the encounter

Mohamed ElBaradei & Rajmohan Gandhi        in POST-REVOLUTION egypt

2012

In the turbulent post-revolution period in Egypt in November 2012, a time of enormous hope mixed with  tremendous uncertainty,   a small delegation from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) traveled to Egypt with the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.   The idea was for Professor Rajmohan Gandhi and his wife Usha to lend their solidarity to the Egyptian people, and for Professor Gandhi to engage in a dialogue with Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei about the Egyptian uprising and the experience of Gandhi during India's independence movement.  

Trailer-Elbaradei-gandhi dialogue

Democracy Dialogue is a project for global democracy education inspired by the Arab Uprisings of 2011. It explores the meaning and practice of democracy in an era of breathtaking change and challenges.

Their encounter took place during a period of  great instability and change. At that time, ElBaradei was head of the Constitution Party (hizb al-dastoor), and  on the verge of leading the opposition coalition, The National Association for Change.The Egyptian parliament was in the process of drafting a new constitution, the government of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi was facing growing levels of popular discontent, and pressure was mounting on ElBaradei to provide an alternative to  the Brotherhood and the Military  (see There is No Savior). 

Their conversations about how to organize  After the Uprising, their reflections about Divide and Rule, global security, nuclear disarmament, minorities,  and global citizenship,  capture a combination of BIG IDEAS about global democracy, as well as more intimate stories about how the personal biographies of Dr. ElBaradei and Mahatma Gandhi intersected with monumental historical change in Egypt and India.

(videos edited and produced by Linda Herrera except The Nuclear Video, edited by Shiva Bayat)

(See also Page on Mohamed ElBaradei)


BRIEF BIOS

The Nobel Peace Prize 2005 was awarded to Director General Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei and the IAEA represented by Japanese Ambassdor Yukiya Amano

The Nobel Peace Prize 2005 was awarded to Director General Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei and the IAEA represented by Japanese Ambassdor Yukiya Amano

Mohamed ElBaradei, an Egyptian diplomat, law scholar, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (1997-2009), and Nobel Peace Laureate (2005), became a leading figure in the Egyptian pro-democracy movement in 2009.

He founded the National Association for Change to advocate for a constitutional amendment to allow for fair and free presidential elections. After the 25 January Revolution that led to the toppling of Hosni Mubarak (president 1981-2011),

ElBaradei's support ofthe military's plan to oust the Muslim Brother president Mohamed Morsi (2012-2013) was highly controversial, as was his role in the provisional government headed by then General Abdul Fatah el-Sisi  as Vice-President (July 14 to August 14,  2013). He resignedover violent crackdowns and mass killings by state security forces on the Muslim Brotherhood and other supporters of  Morsi in what came to be known as the Rabaa massacre. He abruptly left Egypt and the political scene in 2013 to the chagrin of his supporters. Despite  a mixed political legacy, ElBaradei was undeniably a pioneering voice and unique presence in Egyptian political life during the critical period of 2009-2013. He brought certain ideas into the public domain about global security, the human family, social solidarity, rule of law, equal protections and rights for minorities, constitutional reform and  youth empowerment. He will remain an important figure in understanding the history, core ideas, and phenomenal event of the 2011 uprising.

Nobel official Bio

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Gandhi with his grandson Rajmohan in Delhi, 1936

Gandhi with his grandson Rajmohan in Delhi, 1936

Rajmohan Gandhi is an historian, Emeritus professor at the University of Illinois, journalist, peace activist, former Indian parliamentarian, grandson and biographer of Mahatma Gandhi, and past president of Initiatives of Change. WEBSITE


At an election campaign rally for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on March 18, 2014 in New Delhi, India. Sonu Mehta / Hindustan Times / Getty Images

At an election campaign rally for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections on March 18, 2014 in New Delhi, India. Sonu Mehta / Hindustan Times / Getty Images

In 2014 Rajmohan Gandhi joined the Aam Aadmi Party in New Delhi and ran for office on a pro-poor and anti-corruption platform (he lost the election).


BOOKS BY r. GANDHI


THE DEMOCRACY DIALOGUE VIDEO VIGNETTES

are highlights from the ElBaradei-Gandhi Encounter. They capture a combination of BIG IDEAS about global democracy as well as more intimate stories about how the personal biographies of Dr. ElBaradei and Mahatma Gandhi intersected with monumental historical change

GANDHI IN EGYPT

GANDHI IN EGYPT: Many people spoke of Gandhi's spirit as being present in Egypt's Tahrir square during the January 25 Uprising of 2011. In 2012, his grandson Rajmohan visited Egypt.


IDEAS VS. IDEOLOGY

What ideas are needed to advance global democracy movements? What are the dangers of ideology? Hera ElBaradei and Gandhi speak about these critical questions in this DD video. 


DIVIDE AND RULE

Rajmohan Gandhi tells a cautionary tale from India. He warns against movements that divide people along religious and ideological lines, and stresses the need to work across lines of difference for the good of societies and the whole of humanity.


SEEDS OF CHANGE

Mohamed ElBaradei talks about growing up in Egypt during the time of Gamal Abdel Nasser . He reflects on how his father, a lawyer and head of Egypt's Bar Association, advocated for a fair and independent judiciary and planted in him the seeds of change.

CITIZENSHIP AND MINORITIES

Mohamed ElBaradei and Rajmohan Gandhi recall episodes in history when minorities suffered dreadful persecution and violence and the "tyranny of the majority" and argue for systems for the protections of minorities.


AFTER THE UPRISING

How can people build political structures in revolutionary times? Mohamed ElBaradei talks about this  great challenge after Egypt's Jan. 25 uprising.


THE NUCLEAR VIDEO

"We are on the path of self-destruction if we do not change course and move into a world that has a global sense of security that does not depend on nuclear weapons." Mohamed ElBaradei, Nobel Peace Laureate and former Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

brain drain in egypt


EDUCATING FOR GLOBAL SECURITY

"From kindergarten we have to make children understand the shared values we have." So says Nobel peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei. In this video he talks about the connections between education, global citizenship, and global security. 


SEE THE  ELBARADEI PAGE FOR MORE ON HIS ROLE IN INTERNATIONAL AND EGYPTIAN POLITICS