Screening of the film 'Ahimsa: Gandhi - the Power of Powerless'
Throughout history, social and political movements, oppose oppression have repeatedly ended in violent uprisings and revolutions. Mahatma Gandhi, however, relied on Ahimsa – a soul force. The impressive documentary "Ahimsa: Gandhi - the Power of Powerless" by Ramesh Sharma pays homage to Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of his 150th birthday and honours him as the leader of India's non-violent independence movement. The film-screening was an event in the ‘Ritinjali-CEP Conversations’ series. The unique initiative is geared towards bringing together leaders from many disciplines for an inspiring and thought-provoking exchange of ideas and experiences.
Ramesh Sharma is a well-known award-winning feature film and documentary Producer/Director in India whose films have won numerous awards in Indian National, as well as International Film Festivals. He is the recipient of six National awards and numerous International awards (including the Opera Prima in the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival) and his film, The Journalist and the Jihadi – The Murder of Daniel Pearl was nominated for two Emmy awards in the USA.
Ahimsa is a Sanskrit term that translates roughly into non-injury to living beings or dynamic harmlessness. The film is about Ahimsa with respect to Gandhi, but more importantly Gandhi and his influence on the seminal world movements that took place, for instances, his influence on the civil rights movement in America, the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, the Solidarity Movement in Poland, the Velvet Revolution of Czechoslovakia, and the independence of India. So it is about the importance of non-violence and its relevance in contemporary times.
The film also narrates the impact of the Gandhian message of Non Violence worldwide; how it inspired Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement in USA, the Solidarity Movement in Poland, The Velvet Revolution of Havel, and the Anti- Apartheid strife in South Africa and Nelson Mandela’s fight against injustice, oppression, racism and his struggle to restore basic human rights and dignity for the coloured citizens of his country. In short, the film decodes the power of Non-Violence and why it remains relevant to this day.
Along with interviews with world renowned scholars, biographers, as well as close family members of Mahatma Gandhi and Nobel Laureates such as The Dalai Lama and the former Polish President Lech Walesa, the feature documentary captures rare archival footage, photographs and inspirational songs in order to put together a compelling and powerful narrative of the impact of Ahimsa- Non Violence in some of the seminal political movements of the 20th century and its continuing relevance for contemporary times. As Martin Luther King Jr. says in the film, “The choice is no longer between Violence and Non Violence. it is between Non-Violence and Non-Existence.”