Gandhi’s grandson speaks against violence at OU

Andrew Smith

Student Reporter–


Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas Gandhi, spoke about how to improve on current teachings in schools and households, and practicing non-violence on March 12 at the University of Oklahoma.

The week before he arrived at OU, a video showing fraternity members of the university’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon singing songs that contained racial slurs surfaced online.

“It is a very great pleasure to be here, but it is also a very sad occasion because of what happened on this campus a few days ago,” he said. “It is a reflection of what is going on in the world. There is so much hate, prejudice and violence that is consuming the world.”

Two students were expelled from OU and the fraternity house was closed following the incident. Arun Gandhi commented on how the university could have handled the situation better.

“I was rather pained when I heard that these students were expelled from the university. … I feel that a better way to resolve this would have been to compel those students to do something,” he said.

“They should be made to participate in a workshop and understand black history and black culture. … I think that would have been much more helpful, rather than throwing them out on the streets.”

He said that not just OU, but all universities, should offer ethnic diversity classes that teach “how we can all live together” and “how we can all understand each other.”

He said when he or his siblings acted out as children, his parents would punish themselves. “Because our relationship with our parents was based on mutual love and respect, we felt awful when that kind of thing happened and we made sure that kind of thing never happened again,” he said.

He shared a story about lying to his father and that his father disciplined himself. “If he had punished me the way we punish our children today, I don’t think I would have learned the lessons.”




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