Sunday, April 2, 2023 at 4:00pm, Dodd Hall 121
Discussion in Persian
Alternate live stream on Zoom:
(No need to register in advance, just click the link at 4:00pm on April 2 to join.)
In 2009, the world watched in admiration the peaceful protests of young Iranians in the aftermath of Iran’s fraudulent presidential elections that re- elected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Today, a new generation is challenging the ideological structures of the Irnian theocratic regime. We have witnessed the courage and the resolution of young Iranians who have transformed their fear of the Iranian dictatorship into a social anger. This anger has revitalised Iranian civil society and motivated politically Iranians around the world. However, the difference between today’s struggle of young Iranians and the previous civic movements is that it has neither an apparent leadership, nor a well-defined ideology. Therefore, we are not witnessing a revolution in the classic sense of the term, but rather general rebellion. This is a turning point in Iran’s recent political history that the world cannot ignore: It looks as if the genie of change in Iran is trying once again to get out of the bottle. For Iranian youth seeking an end to authoritarianism and the advent of democracy, the lessons gleaned from non-violence have been mixed. On the one hand, the brutality and cruelty of the Iranian regime, killing even school children, has caused among the citizens of Iran a sense of pessimism toward the non-violence practised by moral heroes like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. But, on the other hand, recent images of the protests around Iran show young people fighting Iran’s security forces with bare hands. Trying not to be victims of their past, they look instead to the future.
About the Speaker
Ramin Jahanbegloo is an Iranian-Canadian political philosopher. He is presently the Executive Director of the Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Nonviolence and Peace Studies and the Vice-Dean of the School of Law at Jindal Global University- Delhi-India. He received his B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy, History and Political Science and later his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Sorbonne University. He has taught and held research positions at the Academy of Philosophy in Tehran, the French Institute for Iranian Studies, Harvard University, the University of Toronto, the Department of Contemporary Studies of the Cultural Research Centre in Tehran, the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, India, and York University in Toronto. He is the winner of the Peace Prize from the United Nations Association in Spain (2009) for his extensive academic works in promoting dialogue between cultures and his advocacy for non-violence and more recently the winner of the Josep Palau i Fabre International Essay Prize. He is also the founder of a nonviolent movement called Nonviolence Without Borders. The most recent of his thirty-two books written in English, French, Spanish, Italian and Persian is Nonviolence: An Idea Whose Time has Come (Haus Curiosities 2023).