Fusion of various cultures rather than a monolithic societal set-up will make India a far greater civilisation, Union minister Suresh Prabhu today said and asked people to learn from the nature which enriches lives through its biodiversity.
The Railway Minister was speaking at a session here organised by the Art of Living Foundation as part of the closing day celebrations of the three-day World Culture Festival where thousands of delegates and leaders from various fields including political and spiritual congregated.
“If there was no culture, there would be no idea of living. From the first woman born in Africa to the huge exponential growth in population over these millenia, it is culture which kept people going.
“It also has caused conflicts but it is through culture that we have kept harmony in our society eventually. And, therefore, fusion of culture will make us far better rather than a monolithic civilisation,” Prabhu said.
“One should learn from nature which represents biodiversity and enriches lives around it,” he said.
He quoted the legend of the Parsis who were received by kings in Gujarat on arrival and likened the “sugar that dissolves in the water of the culture of India and makes it richer.”
“India is the best respected community and let us keep on adding sugar to that water,” he said, borrowing the metaphor.
Minister of State for Power Piyush Goel said the gathering of people from “over 160 countries” under one roof in India proves that high ideals and humanity transcend boundaries.
“Politics over minority issues, whether religious or otherwise, creates ghetto psychology and generates distress in a community,” he said.
Quoting a few verses from the Bhagvad Gita, Goel said, one must surrender the ego for harmonious living.”
Union minister V K Singh and former Prime Minister of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik spoke on engendering values of leadership and suggested ways to become successful leaders.
“A leader always inspires people and never intimidates. And, he or she is a global leader in a true sense displaying abilities and leading the charge,” Singh said.
He also asked people to practise “cautious honesty” and be “patiently impatient” and a good communicator to achieve one’s goals.
Bondevik said a leader is a servant who makes the final decision but is not arrogant but amiable.
The World Culture Festival is being held on the flood plains of Yamuna where grand cultural events are lined up in the evening to bring the curtains on the celebrations.
Several thousands performers from all parts of the world have gathered since March 11 to celebrate the confluence of culture at the event which was marred by controversy over ecological damage to the flood plains.