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Published in the 16-30 Apr 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Seminar on inter-civilisational dialogue

The Milli Gazette Online 

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patel inaugurated a 3-day conference in Delhi’s FICCI Auditorium on ‘Inter Civilisational Dialogue’ on 8 April organised by Delhi’s Institute of Objective Studies.Intellectuals from India and many countries including USA, Britain, Russia, Turkey, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia took part in this conference. Malayasia’s former deputy prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, delivered a thought-provoking key-note address in which he emphasised that the orient has a lot to offer the world in terms of values, thought and spiritualism. He called for a dialogue between various oriental religious and civilisational streams.

An IOS spokesman said that the world is now passing through the process of globalisation. People of different countries, societies and religions are coming nearer at social and economic levels but unfortunately the concept of a clash of civilisations is also being propagated in the west. As a result of cultural aggressiveness, unequal distribution of wealth and resources and imbalance of political and military power, a situation has arisen in which human rights and values are threatened. Hence there is an urgent need of friendly dialogue in order to remove doubts and hostilities between civilisations and nations so that common human values could be promoted and an atmosphere of tolerance and harmony at international level could be created. This conference is being held with this objective. 

Representatives of different religious and regional cultures expressed their ideological views and social thinkings. Distinguished participants included Dr Abdallh Umar Naseef of Saudi Arabia, Dr Karan Singh and Swamy Agnivesh from India. A noted Egyptian writer Fahmy Howeidy, a senior editor with the influential Al-Ahram newspaper, told The Milli Gazette that though invited, the Indian embassy in Cairo declined to give him visa.

A detailed report will appear in the next issue of MG on this important conference.

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