SRf Creatists & Saroni Roy Foundation (SRf) in partnership with the global leaders in peacebuilding, Rotary Club of Strathfield - Rotary International, are proud to host the inaugural Ahimsa Peace Symposium 2021, to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s 152nd Birth Anniversary, and UN International Day of Non-Violence on 2nd October 2021.
Objective of the Ahimsa Peace Symposium 2021
• The Ahimsa Peace Symposium 2021 is a tribute to the global peace hero Mahatma Gandhi. It commemorates Mahatma Gandhi’s Birth Anniversary (Gandhi Jayanti) and aims to increase public awareness and understanding of Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of Ahimsa (non-violence) as a non-violent approach to foster lasting peace within and across diverse & vulnerable communities, thereby accelerating inclusive, networked multilateralism with vision, ambition and impact, integral for a sustainable world. In 2021, our focus is on how Ahimsa supports the global agenda for “Women, Peace and Security”.
• The Gandhian values of Ahimsa — social action, justice and peace through non-violence — have universal relevance today, inform this Peace Symposium and perfectly align with Saroni Roy Foundation (SRf) & SRf Creatists’s core principles of ‘Diversity, Sustainability & Social Justice’ to create a more peaceful, more inclusive ‘One World’ to live and love.
• The Ahimsa Peace Symposium 2021 aims to celebrate Australia-India friendship, understanding and co-operation.
What will happen at the Ahimsa Peace Symposium 2021?
• Commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi’s Birth Anniversary and UN International Day of Non-Violence (2 October), and week of UN International Day of Peace (21 September).
• A discussion by inspirational speakers of the Gandhian values of Ahimsa, their articulation with UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and with Australia’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2021-2031.
• Live performance of Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite bhajans (devotional songs) by actor/artist Saroni Roy, Founder & CEO, Saroni Roy Foundation (SRf) & Director, SRf Creatists.
• The Ahimsa Peace Symposium 2021 is envisaged as a celebration of India@75, a path-breaking grassroots initiative for realizing the dream of “India by 2022”, when India completes 75 years of Independence.
• A virtual panel & global community forum, a call for action to peacebuilders, artists, government leaders, advocacy, media and academia worldwide and Sydney’s multicultural community, for a global partnership, to create a shared blueprint to achieve a better, peaceful and more sustainable future for all.
Why the focus on ‘Women, Peace and Security’?
• Across the world during the COVID-19 pandemic there has been an alarming increase in violence and crimes against women.
• In 2000 the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security (WPS) which called for “women’s equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance of peace and security”.
• UN SDG 5 Gender Equality aims to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, including all forms of violence against all women, such as trafficking, sexual and other types of exploitation.
• In 2021, the Australian government released its National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security 2021-2031, which supports the global WPS agenda by: (1) supporting women’s meaningful participation and needs in peace processes; (2) reducing sexual and gender-based violence; (3) supporting resilience, crisis and security, law and justice efforts to meet the needs and rights of all women and girls; and (4) demonstrating leadership and accountability for women, peace and security. These goals align strongly with SRf & SRf Creatists’s priorities in our region and around the world.
Ahimsa (also spelled Ahinsa) is an ancient Indian principle of non- violence which applies to all living beings. It is a key virtue in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. In the 19th and 20th centuries, prominent figures of Indian spirituality such as Shrimad Rajchandra and Swami Vivekananda emphasised the importance of Ahimsa. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (known as “Mahatma”, meaning “venerable” or “great souled”), successfully promoted the principle of Ahimsa to all spheres of life, in particular to politics (Swaraj). Gandhi believed Ahimsa to be a creative energy force, encompassing all interactions leading one’s self to find satya, (Divine Truth). Gandhi believed that non-violence is common to all religions, stating that “Ahimsa is in Hinduism, it is in Christianity as well as in Islam". Gandhi’s non-violent resistance movement had an immense impact on ending British rule in India in 1947. His non-violent political stance influenced civil rights activists around the world, including Martin Luther King Jr. and James Bevel.
Director, SRf Creatists
Founder & CEO, Saroni Roy Foundation
Creator & Producer, Ahimsa Peace Symposium
Actor | Co-chair, Equity Diversity - MEAA