This year, our global community celebrates 150th years of Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy. Because of this, I am excited to announce and invite our local community to an amazing show that bridges the story of Gandhi with the incredible culture, music, dance and spirit of India right here at the Home of the Renegades.

The Jai Jagat Tour group has performed in London, New York City, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., and now it makes its way to our home. We welcome them at 7:30 p.m. May 13 in the Edward Simonsen Performing Arts Center indoor theater on Bakersfield College's main campus. This is just one of many events to come in celebrating the 150 years of Gandhi’s legacy, his fight for independence and freedom of India.

The show is about 90 minutes long full of dancing, drama, music, featuring 17 children who share the stories and messages of Gandhi, Malala Yousafzai, Wangari Maathai and many other influential people of India. These young, talented children come to us representing their underprivileged communities of Ahmedabad, India.

Upon reflecting on Gandhi’s teachings of nonviolence and love, I have made a commitment and a more intentional effort to share a calm and collective manner with each person I come across. I am a first-generation American whose family migrated from India and was brought up in the traditions of my mother-tongue. Growing up, my family would visit India each summer, and I cherish the vibrant culture, colorful spirit and beautiful customs of my motherland.

I encourage not only the Bakersfield College community, but all of Kern County to attend this one-time showing. BC has a commitment and history of bringing powerful, moving events that align its core values of learning, integrity, wellness, diversity, community and sustainability to the local community. On behalf of BC and especially the Office of Student Life, we hope to highlight these important values which we believe lead us to a better understanding of our united world and local community. The force and passion behind the Gandhi Celebration Committee is remarkable as they bring recognition and visibility of our culture to the limelight.

This incredible opportunity would not be possible without the efforts and support of Dr. Naina Patel and the Naina and Ravi Foundation. Thank you for providing Bakersfield will this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Tickets are only $15 a person at the door or purchased online at Seating is limited, so get your tickets beforehand. There will be a dinner service at 6:30 p.m. with local Indian cuisine before the performance for purchase.

On behalf of Bakersfield College, we look forward to seeing you all there.

Nicky Damania, Ph.D., is the director of student life at Bakersfield College since August 2014. He can be reached at