“Make harmonious co-existence with nature as the central pillar of our existence”, PM Modi at India-Japan Samvad Conference

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today addressed the India-Japan Samvad Conference and said this was the time to draw upon our ancient values and prepare for the times to come and keep humanism at the core of our policies. “We must make harmonious co-existence with nature as the central pillar of our existence”, he said at the conference which will take place on Monday.

Stating that hostility will never achieve peace, he said that in the past, humanity took the path of confrontation instead of collaboration. From Imperialism to the world wars. From the arms race to the space race. We had dialogues but they were aimed at pulling others down. Now, let us rise together. Lord Budha’s teachings command the strength to turn the discourse from enmity to empowerment. His teachings make us large-hearted, he said.

During his address, PM Modi proposed the creation of a library of all traditional Buddhist literature and scriptures. “The light of Buddha’s message spread out from India to many parts of the world. However, this light did not remain static. In each new place it reached, Buddhist thought continued to evolve further over the Centuries. Because of this, great treasures of Buddhist literature and philosophy can be found in many different monasteries today, across many different countries and languages. This body of writing is a treasure of humankind as a whole”, he said highlighting the importance of such a library.

Speaking on the future of learning and innovation, he said that this decade and beyond will belong to those societies that place a premium on learning and innovating together. “Our actions today will shape the discourse in the coming times. It will be about nurturing bright young minds who will add value to humanity in the times to come. Learning should be such that furthers innovation. After all, innovation is the corner-stone to human empowerment”, he said.

Highlighting the necessity of a democratic world which is open-minded, he said that societies that are open-minded, democratic, and transparent are better suited to innovate. “Therefore, now is the time, more than ever before, to change the paradigm on what we see as growth. Discussions on global growth cannot happen only between a few. The table must be bigger. The agenda must be broader. Growth patterns must follow a human-centric approach”, he said pitching for new permanent members at world bodies like the United Nations Security Council.

About SAMVAD Conference

The SAMVAD conference was started five years ago and was initiated by Indian PM Narendra Modi and the then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The first conference, Samvad-I, was held in New Delhi in 2015, at Bodh Gaya.

During the first Samvad in 2015, leading scholars, religious leaders, academics, and political personalities had exchanged views on conflict avoidance and environmental consciousness. In subsequent years, SAMVAD was held in Tokyo, Yangon, and Ulaanbaatar. It is being held virtually this year due to COVID19 restrictions.

The Conference was necessitated due to the need to build the future of Asia on the positive influence of traditions of non-violence and democracy in Asia.

The India-Japan Samvad Conference aims to encourage dialogue and debate and to highlight the shared values of democracy, humanism, Ahimsa, freedom, and tolerance. SAMVAD wishes to carry forward the ancient tradition of spiritual and scholarly exchanges.

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