Wednesday, November 6, 2019

International Conference "Tolstoy to Gandhi: a Philosophical Journey", Gandhi Bhawan, University of Delhi 21-22 November 2019.

To mark 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi & 110th Death Anniversary of Leo Tolstoy, The Gandhi Bhawan, University of Delhi has the pleasure to announce an International conference titled

“Tolstoy to Gandhi: A Philosophical Journey”

21-22 November 2019

The conference aims at focusing on a variety of possible approaches to Tolstoy’s ideas & Gandhian thought. We would like to welcome academics who represent various methodologies and perspectives on philosophy, religion, spirituality, peace, humanity, society, literature & culture.


On the occasion of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi & 110th Death  Anniversary of Leo Tolstoy, it is natural to relook and rediscover these two great

thinkers and philosophers of their times. They were rare luminaries who preached and followed their beliefs. The remarkable original thinking they brought to their times acquires great significance because they put their ideas into practice.

Vladimir Tolstoy, the great great grandson of Leo Tolstoy, Adviser to the President

of the Russian Federation & Ekaterina Tolstoy, Director of the Leo Tolstoy Estate

Museum “Yasnaya Polyana” have said: “It is gratifying to recognize the fact that the thoughts of these two great personalities who preached the philosophy of ‘non- resistance to the evil by force’ as the Law of Life, continue to hold significance and evoke repercussion in the modern world”.

As is well known, that Tolstoy’s treatise “The Kingdom of God is Within You” became one of the important books in the life of Mahatma Gandhi. In his own words: “Before the independent thinking, profound morality, and the truthfulness of this book, all the books seemed to pale into insignificance”.

There is lot in common between Leo Tolstoy and Gandhi but they stand distinct in their own ways. The idea that brought Tolstoy & Gandhi closer was the philosophy of

non-violence, and the law of love. Both of them have been the two greatest exponents and practitioners of non-violence and non-violent resistance, who personally never met each other but in the last years of Tolstoy they communicated through letters. Their correspondence is a witness to not only their mutual admiration but also the commonality of ideas related to non-violence and passive resistance. In his last letter written just two months before his death, Tolstoy wrote: “the fact that love, that is the striving towards universal brotherhood and the resulting actions, is the supreme and unique law of human life”. Prof. Yogesh Tyagi, Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi has said: “Their famous correspondence opened up new horizons for generations to come and their thoughts still mentor many people in search of peace, harmony and universal brotherhood”.

Tolstoy’s and Gandhi’s thoughts, especially the religious and philosophical aspect of their spiritual experience have captivated many. In the opinion of Mr. Nikolay Kudashev, Ambassador of Russia to India: “Tolstoy and Gandhi had come to the strong conviction that love is an essential core of the human soul and the only one genuine basis for possible unity of the humankind. In their case, it was not just a fancy meaningless phrase but it led to concrete actions influencing the world”. This conference will be a platform for scholars & experts to celebrate the philosophical journey of Tolstoy’s thoughts to India, influencing Gandhi, and to emphasize the relevance of their ideas and philosophy in modern context and for future generations, who can learn so much from the lives of these two great personalities.

The list of suggested topics for the conference presentations may include, although will not be limited to, the following issues:

v Tolstoy & Gandhi: Impact on Aesthetics, Ethics and Spiritual Regeneration

v Forgiveness, Compassion and Reform: Tolstoy & Gandhi for Social Change

v Tolstoy’s Ideas & Gandhian Thought, their relevance today

v Tolstoy-Gandhi Correspondence

v Gandhi & Leo Tolstoy’s Philosophical Works

v War & Peace in Modern World

v Education & pedagogy: Influences of Gandhi & Tolstoy

v Tolstoy in India & Gandhi in Russia

v Tolstoy & Gandhi in Cinema

v Leo Tolstoy’s Personality, Life, Works and Philosophical Heritage, its Influences

v Leo Tolstoy in Russian & World Literature, culture

v Language & Style of Leo Tolstoy’s works

v Leo Tolstoy in Indian Literature, Culture and Society

Each presenter will be given 30 minutes (20 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion). The conference languages are Hindi, Russian, English.

Important dates:
Abstract submission: 08 November 2019

Confirmation of acceptance: 10 November 2019
Conference: 21-22 November 2019

Date of arrival & Departure for delegates: 20 & 23 November respectively

Abstract submission: Abstracts describing the topic of a presentation in up to 300 words should be sent to no later than 8 November 2019.

Conference venue and fee: The conference will be organized in University of Delhi. Registration fees can be paid on arrival at the conference venue.

For foreign participants - 75 Euro: For participants from India -1000 Rupees
Please note that accompanying person(s), if any, also have to register.

The fee for foreign participants covers:

- 3 nights in the University International Guest House in a twin/single room

- conference materials

- the costs of publishing a post-conference monograph

Contact e-mail for abstract submission:

Conference Director: Prof. Ramesh Bhardwaj Gandhi Bhawan, University of Delhi

Conference convener:

Dr. Girish Munjal Tel. 9810033877


Address for all postal correspondence:

Gandhi Bhawan, 32, Chhatra Marg, University of Delhi, Delhi – 110007. Phone 91-11-27666243, E-mail: