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All the dignitaries’ present and dear student friends,

This is a moment of great happiness for me as I am going to be a part of that pious job which will instill a sense of pride for centuries to come. There might be a few leaders in the world that would have an opportunity to interact with the students of two universities in such a short span of three days while visiting other countries as a guest. Very few people might be as fortunate as I am and I am grateful to you for this.

The basics of India is philosophy and it is also mentioned in the Vedas that the light of knowledge should flow free from all directions. Our philosophy enunciates “Gyan Bhadro”. Thoughts and knowledge knows no boundaries, neither east or west. They are eternal and knowledge from any part of the world can be useful for the development of human culture.

Just now, two Chinese students quoted different Slokas from the ancient Indian texts. They said and I quote “Nainam Chindanti Shastrani Nainam Dahti Pavakaha”. They presented their views in a manner which can act as a storehouse of knowledge for the world. The soul is never born, the soul never dies. The soul cannot be destroyed nor can it ever be burnt. I understand that the Chinese students here summed up the ancient Indian philosophy before you. They mentioned “The Gita” too which states “ma faleshu kadachina” meaning to do ones duty wholeheartedly without seeking anything in return. It requires intent to study about Mahatma Gandhi or India. And if India and China were to scan the history of their rich cultural heritage, we will discover that both were nations of ardent learners, they were courageous to gain new knowledge and were ready to take pains for it. Huen Tsang came to India some 1400 years ago and similarly academic Indians must have travelled to China and all for the sake of knowledge. Such boldness was displayed to acquire knowledge, to learn about different cultures and traditions. It is easy to open the doors for trade and economic reasons. It is easy to invite tourists from all over the world. But opening the doors for knowledge requires immense courage. If one is not strong internally then one is scared of being engulfed by the ideas of others. Will those ideas overpower us? When a person is strong within, he is open to the views and ideas of others. And so China today after the age of Buddha is keen to learn about the great cultural heritage through the life of Gandhi, I think this in itself is a big and important event.

Those relations that are borne out of economic considerations are profit and loss centric. But the relations that are fostered through knowledge, work on the principle of welfare of the future generations. Mahatma Gandhi, though born in a corner of India was a global figure, he was an icon and the various crises that the world is struggling with, can his ideologies show a way out? The world today is facing two major crises – one is global warming and the other is terrorism. Gandhi’s ideologies have solution to both these problems, which means the students of this university through Gandhian Study can outline the relevance of Gandhi in today’s age through mankind not just for China but for the world. A Chinese person Mr. Zen Centi, admired Gandhi and came to live in Sabarmati Ashram in 1925. He stayed there as Gandhiji’s disciple. The Ashram inmates could not pronounce his name correctly for it was a Chinese name. So Mahatma Gandhi wrote his name as Shanti Jain.

Similarly a Chinese scholar Tang Yung – Shan was close to Rabindra Nath Tagore. He has written that when he met Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhiji was full of praise for China.

Zen Centi after staying with Mahatma Gandhi returned to China and started a newspaper by the name Penang. In 1930 Gandhiji was fighting a big battle for India’s independence. He was lodged in Yerwada jail in Pune and was on a fast unto death in the jail. When Zen Centi learned about it, he immediately came to India and requested to meet Gandhiji. Gandhiji had refused to meet anyone inside the jail during his fast. But such was his love for Zen Centi that Gandhiji met him in the jail. Such was his love for a Chinese citizen.

21st Century belongs to Asia. China and India together make for a third of the world’s population. If this one third population is benefitted and is free of problems, then a third of the world will be freed of crises. So India and China should together scale new heights, with humanitarian approach, with humanity, based on Buddhist ideology and Gandhian experiments, so that we can inspire the world to lead a life which is committed to the welfare of the world.

My heartfelt congratulations to Fudan University towards their efforts to start this new segment. I believe that our thoughts will enhance and strengthen the Indo Chinese relations in the times to come for the coming generations. With this belief my best wishes to all of you once again.

Thank you very much.

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COVID taught us that we are stronger and better when we are together: PM Modi
September 25, 2021
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COVID taught us that we are stronger and better when we are together: PM
“Generations will remember the manner in which human resilience prevailed over everything else”
“Poverty cannot be fought by making the poor more dependent on governments. Poverty can be fought when the poor start seeing governments as trusted partners”
“When power is used to empower the poor, they get the strength to fight poverty”
“The simplest and most successful way to mitigate climate change is to lead lifestyles that are in harmony with nature”
“Mahatma Gandhi is among the greatest environmentalists of the world. He led a zero carbon footprints lifestyle. In whatever he did, he put the welfare of our planet above everything else”
“Gandhi ji highlighted the doctrine of trusteeship, where we all are trustees of the planet with the duty of caring for it”
“India is the only G-20 nation that is on track with its Paris commitments”

Namaste!

It is a delight to address this young and energetic gathering. In front of me is a global family, with all the beautiful diversity of our planet.

The Global Citizen Movement uses music and creativity to bring the world together. Music, like sports, has an inherent ability to unite. The great Henry David Thoreau once said, and I quote: "When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am in-vulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest of times, and to the latest."

Music has a calming impact on our life. It calms the mind and the entire body. India is home to many musical traditions. In every state, in every region, there are many different styles of music. I invite you all to come to India and discover our musical vibrancy anddiversity.

Friends,

For almost two years now, humanity is battling a once in a lifetime global pandemic. Our shared experience of fighting the pandemic has taught us we are stronger and better when we are together. We saw glimpses of this collective spirit when our COVID-19 warriors, doctors, nurses, medical staff gave their best in fighting the pandemic. We saw this spirit in our scientists and innovators, who created new vaccines in record time. Generations will remember the manner in which human resilience prevailed over everything else.

Friends,

In addition to COVID, other challenges remain. Among the most persistent of the challenges is poverty. Poverty cannot be fought by making the poor more dependent on governments. Poverty can be fought when the poor start seeing governments as trusted partners. Trusted partners who will give them the enabling infrastructure to forever break the vicious circle of poverty.

Friends,

When power is used to empower the poor, they get the strength to fight poverty. And therefore, our efforts include banking the unbanked, providing social security coverage to millions, giving free and quality healthcare to 500 million Indians. It would make you happy that about 30 million houses have been built for the homeless in our cities and villages. A house is not only about shelter. A roof over the head gives people dignity. Another mass movement taking place in India is to providedrinking water connection to every household.The Government is spending over a trillion dollars for next-generation infrastructure.For several months last year and now, free food grains have been provided to 800 millions of our citizens.These, and several other efforts will give strength to the fight against poverty.

Friends,

The threat of climate change is looming large before us.The world will have to accept that the any change in the global environment first begins with the self. The simplest and most successful way to mitigate climate change is to lead lifestyles that are in harmony with nature.

The great Mahatma Gandhi is widely known for his thoughts on peace and non-violence. But, do you know that he is also among the greatest environmentalists of the world. He led a zero carbon footprints lifestyle. In whatever he did, he put the welfare of our planet above everything else.He highlighted the doctrine of trusteeship, where we all are trustees of the planet with the duty of caring for it.

Today, India is the only G-20 nation that is on track with its Paris commitments. India is also proud to have brought the world together under the banner of the International Solar Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

Friends,

We believe in the development of India for the development of humankind.I want to conclude by quoting the Rig Veda, which is perhaps one of the world's oldest scriptures.Its verses are still the golden standard in nurturing global citizens.

The Rig Veda says:

संगच्छध्वंसंवदध्वंसंवोमनांसिजानताम्

देवाभागंयथापूर्वेसञ्जानानाउपासते||

समानोमन्त्रःसमितिःसमानीसमानंमनःसहचित्तमेषाम्।

समानंमन्त्रम्अभिमन्त्रयेवःसमानेनवोहविषाजुहोमि।।

समानीवआकूति: समानाहृदयानिव: |

समानमस्तुवोमनोयथाव: सुसहासति||

It means:

Let us move forward together, speaking in one voice;

Let our minds be in agreement and let us share what we have, like the Gods share with each other.

Let us have a shared purpose and shared minds. Let us pray for such unity.

Let us have shared intentions and aspirations that unify us all.

Friends,

what can be a better manifesto for a global citizen than this?May we keep working together

for a kind, just and inclusive planet.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.

Namaste.