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Introductory Talk at the Gandhi Conference organized by HSC

Good morning and welcome to all who have gathered today. My name is 
Abhijit Ghosh and I am Maudhu Goel.  In Robert Frost's poem, the narrator 
is faced with the choice of two paths. Both of which were equal in 
promise and magnitude. His decison was not simply based on instinct but 
on keen forsight of the results from his chosen path. With each obstacle 
overcome, he took one more step down the path to where Truth awaits with 
arms outstretched. Gandhi was able to progress down the chosen path to 
reach an enlightenment which shines as an example for all to follow.
	By gathering here today, we have all taken the same step 
together. As we all approach this crossroads of our destiny, let us ask 
why we have come here. Have we been touched by Mahatma Gandhi's dream and 
memories? Or have we come here to listen to to speakers discuss Gandhi's 
philosophy's and ideology? Perhaps it is both or neither but in the end, 
this is a moot point. Gandhi had a dream of people surging forwards with 
hands linked in unity with each one of us carrying a smile of peace and 
understanding. Today we take that first step. We do not have much, just 
our individuality. Yet a group of individuals coalesced into one is an 
unstoppable force. 
	As individuals, we each search for an underlying peace withing. 
It is obscure but we allow ourselves to think, search, and look for 
answers. This path excludes none regardless of race or culture. For in 
the end, we are all destined to find the everlasting harmony that 
encompasses our lives and essence of existence.  Along our jounrey, 
storms of discontent, racism, and violence will visit our lives 
periodically.  And perhaps there might be broken glass littered on our 
path. Glass of hatred, greed, and self indulgence try to influence us to 
diverge from our path.. Yet there will also be green grass underfoot. A 
grass built from pure friendship from simply undertanding and accepting 
each other surround us.. A collected group searching for the same higher 
plane of existance. Gandhi and his followers were pioneers of this path 
and have left torches of hope for us to follow. In the end, we search for 
the truth. Yet the value of finding the harmony goes unrewarded unless we 
all continue for "The Search for Truth through our Unity". 
	So my friends, we could stop and be persuaded by the storm and 
glass surrounding our lives to leave the path.  But I hope we keep going 
through. I see grass extending for miles.
	In his childhood, Gandhi forsaked deceit for truth. This desire 
for individuality and purity remained strong throughout his development.  
He went through a phase like we all do of rebellion marked by secret 
atheism, petty theft, furtive smiking and most shocking of a boy born of 
a Vaisnawa faily: meat eating.  For each transgression, he made a 
promise. "Never again".  Beneath a calm exterior, he concealed a burning 
passion for self-improvement.
	In Gandhi's early adulthood, he travlled to England to study. 
During his stay, he was greatly influenced by a club called London 
Vegeterian Soceity.  Through this interaction, a message of living simply 
and a superiority of moral conviction in the strenght of goodness became 
enscribed in Gandhi's faith. Later in Gandhi's life, he journeyed to 
Africa to practice law. He faced a storm of prejudice in the world and 
understood the plight of the poor and the weak.  Yet he chose not to 
return the arrow of hatred with violence. "Non Violence is the first 
article of my faith. It is also the last article of my faith."  
	The birth of Satayagraha was born by Gandhi.  It was used a tool 
for redressing wrongs through inviting and gentle persistance rather than 
inflicting the adversary with harm. The enemy was not to be hated but to 
be understood.  People would not react with rancor or bitterness.  These 
concepts began gaining strength in the minds of many. A power whose 
fundamental strength lies in the will of us all to to hold on to the 
truth burnt strong in the hearts of many then and now. This perception of 
equality permeates Gandhi's thoughts and actions. He chose his path as 
Truth lit the way toward enlightenment.  Upon his embrace with Truth, a 
deeper harmony coarsed through Gandhi's blood and he wished to share this 
glow with all in the world.
	Gandhi was one of the most influential figures of the 20th 
century. Dozens of movements sparked by Gandhi's philosophies and 
ideoligies have sparked the onslaught against injustice and racism.  
Martin Luther King, one of the most respected civil right's leader of our 
era preached the same concepts of Gandhi.  Albert Einstein once remarked 
that non violence is the perfect antidoe for the violence unleashed by 
the atom.  Today we would like to introduce you to a few people who have 
been influenced by the "Great Soul", Mahatma Gandhi. Our first speaker 

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