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Oxford professor will discuss Gandhi's role as a thinker and activist (Released: 11/19/95)

by Luis Mocete, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- Judith Brown, a professor of Commonwealth history at the University of Oxford, will discuss Gandhi's role as a thinker and an activist at 5 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center s Konover Auditorium.

Her talk, in conjunction with the Asian American Studies Institute lecture series and the University s year-long celebration of human rights and the rule of law, will expand the idea that Gandhi s view of human rights is profoundly different from the Western world s. He believed in human duties, Brown said. Gandhi believed people had an obligation to serve one another because service is essential to one s integrity as a human.

Brown, who holds the Beit chair at Oxford and is a fellow of Balliol College, travels regularly to India for research, lectures and conferences, and has written widely on Indian history and politics. She began researching Gandhi in the mid-1960's when his collected works were beginning to be published.

Brown has written three books on Gandhi, and a fourth, Gandhi and South Africa: Principles and Politics, written in collaboration with five other authors, will be released next year. This book celebrates the 100th anniversary of Gandhi s arrival in South Africa and the occasson when he was thrown out of a train because a white passenger objected to sharing a first-class carriage with him, although he had a first-class ticket, Brown said. Gandhi later cited this experience as the beginning of his understanding of discrimination, she said.

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