More and more people in China are evincing interest in Mahatma Gandhi and his non-violent movement as his teachings form an integral part of curriculum from pre-school to university, says a Chinese scholar.
Quanyu Shang, who has translated former Indian diplomat P A Nazareth's 'Gandhi's Outstanding Leadership' into Chinese,says Gandhi is studied among varied groups in his country.
"Earlier, only Chinese scholars knew about Gandhi but today, more and more people in China know about his movement during the freedom struggle and are interested in his teachings of non-violence," Shang told.
The professor of School of Foreign Studies in South Ching Normal University feels everyone in China studies Gandhi in some form or the other as the education curriculum includes the Mahatma's teachings from pre-school to university levels.
"We have lessons on Gandhi in the form of drawings for children in pre-school, then we have war history in middle school which contains at least one chapter on Gandhi's struggle through non-violent means.
"I was once invited by the University of Beijing to deliver a lecture on Gandhi. Participants of Gandhi studies are expanding than ever before there," Shang, who has done his doctoral thesis on Gandhi and Nehru, says.
Shang was here for the release of the Chinese edition of Nazareth's book, which was first published in 2006 in English and later translated into Kannada, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Odiya and Spanish. Asked whether a book on an Indian leader will see a good response in China, Shang says many books on Gandhi have already been published there.
"And this one will be like a moral beacon for China which would provide new thoughts on leadership qualities to Chinese," he says. He is of the view that Nazareth's book gives a very unique perspective on Gandhi.
"Worldwide many books have been published on him and most of them are on truth, non-violence, his achievements, but few talk about his leadership. This is the first book which talks about his leadership in such a comprehensive manner," he says.
The book presents the components, nature and global impact of Gandhi's leadership and his transformation from a timid young man into a leader.Nazareth says he had compared Gandhi with other leaders of modern period starting with Napoleon. "The book also presents him as the ideal leadership model for all those aspiring to be leaders in diverse professional and other fields."
Nazareth had decided to write the book after the Babri Masjid incident to "counter the intense communal hatred that had been deliberately aroused with Gandhiji's enlightened approach to religion and patriotism". At the release of the book here, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had sent a message which read, "I am confident that the Chinese version of the book will bring the father of our nation and the ideals he stood for closer to more than a billion people in China and help forge deeper understanding between our two great nations".
The book, which has covered eight Indian and foreign languages so far, is expected to come out soon in seven more languages including Malayalam and Kashmiri.