Dr. Shobhana Radhakrishna gives a lecture on the transformational leadership of Mahatma Gandhi

On October 9, 2019, at the Napredak Cultural Center in Zagreb, the Croatian-Indian Society and the Embassy of India in Zagreb organized a lecture by Dr. Shobhana Radhakrishna on the transformational leadership of Mahatma Gandhi.

Mahatma Gandhi is the most well-known Indian in the world. His life was one of dedication and simplicity, and he valued non-violence, peace, truth, and purity of means as the guiding principles of his life. He followed the inner voice that guided him throughout his life, and he could justifiably say to the world that ‘My Life is My Message’. Mahatma Gandhi displayed the ability to lift the question of morals from that of the personal, and transform it into a problem that reflects and impacts the ethics of all of humanity.

There are few among the 20th-century leaders who can measure up to the standards set by Mahatma Gandhi in the practice of ethical leadership. Mahatma Gandhi proved that moral and ethical behaviour is inexorably linked to the genuine understanding and method of the philosophy of truth, non-violence, and purity of means. Mahatma Gandhi’s thought and principles can guide the people in any part of the world as they have the strength to inspire and bring about change. The value-based leadership espoused by Mahatma Gandhi in public life is a perfect model to be emulated in all spheres of our activities. Gandhian economics stands for a commitment to values, ethical leadership conduct, transparency and makes a distinction between personal and corporate funds in the management of a company. He is a supreme practical leader for change whose life can inspire and guide the modern and aspiring youth in building and leading an ethical and sustainable ecology.

Gandhi envisioned a world that would evolve towards peace and harmony, a world where different religions, cultures, and peoples of the world would live together with mutual respect and tolerance, rather than in suspicion and hatred. In a century marked by two world wars, the Holocaust, and the atomic bomb, when the world was torn apart by hate and intolerance, Gandhi emerged as a powerful antithesis to man’s cruelty and small-mindedness. He became the voice of sanity and a beacon of hope for peace-minded and tolerant individuals everywhere. The Gandhian thought of peace is worldwide acknowledged. The name of Gandhi is synonyms with peace & non-violence.

For Gandhi, religious and moral education in the overarching framework of non-violence is complementary and forms the core of peace education. Gandhi’s thoughts on inequality, social development, education and non-violence if operationalised, can go a long way to negotiate and overcome not only the socio-economic challenges but also the ethical dilemmas of present times. The current nature and content of education undermine the social goal and obligation of developing a balanced personality. For Gandhi, value education is necessary for the moral development of an individual, whereas peace education is vital for humankind as a whole.

The talk attempts to provide some principles, ideas, and alternatives that can help us in our quest for more excellent substance. These lessons gleaned from Mahatma Gandhi’s life offer us invaluable advice on leading an enlightened life, a more meaningful, self-aware, socially responsible and saner life.

Prepared by: Robert Bulat, secretary, Croatian-Indian Society