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Sarvodaya

Sarvodaya is a Sanskrit term meaning'universal uplift' or'progress of all'. The term was used by Mahatma Gandhi as the title of his 1908 translation of John Ruskin's tract on political economy, Unto This Last, Gandhi came to use the term for the ideal of his own political philosophy. Gandhians, like the Indian nonviolence activist Vinoba Bhave, embraced the term as a name for the social movement in post-independence India which strove to ensure that self-determination and equality reached all strata of Indian society. Samantabhadra, an illustrious Digambara monk, as early as the 2nd century A. D. called the tīrtha of Mahāvīra by the name sarvodaya. Gandhi received a copy of Ruskin's Unto This Last from a British friend, Mr. Henry Polak, while working as a lawyer in South Africa in 1904. In his Autobiography, Gandhi remembers the twenty-four-hour train ride to Durban, being so in the grip of Ruskin's ideas that he could not sleep at all: "I determined to change my life in accordance with the ideals of the book."

As Gandhi construed it, Ruskin's outlook on political-economic life extended from three central tenets: Four years in 1908, Gandhi rendered a paraphrased translation of Ruskin's book into his native tongue of Gujarati. He entitled the book Sarvodaya, a compound he invented from two Sanskrit roots: sarva and udaya -- "the uplift of all". Although inspired by Ruskin, the term would for Gandhi come to stand for a political ideal of his own stamp; the ideal which Gandhi strove to put into practice in his ashrams was, he hoped, one that he could persuade the whole of India to embrace, becoming a light to the other nations of the world. The Gandhian social ideal encompassed the dignity of labor, an equitable distribution of wealth, communal self-sufficiency and individual freedom. Gandhi's ideals have lasted well beyond the achievement of one of his chief projects, Indian independence, his followers in India continued working to promote the kind of society that he envisioned, their efforts have come to be known as the Sarvodaya Movement.

Anima Bose has referred to the movement's philosophy as "a fuller and richer concept of people's democracy than any we have yet known." Sarvodaya workers associated with Vinoba, Jaya Prakash Narayan, Dada Dharmadhikari, Ravishankar Maharaj, Dhirendra Mazumdaar, Shankarrao Deo, K. G. Mashruwala undertook various projects aimed at encouraging popular self-organisation during the 1950s and 1960s, including Bhoodan and Gramdan movements. Many groups descended from these networks continue to function locally in India today. Beginning on the one year anniversary of the immersion of Gandhi's ashes, an annual Sarvodaya mela or festival has been held at Srirangapatna and at Tirunavaya. At the latter site, it was instituted by K. Kelappan; the Sarvodaya Movement: Gandhian Approach to Peace and Non Violence, by S. Narayanasamy. New Delhi, Mittal Publications, 2003. ISBN 81-7099-877-8. Indian Opinion Hermann Kallenbach Totaram Sanadhya Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, a Sri Lankan organization based on the principle of Sarvodaya

Yohanan Plesner

Yohanan Plesner is an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for Kadima between 2007 and 2013. Plesner was born in London, the son of Danish architect Ulrik Plesner and Israeli journalist and lecturer Tamar Liebes; the couple had married in Colombo, Sri Lanka, had moved to London, where Ulrik was working as an architect. Yohanan inherited both Danish citizenship through his parents, he has two sisters and Maya. In 1972, when Yohanan was two months old, the family moved to Israel and settled in Jerusalem, where his father opened an office and became a city architect. Plesner grew up in Jerusalem, during his national service in the Israel Defense Forces from 1989 to 1994, he served as an officer with the Sayeret Matkal commando unit, he went on to study at the prestigious Amirim Program of Excellence at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he gained a BA with distinction in economics. Plesner spent several years in the business world, first as a consultant to major financial corporations in Britain, as co-founder and manager of an international software company.

He studied at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he earned an MPA in political economics and security studies, spoke on behalf of Israel. Upon his return to Israel, Plesner assumed the position of Head of Special Projects in the Prime Minister's Office under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon; when the Kadima Party was founded in early 2006, Plesner was appointed the first Secretary-General of the nascent party, led the formation of its organizational infrastructure. Plesner lives in Hod HaSharon with his wife Shimrit and their three children Talia and Dan, he has two daughters and Ayala, from a previous marriage to Matat, a lawyer. Plesner became a member of Knesset in 2007. During his time in the legislature, Plesner spoke out on issues ranging from national security and electoral reform to preservation of the environment and excellence in education; the Knesset Ethics Committee censured Plesner in 2011 for making “insulting and harmful comments that are not connected to political stances and public life, but rather an MK’s personal life.”

Plesner, during a Haneen Zoabi speech on the Gaza Flotilla, said of Zoabi, “Go to Gaza for a week and see what happens to you, a single 38-year-old woman.” Plesner was, in 2012, Deputy Chairman of the Kadima Faction and a member of both the Constitution and Justice Committee and of the Defense and Foreign Relations Committee. He was founder of the European Forum of the Knesset, a parliamentary group dedicated to improving relations between the Knesset and European legislators, chaired the Knesset's permanent delegation to the Council of Europe. Placed third on the Kadima list for the 2013 elections, he lost his seat when the party was reduced to two MKs. In 2014, Plesner was appointed President of the Israel Democracy Institute, replacing Dr. Arye Carmon upon his retirement. In 2012, Plesner chaired the Keshev committee, though known as the Plesner Committee, for revision in Haredi conscripting policy for the replacement of the Tal Law, set to lapse on 1 August 2012; the committee was dissolved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu due to disagreements between coalition parties, yet Plesner publicized the recommendations which included aggressive draft goals, as well as criminal charges, fines, or loss of benefits for draft dodgers under the plan.

Yohanan Plesner on the Knesset website