Soft power vital today but needs pride in country: PM

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said “soft power” is a vital instrument of uniting the world but stressed that India can contribute its part only when citizens desist from criticising their own country.

“Where and when the power of establishment cannot achieve its desired results, there comes the relevance of soft power,” Modi said in his brief inaugural address at the three-day World Culture Festival on the sprawling right bank of river Yamuna here.

He said India can make its contribution towards this endeavour but it would require the citizens themselves to be proud of their culture and tradition.

“We can make contribution only when we ourselves feel proud of our culture. But if we continue to curse ourselves, then how will the world look towards us.

“The world is not only united by concerns of economic growth, but also by human values and India can play a vital role in it,” he said lauding the initiative of Art of Living Foundation, an organisation headed by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

“When we face resistance in life, we will need Art of Living, when we pursue our dreams we need Art of Living and when we move from myself towards the common cause of us, we need Art of Living,” he told a large gathering including a large number of participants and dignitaries from various parts of the world.

The three-day World Culture Festival had come under cloud over environmental concerns. Appreciating Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s services in last 35 years, Modi said: “Once I was overwhelmed when I got a grand reception in Mongolia at an event organised by Art of Living Foundation.”