New Delhi: A two-day SCO international conference on ‘Shared Buddhist Heritage’ has begun here on Tuesday. The conference focuses on India’s civilizational connection with Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) nations. Speaking about the event, Chinese Researcher Dr. S Zhao explained how Buddhism started in India and went on to touch every corner of the globe.
“Buddhism cultivated its roots starting from India to Central Asia, middle-east & China. In China where I am researching, I can see many relics related to Indian Culture…& they are looking forward to spreading over the world,” Dr. S Zhao said.
He added, “India-China celebrates a huge historic history which brings India & China close. This conference is a message that they are coming together in all aspects, so they will be moving ahead with this peaceful & cultural heritage further.”
Speaking at the event, Union Minister G Kishan Reddy said this was the first such meeting in India and the Indian government will propose conducting such events more often.
“India is conducting G20 & SCO meetings, I am hopeful that soon the entire world will receive Lord Buddha’s message. This is the first time SCO country delegates are meeting in India. Indian govt will also propose conducting such SCO meetings in other countries,” the minister said, as quoted by ANI.
Minister of State for External Affairs, Meenakshi Lekhi highlighted the importance of Lord Bhuddha’s connection to India and the link that exists between the world and India.
She said, “SCO is an international body consisting of 8 nations. Whenever you cross places like Sarnath, Kushinagar or any other Indian place where there are footprints of Lord Buddha, you will find monasteries, temples, stupas & other heritage sites.”
According to ANI, Lekhi further said, “These paths can be called as Eurasian trade routes…these are common heritage between the parts of the world & India. India is the centre of this philosophy, ideology, art& culture thus it becomes India’s responsibility to work on it.”
Notably, SCO consists of eight countries that include China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Speaking on the occasion, Advisor to Pakistan Tourism Coordination Board, A Imran Shaukat said that Pak has increased awareness of heritage other than Muslim heritage.
He told ANI, “Buddhist civilisation if we look at it is the first binding glue that brings all these countries & cultures together. Pakistan in the last decade has increased awareness & recognition of our other heritage other than just Muslim heritage.”
India-China celebrates a huge historic history which brings India & China close. This conference is a message that they are coming together in all aspects, so they will be moving ahead with this peaceful& cultural heritage further: Dr S Zhao, Chinese Researcher, Delhi
— ANI (@ANI) March 14, 2023
“Pakistan has been promoting the Sikhs, providing security & hospitality. Now Pakistan is doing more for the Buddhist sites…In the last 10-year heritage sites are also preserved,” he added.
Notably, Pakistan has been accused of not being able to provide security to religious minorities in the country.