Belfast Telegraph

Mahatma Gandhi's granddaughter to speak at Seamus Heaney HomePlace

Mrs Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee will headline the Jaipur Literary Festival on June 23
Mrs Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee will headline the Jaipur Literary Festival on June 23

The granddaughter of world-renowned Indian civil rights activist and politician Mahatma Gandhi is set to speak at Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Magherafelt.

Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee will speak as part of the Jaipur Literary Festival on June 23 and discuss Gandhi's life and legacy of non-violence.

Born in 1869, Mahatma Gandhi fought racial injustice and British rule through non-violent protest, first while living in South Africa and later in India.

He was imprisoned for his activism on several occasions and assassinated in 1948 by a Hindu nationalist.

Of her grandfather, Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee said: “The fearlessness of Gandhi was different. His was made of love and compassion. I remember his room, his doors always open.

"One hardly had to take an appointment to meet him. I remember politicians coming out of the room saying they disagree with his view. They probably didn’t change their view, but did become his friend for sure. That’s the fearlessness we need today.”

The festival will also include talks from a host of other prominent writers and poets, including Reba Som, Ruth Pael and Francis Jones.

Councillor Martin Kearney, chair of Mid Ulster District Council, said all those at Seamus Heaney HomePlace are delighted to play host to the festival, alongside New York, Toronto, Houston and Belfast.

"HomePlace has attracted visitors from across the globe since it opened and being part of what is known as the world’s biggest literary festival cements its international reputation," he said.

"Indeed, to host Mrs Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, granddaughter of one of world’s most revered and respected politicians, social activists and writers, is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the festival in Bellaghy, and a rare opportunity to hear about ‘the father of India’ from someone with such a deep personal connection and knowledge."

Tickets for the event are available at or via the box office on 028 79387444.

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