Date: 27th June 2012
Asserting that Mahatma Gandhi's message is still relevant for the world of today, Indian ambassador Nirupama Rao has called for a pooling of individual capabilities for the advancement of the Asia-Pacific region.
"When we see the divisions and frontiers that divide humanity today, we must understand that the power to overcome them can only come from within ourselves," she said delivering the 29th Annual Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture at the University of California at San Diego Thursday.
"Gandhiji sought to awaken us to those reserves of inner strength. That message is still relevant for the world of today," she said.
"Today, as the world fills with talk about the rise of Asia, and countries like India and China, Gandhiji would have been a tireless advocate of regional cooperation and the pooling of individual capabilities for collective progress and advancement of our region, the Asia-Pacific world," Rao said.
"Communication, as Gandhiji willed it, has to rest on openness, transparency, and truth. It has to rest on education," she said.
"It must involve the imaginative use of technology, including social media, as we saw being used by young Egyptian bloggers during the Arab Spring," Rao said asserting that the Mahatma "is not dated in any manner."
"He wished to create that communications software that enables the exchange of ideas, best practices in education, the study of foreign cultures, and the promotion of dialogue between civilizations, the maintenance of that harmony between heaven and earth."
"He would want us to possess that mental infrastructure that opens the mind that resists injustice and does not fear it, that is confident about interaction with the outside world."
Noting that education, research & development, innovation are crucial and expanding areas of cooperation between India and the United States, she said: "It is our cooperation in this vital field that can provide intellectual sustenance to the idea of a strong India-US partnership."