Dialogue holds key to good relations: Rijiju

Tokyo: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said Samvad or dialogue holds the key to good relations and that for the 21st Century to be the Asian century, democratic societies must work together to preserve and promote non-conflicting traditions and democratic values.

‘We need to resolve our difference through peaceful dialogue, through better Samvad as we would say in India. We need to seek greater convergence in our mindsets. We need to distill the wisdom inherent in our Asian heritage to show us the way forward,” Rijiju said while speaking at the Symposium on ‘Shared Values and Democracy in Asia’ in Tokyo.

“India is today the world’s fastest growing large economy and its economic and social transformation under the dynamic leadership of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is strongly rooted in our democratic ideals,” he said.

Rijiju said that there is enough room for all countries of Asia to prosper together. At the same time, a multitude of identities and interests have prevented us from achieving better results.

He said that the principles of democracy have been an integral part of India and Oriental civilizations and their spiritual traditions.

“The origin of democracy and democratic values in these societies can be traced back to the teachings of Buddhism, Hinduism and Shintoism and other philosophies which emphasized the collective good of society, he added.

He also said that both Hinduism and Buddhism encouraged differing thoughts and viewpoints.

“They advocated dialogue and emphasized the power of change and conviction through a democratic process. This provided a strong cultural base for society’s development and acceptance of diversity,” he said.

He emphasized that for democracies to flourish, it is essential that Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam come together.

“Today, when the world is witnessing increasing levels of polarization in conflict situations, democratic societies must work together to preserve and promote non-conflicting traditions and democratic values,” he added.

Rijiju said that he is confident that the 21st century will prove to be the Asian century.

“The world is looking up to Asia not only to provide the engines for global economic recovery but also for ideas and leadership critical for harmonious global relations,” he said.

Rijiju further stated that Asia should be capable of meeting global challenges emerging from conflict-prone ideologies and societies.

This symposium is a follow up to the Hindu Buddhist Global Initiative for Conflict Avoidance and Environment Consciousness held in New Delhi on September 3, 2015 and is a part of the Global Hindu-Buddhist Initiative conceived during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s State Visit to Japan in August-September 2014.

The symposium is organised by the Nikkei Inc and co-organised by The Tokyo Foundation, The Japan Foundation and the Vivekananda International Foundation (India) in collaboration with International Buddhist Conference and supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan.

Prior to the symposium, Sujan R. Chinoy, Ambassador of India to Japan and Hiroyasu Ando, President of Japan Foundation hosted an exclusive reception for the participants and a select gathering from all sections of the Japanese and the diplomatic community on January 18, 2016.

The Minister of State (Home), Ambassador of India, President of the Japan Foundation and Secretary General of International Buddhist Organisation addressed the gathering at the reception that was attended by, interalia, former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia. M. L. Khattar, Chief Minister of Haryana, the first leader of any State in India to visit Japan in 2016, also graced the reception.

The Chief Minister is accompanied by a large business delegation to further promote and enhance the existing strong economic engagement that Haryana State has with Japan.

The Symposium was attended by renowned Asian political, social, academic and religious leaders from a number of Asian countries, apart from India and Japan, including Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore and China.

Kiren Rijiju met the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the official banquet hosted by the Prime Minister for the participants, at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence, after the Symposium. Shri Rijiju will also travel to Nara, as part of the Symposium, to visit the Todai-ji Temple, which has a long association with India, where the consecration or eye-opening of the towering statue of Lord Buddha was performed by an Indian monk, Bodhisena, in 752 AD.

He would also meet the Governor of Nara Shogo Aria at Nara. (ANI)