Ashoka

Emperor Asoka is known as Piyadasi (in Pali) or Priyadarshi (in Sanskrit) meaning “He who regards everyone with affection". All his inscriptions have the imperial touch and show compassionate loving. He addressed his people as his "children".

 
FHSM Calendar

Visit the FHSM Calendar for the year 2011-2012 for the activities, events and schedule of FHSM.

THEMES & IDEALOGUES

Theme 4: Social Transformation & Peace Building

Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, chiefly responsible for drafting of The Constitution of India and a champion of human rights was born on the 14th April, 1891. After graduating from Elfinstone College, Bombay in 1912, he joined Columbia University, USA where he was awarded Ph.D. Later he joined the London School of Economics and obtained a degree of D.Sc. (Economics) and was called to the Bar from Gray's Inn.


On his return to India in 1923, he founded 'BahishkritHitkariniSabha' with the main objective of spreading education and improving the economic conditions of the depressed classes. With the slogan of 'Educate-Agitate-Organize', the social movement led by Dr.Ambedkar aimed at Annihilation of Caste and the Reconstruction of Indian Society on the basis of equality of human beings.

In 1927, he led the march at Mahad, Maharashtra to establish the rights of the untouchables to taste water from the Public Chawdar Lake', traditionally prohibited to them. This marked the beginning of anti-caste and anti-priest movement. The temple entry movement launched by Dr.Ambedkar in 1930 at the Kalaram Temple, Nashik, Maharashtra is another landmark in the struggle for human rights and political justice. Dr.Ambedkar held the view that "Only political power cannot be a panacea for the ills of the depressed classes. Their salvation lies in their social elevation". As a Member of the Viceroy's Executive Council from July 1942 he was instrumental in bringing about several legislative measures to protect the rights of labourers and workers.

One of the greatest contributions of Dr. Ambedkar was in respect of Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in the Constitution of India. The Fundamental Rights provide for freedom, equality, and abolition of Untouchability and remedies to ensure the enforcement of rights. The Directive Principles enshrine the broad guiding principles for securing fair distribution of wealth and better living conditions.

On the 14th October, 1956, Babasaheb Ambedkar embraced Buddhism. He continued the crusade for social revolution until the end of his life on the 6th December 1956. He was honoured with the highest national honour, 'Bharat Ratna' in April 1990.

John Dewey (1859 - 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. Dewey was an important early developer of the philosophy of pragmatism and one of the foundersoffunctional psychology. He was a major representative of progressive education and liberalism.

Although Dewey is known best for his publications concerning education, he also wrote about many other topics, including experience, nature, inquiry, democracy, and ethics.

In his advocacy of democracy, Dewey considered two fundamental elements—schools and civil society - as being major topics needing attention and reconstruction to encourage experimental intelligence and plurality. Dewey asserted that complete democracy was to be obtained not just by extending voting rights but also by ensuring that there exists a fully formed public opinion, accomplished by effective communication among citizens, experts, and politicians, with the latter being accountable for the policies they adopt.

Dewey ranks with the greatest thinkers of this or any age on the subjects of pedagogy, philosophy of mind, epistemology, logic, philosophy of science, and social and political theory. His pragmatic approaches to ethics, aesthetics, and religion have also remained influential.

Dr. Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, was born in 1930 in Oslo, Norway. He is a mathematician, sociologist, political scientist and the founder of the discipline of peace studies. He founded the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (1959), the world's first academic research center focused on peace studies, as well as the influential Journal of Peace Research (1964). He has helped found dozens of other peace centers around the world. He has served as a professor for peace studies at universities all over the world, including Columbia (New York), Oslo, Berlin, Belgrade, Paris, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Sichuan, Ritsumeikan (Japan), Princeton, Hawai'i, Tromsoe, Bern, Alicante (Spain) and dozens of others on all continents. He has taught thousands of individuals and motivated them to dedicate their lives to the promotion of peace and the satisfaction of basic human needs. He has mediated in over 100 conflicts between states, nations, religions, civilizations, communities, and persons since 1957. His contributions to peace theory and practice include conceptualization of peace-building, conflict mediation, reconciliation, nonviolence, theory of structural violence, theorizing about negative vs. positive peace, peace education and peace journalism. Prof. Galtung's unique imprint on the study of conflict and peace stems from a combination of systematic scientific inquiry and a Gandhian ethics of peaceful means and harmony. He is founder (in 2000) and rector of the TRANSCEND Peace University, the world's first online Peace Studies University. He is also the founder and director of TRANSCEND International, a global non profit network for Peace, Development and the Environment, founded in 1993, with over 500 members in more than 70 countries around the world. As a testimony to his legacy, peace studies are now taught and researched at universities across the globe and contribute to peacemaking efforts in conflicts around the world.

Paulo Freire was born in 1921 in Recife, Brazil. In 1947 he began work with adult illiterates in North-East Brazil and gradually evolved a method of work with which the word conscientization has been associated. Until 1964 he was Professor of History and Philosophy of Education in the University of Recife and in the 1960s he was involved with a popular education movement to deal with massive illiteracy. From 1962 there were widespread experiments with his method and the movement was extended under the patronage of the federal government. In 1963-4 there were courses for co-ordinators in all Brazilian states and a plan was drawn up for the establishment of 2000 cultural circles to reach 2,000,000 illiterates. Freire was imprisoned following the 1964 coup d’etat for what the new regime considered to be subversive elements in his teaching. He next appeared in exile in Chile where his method was used and the UN School of Political Sciences held seminars on his work. He went to the World Council of Churches in Geneva where, in 1970, he took up a post as special consultant in the Office of Education. Over the next nine years in that post he advised on education reform and initiated popular education activities with a range of groups. He was able to return to Brazil by 1979. Freire joined the Workers’ Party in Sao Paulo and headed up its adult literacy project for six years. When the party took control of Sao Paulo municipality following elections in 1988, Paulo Freire was appointed as Sao Paulo’s Secretary of Education. He died in 1997.

Mahathma Jyotiba Phule was an activist, thinker, social reformer, writer, philosopher, theologist, scholar, editor and revolutionary from Maharashtra, India in the nineteenth century. JyotibaPhule and his wife SavitribaiPhule were pioneers of women's education in India. His remarkable influence was apparent in fields like education, agriculture, caste system, women and widow upliftment and removal of untouchability. He is most known for his efforts to educate women and the lower castes as well as the masses. For his fight to attain equal rights for peasants and the lower caste and his contributions to the field of education, he is regarded as one of the most important figures of the Social Reform Movement in Maharashtra. DhananjayKeer, his biographer, notes him as "the father of Indian social revolution". one of the prominent social reformers of the nineteenth century India.

FHSM News
Wed, 16th Jan @ Chennai
FHSM meets with Walter Hahn from the German Dalit solidarity platform DSiD to discuss potential cooperation.
 
Gallery

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