Other States

Buddhism is basis of an early form of globalisation: Kovind

President Ram Nath Kovind in a conversation with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at the inauguration of a three-day International Dharma Dhamma Conference, at Rajgir on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Inaugurating the fourth International Dharma-Dhamma conference on state and social order at Rajgir in Nalanda district of Bihar on Thursday, President Ram Nath Kovind said Buddhism was the basis for an early form of globalisation, and of interconnectedness in our continent.

The President pointed out that “the timing of this conference is very appropriate” as “we are marking the 25th anniversary of the ASEAN-India Dialogue Partnership.”

“The month of January is a celebration of India-ASEAN relations.”

“On India’s Republic Day, leaders from all 10 ASEAN countries will be chief guests at the ceremonial events in New Delhi. And today this conference stands testimony to the abiding friendship and shared values of India and ASEAN – as well as to the spiritual heritage and knowledge that belongs to both the sub-continent and to Southeast Asia,” he said.

Mr. Kovind said the conference was “an attempt at enhancing understanding of the common roots and similarities of the diverse traditions of Dharma and Dhamma.” Though known by many names they [Dharma and Dhamma] guide us to the same truth, he said.

“They emphasise the many roads, rather than any one road, that lead us to the same desired goal,” said President Kovind.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Governor Satya Pal Malik, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Vice-Chancellor of Nalanda University Sunaina Singh and a host of dignitaries were present.

The conference was organised by the Nalanda University under the aegis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs — Asean Indian Dialogue Partnerships and India Foundation.

The President also highlighted the abiding influence of Buddhism. “It is estimated that more than half the world’s current population lives in regions that have been historically influenced – and in many cases continue to be influenced – by the enlightenment that Lord Buddha attained and placed as a model before humanity. This is the thread that stitches us all together. This is the vision that must inspire us in the 21st century as well. And this is truly what has been described as the Light of Asia.”.

He said India’s Act East Policy has to be seen in this context. “It is much more than a diplomatic initiative. It is not targeted at just greater trade and investment. Of course all of those aspirations are extremely important for the prosperity and well-being of the people of India and of all our partner countries.

“Yet, it aims at sharing not merely economic opportunities – but at an integration of the dreams and hopes of the hundreds of millions who live in India and in Southeast Asia. And in other parts of Asia that are covered by the Dharma-Dhamma footprint.”

Mr. Nitish Kumar said that like the ancient Nalanda University, Rajgir too has its historical background and it too should be included in the list of World Heritage sites.

The conference is likely to feature 60 paper presentations by scholars who have come from 11 countries and have different sessions dedicated to principles like truth, peace, harmony, non-violence, humanness and spiritual linkages; mutual care and considerations.

Earlier, “Dharma Dhamma” conferences were held in Madhya Pradesh.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 3:28:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/buddhism-is-basis-of-an-early-form-of-globalisation-kovind/article22423160.ece

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