India and Mongolia: Past, Present and Future, speech by Ambassador G. GANBOLD at the Vivekananda International Foundation, 26 June 2019

At the outset I would like to thank to the Vivekananda International Foundation for giving me this opportunity to talk about my country - Mongolia and her bilateral relations, which enjoy centuries long history, intertwined by multiple bonds and grown up to Strategic Partnership.

Mongolia is one of the sparsely populated country in the world. Territory-wise it is nearly half of India. Due to continental climate and high altitude it has sub-zero temperature for 6 months with wind of volatility. It is rich with energy and natural resources, conducive for animal husbandry. It is shortest route binding Europe and Asia surrounded by huge markets.

Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India during his official visit to Mongolia presented saplings of Banyan tree and Lord Buddha and his two disciples’ statue, which deeply appreciated as an illustration of common spiritual feelings. It will be inaugurated on 6th September. Large number of monk- students are studying in India.

We regard India as land of Dharma and source of knowledge. Ancient travellers noted that the mongolian monks were studying at Nalanda University.

The truth the Siddhartha Gautama, found cannot be adequately described here in brief talk. Perhaps it requires a life-time to comprehend it. The Buddha described it in a parable. Man should seek the middle path between self-indulgence and self- mortification. This middle way, known as the Noble Eightfold path, consisted of right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right mode of living, right endeavor, right mindfulness and right consciousness. The teachings of Lord Buddha helped not only to form Mongolian people’s thoughts but also turned into philosophy that has enormous impact on our state policy.
Despite geographical distance we have bonds of history, culture and religion which are basis of our state to state relations. We consider India as our ”Third Neighbor” or “Spiritual Neighbor”. The 65th anniversary of these relations will be marked as year long event. We had hosted international conference on “on Chinggis Khan, His legacy and Indian Culture” and Literary heritages, scripts of Mongolia.

We attach highest value to Ghyan (knowledge), Dharma (realization) and Karma(destiny).

We in Mongolia know what Swami Vivekanand had taught such as “ What we think is who we are. So mind what you think. Words are secondary but thoughts are live longer and travel far”. “You have to mature from the inside out. There is no teacher but your own soul”. “Neither money, nor name or fame but character cleaves through adamantine walls of indifference”. We pass them on to our youth generation to generation .

The XIII century manuscript the

Secret History of Mongols

(chapter 261 to 264) referred to India as Hindu or Hindustan and the Indus river as Sindhi or a New river. By the way this manuscript was translated in India at Aligarh Muslim University in 1959.

The amazing stories of Mughal dynasty held a pivotally important part in India’s history. There are areas and towns with thought provoking names such as Mangolpuri, Mongolbad, Mangolor in India and with common cultural and intellectual legacies.

Ancient manuscripts and literatures are preserved and restored in archives, museums and libraries. We have a wide array of arts, literature, poetry as well as research works worth to be surveyed by our scholars.

Chinggis khan, said that winning of heart and mind is the way to govern bodies. Thus, even in 13th century the Mongols were appreciating and respecting diverse cultures and civilizations. Instead of discriminating or contradicting they used to co-exist and debate with all major faiths as Marco Polo noted.

We had took part in the First Asian Relations Conference held in New Delhi in March, 1947. India supported Mongolia when it joined UN in 1961. We have been together in NAM, SCO and ASEM nowadays we continue it as permanent Neutrality. After the PM’s visit VP and Speaker of Lok Sabha, Parliament of India also visited Mongolia.

Sons and daughters of India hailed from diverse ethnicities and religions like Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Baba Sahib Ambedkar, Sardar Patel, Mulana Azad, Sarojni Naidu led Аhimsa against British Raj that existed over two centuries.

Likewise, Mongolians 30 years ago replaced authoritarian regime with transformations as parliamentary democracy, market economy.

Parliamentary elections (8), Presidential elections (7) and Local elections (8) went smooth and orderly since 1990. Private sector produces over 80 percent of GDP.

India supported them from their very beginning. Parliament of India made its valuable contributions in drafting our democratic Constitution of 1992. We have common values like parliamentary democracy, free market, free press and human rights and many others.

We both are peace loving nations and denounce extremism and strive against religious fundamentalism and violent terrorism. We are collaborating within UN, WTO, SCO and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and facilitate understanding and cooperation to the benefit of regional peace and stability.

Mongolia and India have defined their relations in Joint Declaration of 1973 and reaffirmed time and again. We have concluded the Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation in 1994,Treaty on Comprehensive Partnership in 2008 and Treaty on Stratgeic Partnership in 2015. And agreed to collobrate in all available fields. Centuries old ties have grown into Strategic Partnership.
“UB Dialogue on NEA Security” was held in UB on 5to 6 June followed by hig level inter-regional conference on Prevention of Extremism, Radicalization which lead to Violent Terrorism on 20th to 21st June and ABCP 50th anniversay session on 21st to 24th June, 2019.

The Government of India rendered assistance to Mongolia in training our national personnel, promoting SME. Under ITEC program our professionals are on trainings since 1987 while our youth are studying in the India’s universities.
The Government of India welcomes the mongolian youths to its universities. Since I am among scholars I would like to underline a few points for our bilateral cooperation. Barring mining, the agriculture and animal husbandary, energy, high education sector ought to have substantive role in our relations as we both pay particular importance to climate change, environmental protection, sustainable development which are indeed promising areas for cooperation.
India assists Mongolia by training of students and personnel. However, it would be important that both side should exert efforts in mutual recognition of their diploma, degree of those studiued in India for years.
We should encourage University to University ties in a way of conducting joint seminars, conference or exchanging lecturers and students.

Lecturers and students exchange, joint research on mutually interested topics, or conferences could be organized.

Gonchig GANBOLD, Ambassador of Mongolia Joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Mongolia in 1980 Served as Desk officer, Counsellor, Deputy head and Head of Departments, Mongolian embassies in New, Washington D.C, London as well as Ministry of Finance, National Security Council, Speaks Hindi, English and Russian Contributed articles to print and electronic media, translated two dozen books

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