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Duquesne Law School Hosting Grandson of Historical Figure Gandhi

The Duquesne University School of Law will host the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, the renowned leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India, as part of its upcoming event Gandhi: The Lawyer on Thursday, Nov. 5, at 3:30 p.m. in the Power Center Ballroom.

Law Dean Ken Gormley will serve as moderator of the program featuring Rajmohan Gandhi and scholar Dr. Charles DiSalvo, author of M.K. Gandhi: Attorney at Law.  They will discuss Mahatma Gandhi's career as an attorney in South Africa and India, and how his work and the ethical decisions he faced helped to shape his role as one of the great international human rights figures. The event is free and open to the public.

"We are honored that Rajmohan Gandhi is participating in this historic program about his grandfather's formative years as an attorney and civil rights advocate," said Gormley. "Mahatma Gandhi used the legal system, civil disobedience and peaceful strategies to accomplish one of the greatest human rights movements of all time. Learning about these events directly from a family member who witnessed them is a remarkable opportunity."

Now 80 years old and living in India, Rajmohan Gandhi was just 13 when his grandfather was killed by an assassin's bullet. He will talk about his grandfather's extraordinary life and his experiences as a lawyer fighting for justice that transformed him into an international human rights advocate.  

Rajmohan Gandhi is spending this semester as the Visiting Hannah Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University. His work focuses on dialogue and reconciliation between divided communities, including between Hindus and Muslims in South Asia. He is a past-president of Initiatives of Change International, a global nonprofit aimed at reconciliation and trust-building. In addition, Gandhi served on the Nuremburg International Human Rights Award jury, and he was a member of the Rajya Sabha (the Indian Senate) from 1990-1992.

He has written numerous books, including the award-winning Gandhi: A True Story of a Man, His People and an Empire, A Tale of Two Revolts: India 1857 & the American Civil War, and Revenge & Reconciliation: Understanding South Asian History, among others.

DiSalvo holds the Woodrow A. Potesta Professorship at the West Virginia College of Law, where his legal expertise is civil disobedience. He is a past recipient of a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship to practice poverty law for the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky, and a Bigelow Teaching Fellowship at the University of Chicago Law School.

Gandhi: The Lawyer is co-sponsored by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust as part of its fall 2015 arts and culture showcase, India in Focus.

A reception will immediately follow the event, during which Gandhi and DiSalvo will meet guests and sign books. To register, visit http://law.duq.edu/events/gandhi-lawyer.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.