Source: News Bharati English23 Feb 2015 19:55:26

New Delhi, February 23: The time has come for us to realize the potential of soft power as an important strategy for external affairs and foreign relations said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday while speaking after inaugurating the first International Ramayana Mela at FICCI Auditorium, in New Delhi.

Citing further that world affairs are no longer on one track, PM Modi said, soft power is becoming increasingly critical in world affairs across the world. Meanwhile, India should leverage its great traditions and culture in forging ties with countries around the world in a way that is deeper, more personal, and therefore, far more powerful, he added.

In the domain of soft power, PM Modi said, India has a lot to offer to the world as all countries have Gautam Buddha, Ram, and Ramayana as part of their own culture have a bond with India that transcends diplomatic ties.

The Prime Minister spoke of the days when the television serial “Ramayana” used to air on Indian television and said that this tale brought together people across ages and geographies.

Giving the example of Jatayu in Ramayana as a character who strove to protect a woman’s honour with fearlessness, Prime Minister said that the story of Ramayana has a message at its core that remains relevant today, in this case, that of respect for women.

While stating few concept of “Ram Rajya” which was a vision relevant today and which holds an important message for health sector and social harmony today, PM Modi recited, none dies prematurely, all are physically healthy and strong, similarly, social harmony message which ram rajya gives is, there is social harmony and an environment of mutual trust and love amongst all. All are fulfilling their dharma, their responsibility.

Further explaining about the ram rajya importance, PM Modi said, of the conduct of citizens, it envisioned, all are generous and giving. All men and women are in service of others. And, similarly, of social conduct, it said: Under Ram’s grace, all disparities and differences melt down and none engage in enmity.

Thus, Ramayana held the wisdom behind every aspect of an ideal society, Prime Minister added.

He added that we need to overcome the view that connection with Delhi is connection with India, as India is a large and diverse nation.

In this respect, he said, that the International Ramayana Mela is a positive beginning for connecting with the small towns and cities of India, thus truly connecting with the real India.