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TBI Blogs: How Gandhian Philosophy Inspired an American to Start a Global Movement Against Killing

The Centre for Global Nonkilling is a leading international organisation working to promote non-violence and peace in the world. Its founder, Prof. Glenn D. Paige, is a unique example of someone who advocated change for peace after experiencing war first-hand.

Prof. Glenn D. Paige was the Founder and Chair of the Center for Global Nonkilling (CGNK) and Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Hawaii. The son of a YMCA social worker, he was born in Brockton, Massachusetts on June 28, 1929, and spent his early years in New Hampshire and in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Prof Paige’s life journey brought him from war to work for a killing-free world, through inspiration by Mahatma Gandhi’s multi-fold contributions. He was encouraged by Gandhian workers across many visits to India.

The mission of the Center for Global Nonkilling is to promote change toward the measurable goal of a killing-free world, with infinite creativity and reverence for life. A strong Gandhian influence can be seen in its effort in applying the Nonkilling Spiritual, Scientific, Skill, and Artistic capabilities of humankind in globally transforming action. Its slogans are “No More Killing!” and “Everyone can be a center for global nonkilling”.

The nonkilling mission is increasingly being taken up by scholars, educators, leaders, and people across many countries.

After army service and participation in the Korean War, Prof. Paige studied at Princeton (A.B. 1955), Harvard (A.M. 1957), and Northwestern University (PhD 1959). His studies focussed on international politics, American foreign policy decision-making, Asian studies with emphasis on Korea, languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian), and the interdisciplinary scientific study of political science. Prof. Paige subsequently taught at Seoul National University, Princeton, and joined the University of Hawaii in 1967.

His first visit to India was in 1976 at the invitation of Dr. G. Ramachandran, Vice-Chancellor of Gandhigram Rural University, to study Gandhian principles of non-violent education. This was followed by travels to 33 countries. This gave him an opportunity to supplement his study of Gandhi’s writings and thoughts with direct observation of the active role of the Shanti Sena as a disciplined force for peace and constructive village work. This study fortified Prof. Paige in his vision and confidence in the power of non-violent principles.

This was followed by his address calling for a new non-violent political science at the XI World Congress of the International Political Science Association in Moscow in 1979. To liberate humankind from violence, Prof. Paige proposed that political science must first liberate itself from violence through five related non-violent revolutions, viz. normative, empirical, theoretical, institutional, and educational.

He began teaching courses on “nonviolent political alternatives” in 1978.

In 1994, after incubation as a planning project in the University of Hawaii, Prof. Paige founded the independent non-profit Center for Global Nonviolence (CGNV) in Honolulu. In 2002, following 28 years of research and teaching, Prof. Paige published Nonkilling Global Political Science, first in India by the Gandhi Media Centre, then self-published in the United States and placed free online on the website of the Center for Global Nonviolence.

By 2012, it had undergone translation into 24 languages, including Hindi, Malayalam, Sinhalese, Tamil, and Urdu, as well as Arabic, Filipino, French, German, Haitian Creole, Italian, Swahili, Korean, Mongolian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai. Chinese and Japanese translations are forthcoming.

In 2007, nonviolent work by the CGNV, and global responses to the nonkilling book, led to the founding of the Center for Global Nonkilling. It now engages 600 scholars in 300 universities in 73 countries in 19 Nonkilling Research Committees. They publish pioneering books free online, from Nonkilling History to Nonkilling Futures. The Center has affiliates in the Balkans, Brazil, DR Congo, Germany, Haiti, India, and the Philippines.

Nonkilling knowledge is now appearing in various levels of education, from the primary Glenn Paige Nonkilling School in the DR Congo to pioneering university courses.

In action, the Philippines Senate has introduced legislation to establish “A Peaceful and Nonkilling Philippines as a National Purpose”, with provisions for research and implementation.

For Prof. Paige, it was a remarkable personal odyssey, from the role of soldier to scholar to global nonkilling institution-builder. Gandhi, who demonstrated the transformational nonviolent power of individual and mass action for Truth, continues to be a guiding star.

Prof. Paige’s principal publications are The Korean Decision: June 24-30, 1950 (1968), The Scientific Study of Political Leadership (1977), Toward Nonviolent Political Science (1993), and Nonkilling Global Political Science (2002). He was the co-editor of Buddhism and Nonviolent Global Problem-Solving (1991), Islam and Nonviolence (1993), and Nonkilling Korea (2012).

Prof. Paige was a member of The International Peace Research Association (IPRA), World Future Studies Federation (WFSF), and International Political Science Association (IPSA).

Recognition received by Prof. Glenn Paige includes the Dr. G. Ramachandran Award for International Understanding, Jai Tulsi Anuvrat Award, and the Seikyo Culture Prize. He received the Distinguished Peace Leadership Award of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. The American Political Science Association gave him its Distinguished Career Award of the Section on Ecological and Transformational Politics. He also received the Hawaii State Peace Award.

The Late Prof. Glenn D. Paige was the recipient of the 2012 International Award for Promoting Gandhian Values Outside India.

For more information about other past winners, visit the Jamnalal Bajaj Awards website.

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Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation was established in 1977, in memory of Jamnalal Bajaj, a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi. The Foundation aims to serve the ideals to which he had dedicated his life and promotes Gandhian constructive activities in which he was deeply involved during his lifetime.