Dr. Anirban Ganguly
It is said that when the legendary Buddhist Monk, the late Kushok Bakula Rinpoche, one of the most venerated monks of Ladakh and India’s longest serving Indian Ambassador to Mongolia, moved around that country, he generated a reverence that was rare even for royalty.
Kushok Bakula Rinpoche’s decade long representation of India in Mongolia, strengthened not only India’s position and impression among the people of that country, but also rekindled the civilisational bonds, the bonds of knowledge and spirituality that had existed between the two civilizations and culture.
Recognising the late Rinpoche’s contribution to re-laying the civilisational foundations of India-Mongolia ties and the larger potential of evolving a civilisational partnership, PM Modi, in a touching gesture, told the Mongolian Parliament that the bond of the spirit continues to thrive and “It lives through the work of Kushok Bakula Rinpoche India’s Ambassador here from 1990 to 2000…”
In fact, Mongolians’ reverence and fascination with Buddha’s homeland and its representatives has never faded, one saw its most dynamic and multi-faceted expression when the country, as a whole, geared up to welcome, for the first time in six decades, an Indian Prime Minister. PM Modi, on his part, not only spoke in civilisational terms of the India-Mongolia bond, but also aspired to work out a contemporary dimension that would base itself on that age-old foundation of cultural exchange and assimilation.
While the Mongolian Prime Minister welcomed PM Modi by terming India a spiritual neighbour, Prime Minister Modi further cemented the ties by saying that Mongolia was “integral to India’s Act East Policy.” An astute expression of purpose and deep civilisational message indicated the shift in India’s perception – of actively engaging her civilisational partners in a new paradigm and framework partnership.
Seen from such a perspective, PM Modi’s Mongolia visit has reinforced in the national consciousness, the urge to re-invent India’s civilisational linkages and create a new grand narrative of cooperation and outreach in the regions where India’s culture, knowledge and spirituality had once gained deep acceptance and was eagerly assimilated. Till he visited Mongolia last Sunday and soaked in its many flavours, colours and absorbed the many vibrant spiritual and civilisational dimensions while discussing tangibles, Mongolia, for most Indians, or voluble Indian-opinion throwers, was a far-off, inaccessible, arid and cold land locked space somewhere over there. With his action-packed visit PM Modi has changed that perception for good.
Agreement to cooperate in areas of national security, cyber security, renewable energy, education, culture etc and the urge to upgrade the relationship to that of a multi-dimensional strategic partnership shall emerge as the vital sustaining pillars of this relationship. In the course of a single day, as PM Modi remarked, “we have imparted our ancient relations new strength and momentum,
PM Modi’s Mongolia outreach is a landmark of how to revivify India’s civilisational link and of how to recognize and work upon, as he told his host, the fact that “we are linked by the common spiritual heritage across the vast arc of Asia.”
(Courtesy: www.focusnews.com, May 18, 2015)