Gandhi's grandson to speak in Palo Alto

Oct. 23 event honors deceased local pastor and addresses 'bridges for peace'

Rajmohan Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, will speak at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Palo Alto on Saturday, Oct. 23.

Gandhi, whose presentation will be on "Building Bridges for Peace," is coming to Palo Alto as a special tribute to Rev. Don Mason, former pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church, who died in a fall while hiking.

After Mason moved to Urbana, Ill., to be pastor there, he met Gandhi, who is research professor at the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Illinois. They became close friends in their joint efforts for multi-faith cooperation after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

Saturday's event is free and open to the community and will take place at 10 a.m. at 670 E. Meadow Drive. There will be time for questions and reflection with Gandhi and his wife, Usha, followed by a reception.

Although being Gandhi's grandson is an important part of his identity, Gandhi is known in his own right for his dedication to building bridges for peace between cultures and religions.

He has written widely on the Indian-independence movement and its leaders, Indo-Pakistan relations, human rights and conflict resolution in all areas of the world. He is also the author of an extensive biography of his grandfather, entitled "Mohandas: A True Story of a Man, His People and an Empire."

Gandhi is a recent president of the international organization Initiatives for Change and is engaged in many activities, including a "Voyage of Dialogue and Discovery" to 15 countries around the world between March and June 2010.

More information can be found at and

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