Vimarsha – Bahudha in the Post 9/11 World with Shri Balmiki Prasad Singh
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Vimarsha, VIF’s monthly series of talks on contemporary issues by eminent persons, was held on 30th Oct 2014, with Shri Balmiki Prasad Singh, former Governor of Sikkim, talking about ‘Bahudha in the post 9/11 world’. In his introductory remarks, General NC Vij, Director VIF, explained that Bahudha (a Hindi acronym for pluralism or diversity) epitomizing Indian culture and civilisation, provides the right panacea to a world torn apart by religious bigotry and terrorism. He highlighted that India’s unity truly lies in its diversity.

Adding a new dimension to the ongoing debate on how to deal with ideology-driven terrorism, Shri BP Singh’s talk underlined that quintessential harmony among civilisations can be achieved only through cross cultural exchanges and inter-religious dialogues. It is important to accommodate other’s point of views for peaceful co-existence. Shri BP Singh cited numerous references from history to bring home the point that Bahudha in India has existed through the ages, part of the reason the Indian civilisation has survived while many other civilisations across the globe have perished.

Views expressed by the distinguished speaker were significantly different from those enunciated by Samuel Huntington almost two decades ago in his world-famous essay on ‘Clash of Civilizations’. The concept of Bahudha encapsulating an eternal reality or continuum, a dialogue of harmony, and peaceful living, is central not only to the global fight against terrorism but also to creating a harmonious world amid ethnic pluralism and religious fanaticism. Highlighting the importance of facilitating exchange of views and promoting understanding of common good, Shri BP Singh underscored the need for imaginative statecraft from world leaders to deal with the growing scourge of international terrorism. Shri Dhirendra Singh, former Home Secretary, who presided over the evening session, however said that the concept of Bahudha needs to be built into mass thinking to make the right impact. The summing up by Shri Dhirendra Singh was followed by an interactive session, with several questions raised by the audience, adding more value to the debate.

Event Date 
October 30, 2014
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