‘New world’ talk…

Happened to pick up ‘India Today’…The April 9th issue, with the globe on the cover, features the talks of speakers who came in for the India Today conclave on the theme “Challenges for the brave new world”…

Wide sweep of speakers – Manmohan Singh, Benazir B, Laloo Yadav, Narayana Murthy, Carl Lewis, Richard Hadlee…. Abhishek Bachchan…. and so many more…Politicians, academicians, artistes, Business people….Good mix… Must have been some conclave…

Flipping through the pages, my idle reading of the opening speech took a quick blow… the talk was vibrant…and I started to read it seriously, and then re-read it….It was statesmen-speak. by former President of Iran, Mohammad Khatami…..

Sample a few of his lines, that I quote below…

“In the historical view of Iranians, India is the land of the ‘life tree’, the ‘elixir of immortality’, and the ‘tree of wisdom’…”

“The power of synthesis, which is a predominent characteristic of Iranian thought, is distinctively featured in India, embracing everything from myths to philosophical opinions, from experiments to religious convictions…”

He makes a powerful case for direct communication among Asia thinkers first, and then with the western world, next…

He says, “The image we have of each other is less direct, and through mediators…” …. “The input and channels through which global communications take place will by no means mirror the full image of any of us….”

And I agree…We sure dont have a halfway real image of each other…We seem to ease into having stereotyped images…

My instinctive feel was that this was not a reading of a script written by a speech-writer. This seemed to carry the silent force that comes from conviction, deep thought, which can not be conveyed second hand… 

Putting paid to western imperialist notions, yet embracing the good things of the west, he asserts “…that the optimal human being is a combination of the eastern soul and western realism”, and calls for “globalisation to translate into the humanization of the world”…

He tells India,  “You and we have looked at the world compassionately. Then what could be better than us building the human world on the basis of compassion and tolerance enamelled with justice?”

He comes across as speaking a sage voice. The voice of an ancient civilization…

Quite different from what the CNN and kin seem to portray…. 


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