Nonviolence Month: started on 2 October 2014, International Day of Nonviolence and birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, and finished on 1 November 2014 with an event, Nonviolence Concert, organised by ICON Australia in partnership with Soka Gakkai International Australia.
On 2 October 2014 Nonviolence Month was launched at University of New South. The event started with the inaugural speech by Gambhir Watts OAM, Founder and President ICON Australia. While launching the Nonviolence Month, he emphasised the role and importance of Gandhian values in combating the internal and societal violence. He stressed upon the need of nonviolence and cited his visionary aim to continuously work towards spreading the message of nonviolence in action everywhere.
Dr Neville Roach AO, Patron of the UNSW Node of the Australia India Institute in his speech spoke about the nonviolence and the Gandhian values. He invited people to be a part of Nonviolence Month celebrations and activities. He emphasized the launch of Nonviolence month as the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi and an opportunity to reflect on his life, his values and their meaning to people all today.
Greg Johns, Vice General Director, Soka Gakkai International (SGI) Australia spoke about the violence spread across the peoples, nations and emphasises the need of the Nonviolence practices to be adopted in today’s society.
Educational material ‘My Non-Violence’, with teachings of Mahatma Gandhi regarding how he showed to the world that Truth and Von-Violence are the twin pillars on which rested his life, were distributed to the audience.
Nonviolence Month was an Australia-wide event in collaboration with major universities. The planned activities were concerts, musicals (peace through music), sports, lectures and workshops. The leading government departments, councils, universities, schools and organisations participated in the Nonviolence Month by various means and ways. Some acted as a leading voice for building peace in our communities through dialogue and other forms of nonviolent conflict resolution, inviting and hosting speakers, contacting the relevant business units and associations at their organisations to seek their input on how they are able to actively participate, spreading Nonviolence messages through student clubs and societies, writing and publishing articles on Nonviolence theme, promoting their social media networks, arranging lecture series or workshops or re-branding sporting activities etc.
Nonviolence Month ended on 1 November 2014 with Nonviolence Concert held in partnership with Sokka Gakkai International Australia. Throughout the event artists from a wide range of communities presented a highly variegated array of traditional music and dance to convey the message of peace and nonviolence. The event started with Soka Gakkai World Choir, followed by Ruedisima Latin Co presenting Argentinian Tango Dance, Cumbia Dance and Salsa Dance, dances originated in South America. Gennadi Dubinsky and his two musicians captivated the audience with Russian Opera Songs and Music, Australian Chinese Dance presented colourful traditional Chinese dances and Scottish Highland Dance students presented a variety of Scottish traditional and classic dances. Dr Ramanathan played Indian Classical music (karnatic) giving closure to the event.