Bhopal: “India believes the world is one family, we believe in ‘sadbhavna’ (goodwill) for all, that is why we brought Cheetahs from Namibia and South Africa when they became extinct here, and the same emotion makes us call cows ‘gau mata‘,” said Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Friday.
Addressing the 7th International Dharma Dhamma Conference in Bhopal, he said, “Desh mein har dharmik sabha me, gaon gaon mein har bachha ye mantra bolta hain ki dharma ki jai ho, adharma ki naash ho, praniyon mein sadbhavna rahe…” (In all religious meetings across the country, in every village, our children chant: righteousness be victorious, injustice be destroyed, may goodwill/kindness prevail among all living beings).
“Humne pashuon mein, pakshiyon mein, keet patangon, sab mein ek hi atma ko dekha hai. Isiliye jab Madhya Pradesh mein Cheetah vilupt ho rahe thay, toh hum Namibia aur Dakhsin Africa se le kar aye” (We see God in every living being, be it animals, birds, insects. That is why we got Cheetahs from Namibia and South Africa when they became extinct in MP),” he added.
Between September 2022 and February 2023, the central government imported eight Cheetahs from Namibia and 12 from South Africa as part of an initiative to reintroduce the extinct animal to India.
The three-day conference, hosted by the MP government, has been organised by the India Foundation — a New-Delhi based think tank — in collaboration with Sanchi University of Buddhist-Indic Study. President Draupadi Murmu inaugurated the conference Friday.
Representatives of 15 countries — including Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Indonesia — have been invited for the conference themed ‘Eastern Humanism for the New Era’.
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Fighting Covid without masks & with ‘agnikunda, gobar paani’
Speaking at the event, culture minister of the state, Usha Thakur, emphasised how Indian traditions, like lighting up agnikunda (sacred fire pit) near hospitals and sanitising houses with gobar paani (cow dung water), could have helped fight Covid-19 pandemic.
“I did not wear a mask but I served the society, I fed the patients. I was rebuked for not wearing a mask but I stood my ground. I told people to light up agnikunda in front of hospitals as it could kill germs. We never needed to use sanitiser, we used traditional gobar paani with which we sanititise our households daily. This is the power of Indian tradition and science,” said Thakur.
The minister further added that the world sees houses made with mud and cow-dung as symbols of poverty, but it is ancient science. “Houses made with mud and cow-dung were environment-friendly. They never emitted any chemicals or released any pollutant in the environment,” she added.
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‘Blind impulses lead to wars between countries’
The President spoke about India’s contribution to the world order and Eastern Humanism. She said the concept of ‘Dharma-Dhamma’ has been the basic voice of Indian consciousness.
“In our tradition it is said, dharyate anen iti dharmah — That which sustains is dharma. The entire humanity rests on the foundation stone of religion. Progress of individuals and society with the spirit of friendship, compassion and non-violence as well as free from attachment and hatred, has been the main message of Eastern humanism.”
“Personal conduct and social order based on morality is the practical form of Eastern humanism… Eastern humanism looks at the universe as a moral stage and not as a material battle-ground. In the building and sustaining of this moral order, every individual has to be action-oriented… Eastern humanism believes that blind impulses lead to individual fights and even wars between countries,” she added.
Ram Madhav, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) National Executive member, also spoke at the event and slammed the idea of Western Humanism calling it ‘wokesism’.
“Today’s woke approach by the Western Humanism has no place for any other philosophy. They want to control every narrative. They have their inputs, but the Eastern, or Indian philosophy has a history and tradition of several thousands years. The Western Humanism has always treated religion with suspicion, sometimes even rejected it,” said Madhav, who is also the member of governing council of India Foundation.
(Edited by Anumeha Saxena)
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