15-day Tryst With Gandhian Principles to Change Caste Clash Accused’s Hearts

In a break from a tradition that sees law as an instrument of punishment, a Judge of the Madurai district court has set a good precedent to change educated youth resorting to caste violence.

Published: 16th June 2014 07:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th June 2014 07:34 AM   |  A+A-

MADURAI:  In a break from a tradition that sees law as an instrument of punishment, a Judge of the Madurai district court has set a good precedent to change educated youth resorting to caste violence. Instead of putting them behind bars, the offenders are sent to Madurai Gandhi Memorial Museum to study Gandhian principle for 15 days.

Judge C Kamarappan of III Additional District and Session Court (PCR), who introduced this novel initiative in July 2013 with the noble intention of changing the mindset of educated youth, has created a lasting impact on the students. “Reading Gandhi’s book My Experiment With Truth has changed my life. Now I practice non-violence,” said Ramesh (name changed), a student of Government Law College, Madurai.

Ramesh was one of the six students of the same college booked for alleged caste violence. When these students were sent for training to the museum, they came dressed in modern attires and behaved rudely. “We first told all of them to visit the museum wearing ‘dhotis’. Though they were reluctant, they came wearing ‘dhotis’ the next day,” recalled K R Nanda Rao, administrative officer of the museum.

Now the same students visit Gandhi Museum often and continue to read books. In the 15-day training programme, the students were first asked to visit the museum’s galleries which feature photos explaining various phases of Gandhi’s life.

“After a brief discussion with the students, we asked them to read Gandhi’s book My Experiment With Truth and taught them the non-violence principles he had adopted,” said S Jayaraj, the research officer of the museum, who teaches Gandhian principles.

Gandhi Museum secretary M P Grurusamy said that more than 30 students had been trained on this programme. “In the final day, they have to submit an essay on any aspect of Gandhi’s life. These would be sent to the Judge,” he said.

Explaining the attitudinal change the training has brought in him, Kannan, a fourth-year law college student, said: “Earlier I used to wake up only at 11 am and waste time. But now I wake up at 5 am and read books,” he said.

Kannan of Ramanathapuram had found it difficult to adjust to the Madurai culture. “I learned Gandhi had traveled to various places of the world and fought for people’s right. Now I learn good things wherever I visit,” he added.

(The students’ names have been changed to protect their identities)

Stay up to date on all the latest Tamil Nadu news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp