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CIS Hosts Renowned International Journalist Rohit Gandhi
February 3, 2011

“I didn’t know I’d ever land up in Florida. I thought my place was in Afghanistan,” said Rohit Gandhi as he took the floor after a brief introduction by the Center for India Studies director, Dr, Gurleen Grewal. Addressing an audience made up of USF students and faculty, and members from the local Tampa Bay community, Gandhi was at USF on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 to share his expertise on the timely subject of peace in South Asia. A reputed television reporter and documentary filmmaker with 17 years of experience, Gandhi has worked with broadcast giants like CNN and CBC and traveled across the world as an investigative journalist.

Screening his most recent documentary “Targeting the Taliban,” a descriptive first-person account of the Pakistani army’s attempt to curb the destruction caused by the Taliban in Pakistan, Gandhi discussed the prospect of peace among South Asian countries. He spoke of military and financial interests, the role of politics and the widespread unrest that has kept the region in turmoil for decades.

Gandhi further explored the key issues impacting peace in the region.  Tackling the major challenges to peace in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, he concluded that peace would require both vision and economic growth of the region. He added that all the nations involved would have to feel some stake in the India growth story. They need to know that when India succeeds they would not be left out.  A stable South Asia would help fuel the world economy and certainly benefit countries like the United States.

After optimistically concluding that despite the prevalent tension, the development and change that the region has seen over the years would bring peace, he turned the microphone over to the audience. Eloquently answering questions on the status of China, a subject he had steered clear of, and the possibility of religion playing a leading role in the play between India and Pakistan, Gandhi’s rhetoric backed by years of research gave the audience a new perspective to look at. Calling attention to the growing global power of countries like India and China, he emphasized that along with increasing wealth, the need for peace is imperative.

After the engaging discussion with the audience, Gandhi stayed back at the venue for an informal chat with members of the United States defense services to continue the conversation.

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