Cultural managements

India’s soft power and cultural diplomacy often rise to the occasion

When Natalie Di Luccio, a classic Italian-Canadian singer from Toronto, sings Bollywood hit songs – “Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na” and “Pehla Nasha”, Luo Ping – a Chinese reality TV show, Super Idol contestant 13 sings ‘Tujh main rab dikhta hai’ from Shah Rukh Khan movie, American school choir decide to sing hit Tamil song ‘Balleilakka Balleilakka’ from hit movie ‘Sivaji’ at annual event, Ary- Canadian girl sings ‘Kolaveri’ originally sung by Tamil superstar Dhanush, Turkish boy sings famous song ‘Awara Hoon’ from Raj Kapoor’s movie on reality show and when Dubai appoints Shahrukh Khan as its ambassador – these are not just an aberration or an eccentricity, but they illustrate how India’s ever-softening power, amply bolstered by a rich and age-old system of moral, spiritual and cultural values, is embraced all over the world. e.

Indian soap operas like ‘Saas bhi kabhi bahu thi’, ‘Kumkum’, ‘Intezar’, ‘Kasauti Zindagi ki’ and others were a craze for the Afghan people until they were banned. When ‘Saas bhi kabhi bahu thi’ happened, the roads of Afghan cities looked deserted like the ones we saw during the ‘Ramayana’ and Mahabharata’ which took place in India some three decades ago. . Indian popular films may not win at Oscars or Cannes but have huge fan following especially in China, Central Asia, Middle East and African countries. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh once said that when he was in power everywhere he went from Africa to the Middle East he heard words of praise for Indian songs, music, movies and other soft aspects of our culture.

Only a few days earlier, the Argentine Federal Police had decided to use yoga techniques effectively for the management of the stress of its personnel. Yoga is truly considered India’s greatest modern gift to the world. Although it has been practiced in several parts of the world for several decades, in recent years yoga and awareness of Indian culture has rapidly increased across the world. Ayush’s ministry has also worked to establish the healing and soothing effects of yoga and to try to integrate it with various disciplines to promote the psychophysiological well-being of people around the world. The International Day of Yoga celebration is the latest feather in India’s hat, thanks to the persistent efforts of Gov. Narendra Modi at the Centre. This celebration has not only boosted the popularity of yoga in recent years, but has also expanded its geographical presence by inspiring its adoption across the world.

You can experience a ‘Mini India’ as the ‘Indian Council for Cultural Relations’ calls it, in Kazakhstan with a group of over 300 people in the capital humming, dancing and practicing classic Indian and Bollywood songs. They are trained in various forms of yoga including complex Asnas. Meditation practices under Indian spiritual gurus are all the rage in a number of countries including the United States, Russia, and European countries. Guru Saumya Acharya, who spends about three to six months a year in Russia, told this correspondent (Umanath Singh) that his Russian followers often engage in spiritual talks describing different facets of yoga, meditation, traditional spiritual paths Indians, giving off a great consideration for Indian spirituality.

Long before Yogo, Ayurveda, Bollywood and others became a craze outside India, Indian spirituality had reached several countries. Buddhism has spread to various countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, China, Japan, Thailand, Mongolia and other Southeast Asian and Central Asian countries over two thousand years earlier. It is said that when Alexander, also known as Sikandar, came to India around 326 BC. J.-C., he sought an Indian saint and wished to take with him a holy sage of India. Finally, he zeroed in on a Naga monk but faced repeated rejections even after offering him everything he wanted. Finally, Sikandar is said to have bowed his head to the saint with immense faith.

Hundreds of years earlier, when traders from Europe and other parts of the world moved around the world in search of expanding their businesses and reaping trading dividends, Indians walked in a intriguing journey to spread life philosophy, ideas and ideals across the world or wherever it was possible to reach. This is the reason why Buddhism still has millions of followers in the world.

India had world famous universities hundreds of years earlier like Takshila, Nalanda and Vikramshila. They have attracted students from several countries including China. Chinese Traveler to India – Hiuen Tsang was also a Buddhist monk who came to India in the 7and century (probably between 629 and 645). Similarly, another Chinese traveler Fa-Hien was also a Buddhist monk and translator, who traveled on foot from China to India to acquire Buddhist texts no doubt between 399 and 412 and spent 10 long years in India studying Buddhist philosophy . Such has been the craze for Indian spiritual and religious scriptures and contexts.

Indian universities continue to attract a large number of students, especially from developing countries. Indian cuisine is also popular all over the world. India has an excellent track record of harnessing its culture, spiritual, educational and political values ​​and distinct foreign policy for national goals.

The tangible culture of India nurtured over the years has also captivated the world like anything else. India’s institutes of technology, which greatly spurred India’s software boom as early as the 1990s and the green revolution of the 1960s that helped the country become agriculturally self-sufficient, have significantly helped the country gain more space on the global horizon and to be recognized as a rising superpower. The acquisition of Ford Motor Company’s Jaguar Land Rover business by India’s Tata has also added to this rise in the country’s soft power. Likewise, the establishment of Taj Hotel luxury properties in Boston, San Francisco and London further adds to this side of the country. Monuments like the Taj Mahal and others attract millions of people from all over the world. India has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than the majority of countries.

Currently, several CEOs of Indian origin are leading some of the biggest companies in the world, eg- Sundar Pichai- Alphabet, Satya Nadella- Microsoft, Parag Agrawal- Twitter, Leena Nair- Chanel, Shantanu Narayen- Adobe Inc, Arvind Krishna- IBM , Sanjay Mehrotra – Micron Technology, Nikesh Arora – Palo Alto Networks. Previously, Indian-born personalities like Indira Noooyi constantly ruled the global corporate space. As CEO of PepsiCo, Nooyi ranked among the 100 most powerful women in the world.

Currently the world’s sixth largest economy by nominal GDP and third by purchasing power parity (PPP), India is also in a fast race for the third ranked economy by nominal GDP. The reformist measures adopted by the government are bound to further transform its economy in the years to come. Moreover, with its fastest growing GDP among major economies, a middle class of around 40 crores and a population of around 140 crores, India is in any case becoming a darling for global investors with powerhouses. leading economic groups keen to strengthen economic ties, which further strengthens its soft power.

Mahatma Gandhi was one of the greatest torchbearers of Indian soft power, having influenced the world like no one else. Whenever there is a talk about peaceful political and social means, Gandhi’s name springs up in the minds of even the greatest world leaders and they draw inspiration from Gandhi’s ideologies. In February 1958, when Ho Chi Minh, the President of Vietnam, visited India, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru welcomed him as a great revolutionary and an almost legendary hero. However, Minh said, “I and others may be revolutionaries, but we are followers of Mahatma Gandhi, directly or indirectly, and we are also influenced by great Indian heroes.”

Unlike major world powers like the United States, China and others, India’s soft power stems from its morality and ethical and cultural values. It was India’s moral authority that inspired it to harbor Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in 1959, who went on to antagonize China and provoke anger on several occasions. Moreover, India’s principled boycott of South Africa for its racist policy of apartheid, which Gandhi had launched at the end of the 19and century, earned him the respect of post-colonial states in Africa and the rest of the world. In 1971, when India, despite overwhelming opposition from America and the UN, intervened in East Pakistan, resulting in the formation of the independent state of Bangladesh, that historic decision came only of her moral and spiritual authority, which she espoused and nurtured for thousands of years.

Although India has a fairly good reputation for utilizing its cultural, moral, political, social and religious values ​​for national and international goals and a strong moral streak in engaging with the outside world, espousing views pluralists, we still have to work on certain objective development measures such as the economic and educational expansion of the population, which will not fail to further strengthen its soft power.