As Buddhist Festival Vesak was celebrated at United Nations, it brought India’s ‘East Asia’ to focus which weaves together Asia on common heritage, linking countries as diverse as India and China as well.
Ashoke Kumar Mukherji said that India seeks to re-establish the links across Asia connected by common Buddhist heritage and make it a part of country’s foreign policy to see the world as one family.
PM Modi also featured in the slide representation by the India Mission which showcased the links forged by Buddhism. It showed Modi on his visits to religious shrines in Sri Lanka, China, Mongolia, Japan and others.
Mukherjee stressed the existence of Buddhist principles of ‘ahimsa’ or non-violence as a crucial part of India’s philosophy.
Budha’s Message of interconnected humans was spoken about by Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon also. He said that the Budha’s message reminds us of the fact that we all stand as one human community and need to address our shared struggles as the same
Omani ambassador Lyutha Al Mughairy said that the festival of Vesak enables us to comprehend the significance of respect for religious diversity and a need for peaceful world.
The respect for religious diversity which Mughairy talked about was reflected in General Assembly’s resolution to not to hold any official UN meeting on Vesak feast from the next year. This came after the efforts of India and other countries with Buddhist population. However, the headquarters will stay open, making it short of general holiday.
The same resolution also recognized Diwali, Guruparb and Jewish sacred day as the days when no official meet will be held. Thus broadening the recognition of sacred days of non-Christian and non-Muslim communities as well. However, the official holidays are still the days of Christian and Muslim religion only.