Gandhi-Luthuli Chair of Peace Studies launched

September 18th, 2008 - 12:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Durban, Sep 18 (IANS) The Gandhi-Luthuli Chair of Peace Studies at the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) here will be officially launched by Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma and African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma.Named after two of the world’s greatest leaders who espoused peace as a solution to counter oppression and racism, Mahatma Gandhi and Chief Albert Luthuli, the Chair aims to commemorate the memory of the many people who gave their lives in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

With the focus on post-graduate research, the Chair will encourage debate on issues around human rights, philosophy, language, history and morality in civil society.

The Chair is the result of a decade of discussion between the University and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations via the successive Indian-Consul-Generals here.

Current Consul-General Harsh Vardhan Shringla called the establishment of the position a great example of the cooperation between India and South Africa. “It focuses on the areas of peace and non-violence that underpin the historical and ideological nature of the relationship,” he said.

University vice chancellor Malegapuru Makgoba said the Chair creates an opportunity to further meet “the growing demand for a relevant curriculum of African-Asian Studies at UKZN”.

The first incumbent of the Chair will be Prof John Moolakkattu, who has had extensive experience in India of Gandhian, peace and development studies.

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