find out how to apply for a grant to bring Ustad Nizami to your community, contact Nizami is also a member of the Mid America Arts Alliance Performing Artist Roster. Find out how to apply for a grant to bring him to your community in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska or Okahoma by visiting...

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Honoring 80 Years of Love and Light: Happy Birthday, Arun Gandhi

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in By Bethany Hegedus, Gandhi Family, Outreach | Comments Off on Honoring 80 Years of Love and Light: Happy Birthday, Arun Gandhi

Live in the Light: Share YOUR stories Grandfather Gandhi is a personal yet universal tale. Yes, it is about Arun Gandhi’s anger as a boy, and how he learned to use that anger to “shed light like a lamp” instead of be reactive and destructive as lightning can be, something his famous grandfather demonstrated in his non-violent teachings and ideas about passive resistance. But it is also a universal one. Librarian, Betsy Bird, in her Fuse 8 review of Grandfather Gandhi, writes this: “…Hegedus and Gandhi have formulated a much more accessible narrative. Few children can relate to having a famous relative. But what about controlling their anger in the face of injustice? What’s fascinating about this book is that the authors have taken a seemingly complex historical issue and put it into terms so child-friendly that a five-year-old could get the gist of it.” Today, Arun Gandhi turns 80 years old. In the last few weeks, there has been a secondly deadly shooting at Ft. Hood, a military base not far from where I live in Austin. There has been a lethal stabbing in a Pennsylvania high school. And yesterday, there was the murder of three at a Jewish Community Center in Kansas. Grandfather Gandhi, the book, was born out of a day of violence and destruction, 9/11. Bird, in her lengthy review ends with: “Fair play to author Bethany Hegedus for hearing him speak more than 13 years ago about this moment in his life, knowing that not only was there a picture book story to be had here, but a lesson kids today can grasp. As she says in her ‘Note from the Authors’ at the end, ‘The world we live in needs to heal – to heal from the wars that are fought, to the bullying epidemic, to mass killings by lone gunmen, to poverty, to hunger, and to issues that contribute to internal anger being outwardly expressed in violent actions.’  Gandhi’s message never grows old. Now we’ve got a  book that helps to continue his work for the youngest of readers. A necessary purchase then.” I can think of no better way to honor Arun Gandhi, 5th grandson of Mohandas K. Gandhi, than to continue his and his grandfather’s work, of helping our world heal. As I tell kids, when I am out in schools, “there wasn’t a band-aid big enough in the days after 9/11 to help our country heal,” and as I tell you know, it may have taken us twelve years to see this book through from idea to publication but we did. We chose light and we chose not to give in to the darkness. Today, tomorrow, and always you can do the same. So, I invite you, kids, adults, ALL, to wish Mr. Gandhi a happy birthday by contributing to the light and helping our world heal, in whatever way calls to you. You can publicly take the Live Your Life as Light pledge, you can download copies of the pledge and share with friends, family, and community groups. You can donate a copy of Grandfather Gandhi to a school, public library, group home, hospital, prison,or  institution of your choosing. AND you can email us at livelifeaslight AT  with YOUR STORIES of choosing the light: sharing stories of small and large scale activism, of forgiving yourself and others, of finding your own unique tools and talents, you can share a story about someone who has made a difference in your life, you can share a page from you anger journal, you can sit down with your parents, or...

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Always Endeavor

Posted by on Feb 28, 2014 in By Arun Gandhi, Gandhi Family, Mahatma Gandhi | Comments Off on Always Endeavor

By Arun Gandhi Manilal and Sushila Gandhi Not all my life lessons came directly from my Grandfather Gandhi. There were some that came through my parents, Manilal and Sushila Gandhi. Manilal was the second of grandfather’s four sons and the only one who devoted his life wholly to promoting and practicing his father’s philosophy of nonviolence in his personal and public life. “Become a Better Human Being” When I left Grandfather Gandhi in 1947 to return with my parents to South Africa, grandfather’s parting words were that I “must always endeavor to become a better human being.” My parents built on this slender advice to show me how this should be done as a daily practice. Every morning upon opening my eyes I had to thank God for another wonderful day, for a wonderful family and friends and a wonderful world. I had to seek Divine wisdom to help me become better and stronger human being and then work diligently towards achieving this goal. Imperfections It requires the humility to accept that one is an imperfect human being and instead of living with these imperfections one must make a constant effort throughout one’s life to become better by changing the imperfections, one small step at a time, to perfections. My parents dissuaded me from seeking role models in society. Each individual is different with vastly different abilities. Trying to model oneself on what someone else has achieved, even parents and grandparents, means you will be constantly trying to ape them instead of finding your own inner strength and abilities. Inter-related, Inter-connected and Inter-dependent My parents taught me to meditate every day for at least an hour to reflect on myself and discover my purpose in life. We are not individual human beings to do whatever we please. We are all inter-related, inter-connected and inter-dependent not only as humans but also with nature. The acceptance of this reality gives rise to humility and compassion in an individual along with the realization that each one of us is a small cog in the giant human machinery that will work efficiently only if all the parts play the role they are supposed to by the Law of Nature. It means we live for each other, not for our selves. The awakening of love, respect, understanding, compassion and appreciation of each other, and all of nature, will bring harmony in society and and allow us to build...

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