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Ramayan, Buddhism unite Asean countries

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj told the 160 delegates from 11 Asean nations that it was Ramayana and Buddhism that united them and the challenge was to strengthen and build on those ideals.

bhopal Updated: Aug 18, 2017 19:38 IST
Punya Priya Mitra, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Madhya Pradesh,Asean youth summit,Sushma Swaraj
Bhopal, India - Aug. 18, 2017: Indonesian delegation posing for a group photograph with External affairs minister Sushma Swaaraj and Governor of Madhya Pradesh O P Kohli during India- ASEAN youth summit in Bhopal, India, on Friday, August 18, 2017. (Photo by Mujeeb Faruqui/Hindustan Times)(Mujeeb Faruqui/HT Photo)

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj told the 160 delegates from 11 Asean nations that it was Ramayana and Buddhism that united them and the challenge was to strengthen and build on those ideals.

Addressing the valedictory session of the six-day India-Asean youth summit here on Friday, Swaraj said Muslims make idols and Lord Hanuman in Indonesia and believe it to be part of their culture and there are statues of a prostrating Arjuna before Lord Krishan seeking guidance in several squares, showing the spread of Indian mythologies through Indians who settled there centuries ago.

Swaraj peppered her address with quotes from Vivekanand and ideals taught by Buddhism, Swaraj said there was no higher bliss than peace which was evident in the teaching of Buddha.

Saying that she was impressed by the energy displayed at the summit and that she herself ‘felt young again’, Swaraj urged the delegates to remain in contact with each other though social media. “Who knows one of you might become a minister, prime minister or governor in years to come,” she said in a lighter vein.

Earlier, the 11 point India-Asean youth summit Bhopal declaration was read out which talked about cooperation between youths of the Asean nations and strengthen people to people contact.

State governor Om Prakash Kohli and UN Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake also spoke on the occasion.

First Published: Aug 18, 2017 19:38 IST