Conference on
Gandhi Community Empowerment Conference 2016: Teachings & c

Date: Sunday, October 23, 2016 Time: 2:15pm4:30pm
Venue: Queens College Campus, Campbell Dome


  • Welcome & Introductions
  • Remarks by Asian/American Center of Queens College Remarks by Indian Diaspora Council
  • Remarks by NYS Assemblyman David Weprin Officials & Organization Representatives
  • Keynote Speaker
  • Other Speakers
  • 100th Anniversary Commemoration of Abolition of Indian Indentureship NextGen Engagement
  • Recognition
  • Concluding Remarks

Moderator: Darrel Sukhdeo, Indian Diaspora Council

Hosted by: Asian/American Center of Queens College

Sponsored by: Indian Diaspora Council

Co-sponsored by:
Indian Diaspora Council (IDC); Indian Jewish Council; American Bengali Hindu Foundation (ABHF); Holi Sammelan & Festival Committee; New York Guyana Medical & Humanitarian Mission; Federation of Hindu Mandirs, Inc. (USA; Indo-Caribbean Alliance; Indo-Caribbean Federation; Association of Artists & Writers; Interfaith Council for Comm. Development; and others…..

Snacks Courtesy of: Bakewell Bakery & Restaurant Tel: 1-718-322-5600/5601

Gandhi Community Empowerment Conference 2016

The teachings and practice of non-violence by Mahatma Gandhi have had tremendous influence on the US Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. drew inspiration from Mahatma Gandhis struggle and methodology for social justice and equity. It is generally known that had it not been for Gandhis leadership, pursuit for social justice, his teachings and influence, Dr. King"s civil rights crusade in the United States might have been different.

Gandhis "satya graha" campaign eventually led to Indias political freedom. In a similar manner, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, was able to achieve significant advances in the US Civil Rights Movement for people of color. Today, we the immigrants, also enjoy the benefits of Dr. Kings and the Civil Rights Movement. While discrimination and inequity still persist in many sectors of US society, these have been reduced to such an extent that opportunities have now been opened in several areas where these were previously closed.

We believe that a discourse on “Gandhi’s Influence on the US Civil Rights Movement" is a fitting birthday tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, especially at this time in our history when violence is being used indiscriminately to solve problems or to settle scores. Focus on Gandhis teachings and philosophy will allow us to approach problems in a humane way. We also believe that our youth must become acquainted with works and philosophy of both Gandhis and Dr. Kings.

In the evolution of the non-violence movement, Indians (both free and indentured) in South Africa constituted the bulk of the protesters between 1907 (when Gandhi launched his first “satyagraha” campaign) until 1914 when he left South Africa. Gandhi provided his mentor Gokhale in the Indian Legislative Council with information on the conditions in South Africa. In 1912, Gokhale called for the complete abolition of indentureship. When this was finally achieved in 1917, Gandhi indicated that “satya graha” had “hastened the end”.

Dr. Madhulika Khandelwal: Director of Asian/American Center and Associate Professor in Urban Studies Department at Queens College, City University of New York. Taught Asian American Studies at a number of universities and has conducted research on contemporary Asian American communities. Main interests include immigrants, women, South Asian diaspora, Asian American communities, and multicultural issues. Book: Becoming American, Being Indian: An Immigrant Community in New York City. Born in India, educated in India & USA, PhD in History, Carnegie-Mellon Univ. Honored by NYC Comptroller’s Office, Queens Women’s Center, Elmhurst Hospital Center, and several community organizations.

Dr. Tyran Ramnarine: Born in Guyana, graduate of University of Guyana, University of Kansas (Fulbright Scholar), USA and University of Sussex, UK. Completed his PhD in history Univ. of Sussex, UK focusing on growth and establishment of East Indian population in Guyana (1880 to 1920). Was former history lecturer at University of Guyana, assoc. professor Washburn University, Kansas, USA; worked in adult education in NYC Department of Education. Now retired and works part time in adult education. His article “Over a Hundred Years of East Indian Disturbances on the Sugar Estates” in Guyana appears in "India in the Caribbean." Book in progress: A novel about living and surviving on a sugar estate.

Anand Ahuja, Esq: Born in India, attorney in New York, Connecticut, Virginia, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, U.S. District Court; Southern District of NY, U.S. District Court; Eastern District of NY, and U.S. Tax Court. Educated in India & USA: LLM; LLB. (JD); MA, MBA; Postgraduate Diploma in Gandhian Philosophy. Also works as an Arbitrator with NYC Small Claims Courts. Was Adjunct Faculty at Baruch College (City University of New York); Adjunct Faculty International Business at the USDA Graduate School, Washington, D.C.; and Adjunct Faculty at Howard University. More than 150 published papers/articles; appeared in numerous TV interviews/panels including Al-Jazeera TV. Writes and speaks on various socio-political and legal issues. Received awards and honors from several organizations and Bar Associations in USA and India for Pro-bono services Not-For-Profit organizations.


Indian Diaspora Council
Post Office Box 650523
Queens, New York 11365

Phone: +1-347-494-1502
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