Interaction with members of Goodwill Delegation from China Association for International Friendly Contacts (CAIFC)
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On 18th March 2013, VIF team led by Ambassador P.P. Shukla interacted with members of Goodwill Delegation from the China Association of International Friendly Contacts (CAIFC). The VIF team included Sandhya Jain, Prof. Makkhan Lal, and Prof. Kapil Kumar as key speakers, while the CAIFC Team was led by Mr. Xu Jialu, Senior Advisor to CAIFC, and included Mr. Xin Qi, Vice-President CAIFC, and Mr. Tian Wei, as key speakers.

The session began with VIF speaker, Sandhya Jain, who spoke on Christianism and its threat to the sister civilizations of India and China. Explaining the threat, Ms. Jain emphasized on the political aspect of the threat principally. Beginning from the period of renaissance and the rise of Roman Empire, colonization has adversely affected both China and India. While threats aren’t direct today, but ideological warfare and attempts at what is now called neo-colonisation continues. Concluding her talk, Ms. Jain underlined the importance of India and China helping each other in meeting the cultural and religious challenges that we face.

The next speaker was Prof. Makkhan Lal who encaptured the rich cultural beauty of the Indian civilization in his presentation. Assessing the Indian and Chinese cultural histories, Prof. Makkhan Lal argued that despite numerous foreign invasions, the two cultures have survived. Illustrating the argument, Prof. Makkhan Lal showed slides on “Pipal” leaves, “Namastey” (way of greeting), “Swastika” (a holy symbol), and “Shiva Linga”, explaining how their cultural importance has remained imbibed in the Indian civilization for over a span of 5000 years and is strongly alive at present. Prof. Makkhan Lal then enlightened the participants with the story of Buddha, who had to follow the Hindu tradition of seeking permission from his wife, in order to become a preacher, arguing that Buddhism was never considered outside Hinduism but rather as a part of it.

Prof. Kapil Kumar then discussed the contemporary cultural context. He argued that the sufferings which the two civilizations of India and China have faced should rather bring the two nations closer. Highlighting the fact that the Western world would not want the two powers to develop amicable relations, Prof. Kapoor urged the two nations to establish strategic cooperation and make a future together. Stressing on the importance of younger generation, Prof. Kumar proposed to develop exchange programmes which would bring the younger generations of India and China in touch.

CAIFC speakers, Mr. Xin Qi and Mr. Tian Wei spoke on various aspects of cultural affinity that the two civilizations of India and China have had in the long history. A similarity which was highlighted between India and China was the importance of mind and soul as a parameter of judging civilizations and not just material wealth. Another linkage discussed was Buddhism. It was unanimously agreed that by opening up Buddhist cultural centers in India and China, we could increase cultural exchanges and tourism which would bring the two nations closer. Mr. Xu Jialu and Ambassador Shukla thanked the speakers and also expressed their mutually-shared belief that VIF and CAIFC would joint-venture in the long run for more such meaningful exchanges of ideas.

Event Date 
March 18, 2013
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