Neelakantom,MGRA–30, Marappalam,Pattom. P.0
Thiruvananthapuram (Dist), Kerala, India
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          Gandhian thinker, peace-activist, educator and author of over 75 books in English, Hindi, Malayalam and Tamil on Gandhi, Peace, Education and Harmony, Professor  Neelakanta Radhakrishnan is presently Chairman of Gandhi Peace Mission, Professor Emiretus and visiting Faculty to several of world’s prestigious Universities and Peace Emeritus. As an influential academic and peace worker he has also the reputation of being one of world’s topmost trainers in nonviolence and runs regular training programs in Nonviolent Conflict-Management, organizes seminars, workshops on Gandhi-philosophy and Culture of Peace. He is also leading a 250 projected Global Gandhi Assessments/Culture of Peace Lecture Series, out of which 246 have been completed.

Born in a family of Gandhi associate Neelakanta Pillai, his early schooling was in a Gandhi Constructive Workers Home which his father ran in the southernmost state of Kerala in India. Graduated in Literature and Social Change from the University of Kerala and obtained Ph.D on the literature of Social Protest from the Annamalai University.

          As a student activist protesting against the wrong policies of the then state government he courted arrest at the age of 15. All through his student days he was active in campus issues and held important positions in student bodies. Significant among them was the chairmanship of the College Union (1967) and Best Actor Prize (2018).

          He started his career as a school teacher at the village he had studied but left it soon to join a College under the NSS Management.

          After a brief stint in a news paper as sub-editor in Malayali he joined the Gandhigram Rural Institute during the Gandhi Centenary year (1969) to teach languages and train students in Gandhi’s Peace Army, the Shanti Sena. A theatre enthusiast right from childhood he maintained his links with the Theatre for Social Change group and designed and presented several stage performances espousing social issues.

          He served the Gandhigram University the next 21 years under the Gandhi disciple G. Ramachandran. Besides training youth in conflict management and community work, and setting up village youth corps in conflict zones he also held such positions in the University as Head of the Department of English and Foreign Languages; Director of Public Relations; Controller of Examinations; Chief of the Examination Reform Unit; Convener of the Martin Luther King (Jr.) Study Centre; and Dean of Languages.

          As a national recognition to his work and leadership the Government of India appointed him as Director of Gandhi Smriti, the premier Gandhi Institute and Gandhi Memorial established at the erstwhile Birla House in New Delhi where Gandhi was assassinated in 1948.

          This period offered him opportunities to broaden the networking for peace, nonviolent training, conflict management both at national and international level.

          In a major national initiative during the 125th birth anniversary of Gandhi he designed an exhibition on Gandhi and Global Nonviolent Awakening on behalf of the Gandhi Smriti and put it up at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris where the Prime Minister of India Mr. Narasimha Rao was the chief guest. Radhakrishnan also chaired an International Youth Conference at the UNESCO Plaza.

          The interaction with the youth of several countries continued to be held in several countries later with the guidance of Prof. Glenn D. Paige (Hawaii),Gene Sharp (Einstein Institute), Rev. Bernard LaFeyette and Captain Charles Alphin, Mubarak Awad, Ariyaratne, Chaiwat Satha Anand, the assassinated Columbian leader Guillormo Gaviria, Bagoes Oka, Petra Kelly, Charles Collyer, Lester Kurtz, Richard Deats led to the emergence of a global network of nonviolent trainers and practitioners.

          Another important development of this period was deepening of his association with Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, the SGI President. Radhakrishnan was highly impressed with the strategies of youth and women empowerment and the various peace initiatives including the peace proposals, dialogues Dr. Ikeda has been leading to promote peace and development. Their association now is over three decades and the mutual admiration they hold for each other is well reflected in their Dialogue, now available in English as WALKING WITH THE MAHATMA: GANDHI FOR MODERN TIMES. And the several books Radhakrishnan has written on Dr. Ikeda’s personality and work for peace. The dialogue is translated into four other world languages. Radhakrishnan’s Ten Volume IKEDA STUDY SERIES is being read widely. He also extensively makes use of Dr. Carter’s GKI exhibition in his peace campaigns and youth training programmes.

Massive Youth Mobilization Campaigns

          The massive youth mobilization campaigns Radhakrishnan led across several centres associated with Gandhi in India during the 50th Martyrdom Anniversary of Gandhi in 1990 saw several million youth converging on the Delhi from five important points in different parts of India carrying Gandhi Harmony Flames and after travelling through most of the states in India.

          As a sequel to this well-acclaimed youth initiative he launched The Hinsamukt Bharat Andolan (Violence free society campaign) to which he is the founding General Secretary to promote dialogue, harmony and reconciliation among various segments of society.

Regular Training Programmes in Nonviolence:

          A theatre specialist and media trainer Prof. Radhakrishnan recently designed and held successfully the first Gandhi Short Film Fest in an attempt to encourage students and youth to explore Gandhi’s life, message and their contemporary relevance as potential themes for short films, and social media interaction.

Ongoing programmes under his lead are:                                                  

          The 100 Youth Assemblies against Violence that he completed recently in different parts of India as part of an initiative Youth Rediscovers Gandhi; The Inter State Gandhi Peace Bus; The National Campaigns of Youth Against Terror and Violence; Youth for Peace Campaigns.

Peace initiatives and organizations he presently leads:

  1. Founder-Chairman: Sabarmati Yoga, Naturopathy Centre, Mitrapuram
  2. Chairman of Indian Council of Gandhian Studies (New Delhi)
  3. Founder of Gandhi Media Foundation
  4. General Convener of Himsamukt Bharat Foundation
  5. Chairman of Gandhigrih (Trivandrum)
  6. President of Rengaprabhat Children’s Theatre
  7. Chairman of Vinoba-Venkatesh Rao Shanti Sena Centre (Manjeswaram)
  8. Founder: Ikeda Centre for Value Creation (Trivandrum)
  9. Chairman of Centre for Promotion of Communal Harmony and National Integration (Madurai)
  10. Chairman of Gandhidarshan Kendra, Chennai
  11. Chairman of Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi
  12. Founder: PKN Trust (Kollam)
  13. President: G. Sankara Pillai Memorial Centre for Performing Arts, Trivandrum
  14. Founder: Missionaries of Nonviolence Foundation (Madurai)
  15. Secretary General, Writers Forum for Harmony (New Delhi)
  16. Managing Trustee, Gandhi Peace Mission
  17. Chairman, Sabarmati, Trivandrum

Nonviolent Training Programmes in Conflict Zones

           Radhakrishnan also led nonviolent training programmes in several conflict zones in the world such as Cyprus, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Columbia besides running similar programmes in many areas of conflict across India during the last fifty years.

International Recognitions:

          The international community has honoured him with several prestigious awards:

The Soka University of Tokyo conferred on him an Honorary Doctorate in 2001 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to peace education globally.

The Morehouse College (USA) nominated him to its global council of scholars. The Atlanta-based Gandhi- King -Ikeda Community Builders Award for 2001was also conferred on him in view of his outstanding contribution to promote peace and harmony.

National Recognitions:

He has received such prestigious awards as

He has also been selected by the Government of India for the National Communal Harmony Award 2013, The Rajeev Gandhi Sadbhavana Award of (2007), Acharya Mahapragya Award for Nonviolence (2008), Gandhi-Vallalar Award for Harmony (2009), MKK Award (2006) for Human Rights, Millennium Puraskar from Kerala University (2000).

Books/Monographs/Research and Films/Videos on Radhakrishnan

          He has been the subject of several books/monographs/research projects, films and videos.