05 July, 2020
4 Min Read
The Ministry of Culture, Government of India in partnership with the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) will celebrate the upcoming Asadha Poornima on 4th July, 2020 as Dharma Chakra Day.
The festivities would start off with the chanting of prayers at Sarnath, Varanasi (U.P.) which will be live streamed, following which the opening event will be shifted to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Buddhism and Diplomacy
While Buddhism might have vanished from India as a religion practised by many people, it is still a critical part of India's civilisational ethos.
There should be more Buddhist corridor including Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh, apart from Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. There could be nodal centres for people-to-people exchanges for those who come from South Korea, Taiwan and other countries. Although no other country can take Buddhist leadership away from India, the status of Buddhism in India is quite different now.
India has not been promoting its own Buddhist streams or strengthening the original Buddhism. Promoting anything else or any other brand than its own limits a genuine outreach. Promoting anything else becomes a subject of contestation, and the essence of using Buddhism as a diplomatic card gets lost.
There are also hundreds of millions of Chinese who have a deep devotion to Buddhism. India needs to reach out to those Chinese constituencies too, for long-term gains. After all, India conquered the hearts and minds of the Chinese for 200 years without sending a single troop to China.
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