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Last Updated : Dec 17, 2018 09:23 PM IST | Source: PTI

It is time we focus on India's rise as soft power: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu

Speaking at a conference on soft power organised by India Foundation, Naidu said that India has always been one of the foremost cultural forces in the world.

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said it was time India focussed on its rise as a soft power and use it to combat the biggest menace humanity is facing in the present times - terrorism. He also said that public opinion world over should be built to isolate nations which shelter terrorists.

Speaking at a conference on soft power organised by India Foundation, Naidu said that India has always been one of the foremost cultural forces in the world.

"It is time that we focus on India's rise as a soft power nation and the need for an India-centric discourse on soft power; how to maximise and deploy soft power assets, particularly to furthering national, regional and global interests.

"It was 'Vishwaguru' who provided cultural, spiritual & intellectual leadership. Knowledge-seekers from other countries used to come to Indian universities like Takshashila and Nalanda," he said.

He said that soft power was one of the "newest frameworks to understand and leverage India's role in international order".

Explaining what soft power was, Naidu said it was the ability of nations to shape preferences and influence behaviour of other nations through appeal and attraction as opposed to coercion.

It consists of three major categories - a nation's culture, its political values and its foreign policy, he said.

He further said that as India continues its rise in the international order, it is important that there is a recognition of the cultural impact that the nation has had on the world, and leverage it in a way that is best for the nation.

"From Yoga to Bollywood; Bharatnatyam to Buddhism; cuisine to tourism, India has in its possession an immense amount of soft power to expand global outreach. Soft Power is non-coercive. It has power to create an attraction and influence opinions in a rather unobtrusive manner," he said.

He said that India never had ambitions of hegemony at any time and always believed in a peaceful co-existence in an equitable world order. India always believed in using soft power for the welfare and betterment of the entire humanity, he said.

"India's soft power should be used to combat the biggest menace humanity is facing in the present times - terrorism. India must use its moral and cultural strength to influence public opinion to establish a truly peaceful, just and more equitable world order. Public opinion world over should be built to isolate nations which shelter terrorists as terrorism is the enemy of mankind," he said.
First Published on Dec 17, 2018 09:15 pm
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