Diversity, Inclusion and Mutual Respect

Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari, is an institutional Partner of Civil 20 India 2023 (C20), one of the
engagement group of G20 Summit 2023. Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari, Delhi Branch is organizing a series of „VIMARSH‟ on the topic „Diversity, Inclusion and Mutual Respect‟ and „Vasudhaiva
Kutumbakam‟. On 27th of April, Vivekananda Kendra in association with CPDHE, DU organised one
such Programme. Dr. Shashi Bala, International Advisory Committee, C20 President, International
Council of Cultural Studies, Prof. Geeta Singh, Director, Center For Professional Development in
Higher Education (CPDHE), DU, and Prof D.S. Rawat, Dean Examinations, University of Delhi
graced the occasion as the Speakers.

Introductory Address : Dr. Randhir Kumar
Greetings to all of you present in this auditorium. I welcome all of you to this program of C20 organized by Vivekananda Kendra, Delhi Branch and CPDHE of University of Delhi. 1 December, 2022 to 30 November 2023 is a very important period for India globally. In this period, India holds the chairmanship of G20, a Group of 20 countries. This Group of 20 includes majority of the developed and developing countries of the world. Which holds 85% of the world‟s GDP and 75% of trade. On the basis of population, two-thirds of the world‟s population is included in itself. From December 2022, such important programs are being planned in almost every province of India. For the first time in India, public participation is also being ensured along with the participation of the province in any international scheme.
The C20 is one of the Official Engagement Groups under the G20, which provides a platform for civil societiey organizations around the world to voice people‟s aspirations to world leaders in the G20.
The culture of civil society in India has been shaped by illustrious figures like Dayanand Saraswati, Thakur Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekananda, Ishwar Chand Vidyasagar, Mahatma Phule, Lokmanya Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi and Babasaheb Ambedkar. These great men have laid the foundation of self-motivated efforts to solve social problems. The logo of C20 India 2023 is a symbol of hope, spirit, inspiration and selfless service.

Prof D. S. Rawat: Welcome Address:
In my introduction a mention has been made of our discovery of Parkinson drug. I never thought these
three phrases, „Diversity‟, „Inclusion‟ and „Mutual Respect‟ would fit so well in the field of science too.
I shall explain you how, this discovery is not because of one person: It’s the work of team involved from
different countries. In my team students from different states: Like, Uttrakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Kerla,
Delhi and my collaborator is an Korean US citizen. So the team is diverse. Since. it’s a scientific discovery, we have to discuss at every stage and at times, we have different ideas. At the end of the day, we
converge on one idea to proceed further– that’s mutual respect. The end result is the discovery of the
drug candidate for the treatment of Parkinson disease. You can extrapolate this to a larger group, district, state or country. So to be a successful society. you must be built on „Inclusiveness‟ and „Mutual Respect‟.
What‟s the difference between Diversity and inclusion, these are two interconnected concepts but they are far from being interchangeable. Diversity is about representation or the make-up of an entity. Inclusion is about how well the contributions, presence and perspectives of different groups of people are valued and integrated. So, it should be taught to the younger generations, so that they understand the values of these three important concepts. Whenever, this understanding is disturbed, the human society witnesses increased clashes between civilizations, nations, and communities. Meteoric advances in communication, technology, global trade, the internet, social media, and the dispersal of populations on a quest for education, jobs, etc.. have rendered the world much more complex than it was a century ago. But being only technologically connected does not facilitate any better deep understanding of others point of view. And in fact, on the flip side, this power of technology and communication, more often than not, becomes a tool in the hands of those who trample on the rights of less privileged and marginalized people.

Working for human rights alone will not improve the overall situation and that is why C20 Summit 2023
emphasized that global solidarity is required to find and implement solutions to our current problems.
An awareness of the critical state of our society and the world is what has gone on to influence the decision to include, in the logo of 2023’s G20 summit, the ancient Indian maxim “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” meaning “The world itself is “One Earth, One family,” followed by family, and One future.”
The thing that I can do, you may not be able to do, similarly the things that you can do, I may not be able to do. But if we come together, we can do great things. All we need are great accomplishments: Diversity, Inclusion and Mutual respect will surely show us the way… I CONCLUDE.

Speaker: Prof Geeta Singh
Topic: Diversity, Inclusion and Mutual Respect
I appreciated and admire the effort of young minds taking up issues as important as Diversity, Inclusion and Mutual Respect. The way she said, we pay our tribute, to Swami Vivekananda‟s first message
in the Parliament of Chicago in 1893 where he said “As the different streams having their sources in
different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or
straight, all lead to Thee.” Different path of worship that we take, due to our different tendencies, all
lead to GOD.
Ours is a thousands of year old civilization, diversity is so natural to this land of ours. For centuries and millennia people of different parts of the world have been pouring in and eventually got absorbed in this vast culture of India and became one with it. Today it is difficult to distinguish one from the other.
Here, diversity is a celebration. We are a country where we celebrate the same occasion but rituals are different and even the names. Ancient India has accepted all modes of worship and religious practices and be it idol worship or without idols. Since time immemorial India has been the land of Knowledge. People from different parts of the world have been coming into India to gain knowledge but later
invaders turned their gaze to the inestimable riches that she had to offer. They came plundered our wealth, desecrated our place of worship, tore down the temples, vandalized the idols for they can‟t tolerate idol worshipers. Before this happened, we were not aware of – that prosecution people can be one for their mode or worship. That’s a major turn of event in the history of India. Despite all the trials and tribulations our prayer remained “Sarve Bhavantu Sukhino” not “Sarve Hindu Sukhino” such is the high morale ground, resilience and ideals of the children of this country.
Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, which translates to “One Earth, One Family, One Future,” is the theme for India’s G20 presidency. This indeed alone can be the panacea for all the evils that our world is suffering today.

Speaker: Prof Shashi Bala
Topic: Vasudhaiva Kutumabakam

Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” she said, The core philosophy of Bharat has always been “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which means “One Earth, One Family, One Future“. We believe in interdependence and connected destinies. The world today is shattered. There are outfits terrorizing humanity with violence. Political, financial and muscle power is gained at the cost of others‟ lives. To address these problems, several countries have come together, forming G20- a group meant to share ideas and knowledge for sustainable development, peace and prosperity. As the current host of G20, India has chosen its theme from ancient Sanskrit literature-Vasudhaiva Kutumabakam. It implies one earth, one family, one future. This also implies a vision with common aspirations, spirit of sharing and collective responsibilities. We reflect upon this theme, a set of question flashes in our mind what is its true meaning? How was it developed and How can it educate and inspire from the top to the lowest strata of the society? And is it possible to apply it? Or is it just an excellent motto to be written on walls?
Vasudhaiva Kutumabakam is the last portion of shloka in Maha Upanishad. The date and author are unknown but scholars often agree it to be written sometime between 5th to 10th century. The whole shloka reads ऄयं ननजः परो वनेि गणना लघुचिे साम्| उदारचररिानां िुवसधुैव कुटुम्बकम्. meaning the people who divide the world into mine and thine are seen as small-hearted, while those who are generous and
broad-minded take the entire world as one family. The Hindu word „Parivar‟ means family, but „Kutumba‟ connotes a clan. In this shloka „Kutumba‟ takes into its fold entire earth including each living and the non-living entity on it. The genesis of looking at the world as one family goes back by thousands years when the vedas were composed by the sages, who lived freely under the open sky. Back then, everything was in abundance, nature gives like a mother, and the sky protects like a father. Thus, the idea of living for others must have developed. Establishing a blood relation among entire humanity, sages composed “मािा भनूमः पत्रुो ऄहंपनृिवयाः पजजन्यः नपिा स उ नः नपपिजु” “Oh! Earth You are Our Mother and Parjanya is Our Father”. The maxim appears in the Prithvi Sukta, 12.1.12 of Atharva Veda. As a living mother, the earth gives everything to the living. So we are expected to respect everything on earth. Even during wars, one was not allowed to cut the trees or set forest to fire.
To the Indian mind, all the human beings are equal and members of one large family. They are described as Amritsya Putrha in Rigveda 10.13.1. Talking about this concept, Swami Vivekananda said, “Children of immortal bliss” – what a sweet, what a hopeful name! Allow me to call you, breathren, by that sweet name- heirs of immortal bliss, yea the Hindu refuses to call you sinners…Come up, O lions and shake off the delusion that you are sheep, you are souls immortal, spirits free, blessed and eternal are not matter, ye are not bodies. Matter is your servant, not you the servant of matter” The world is divine creation. So as members of one global family we care and share with others as is said in Ishavasya Upanishad “ईशा वास्यनमदं सवंयनककञ्च जगकयां जगि्। िेन कयक्तेन भञ्ुजीिा मा गधृ ः कस्यनस्वद्धनम्॥ ||१|| According to this shloka the entire world, the sentient and in-sentient, living or non-living, pleasing or not pleasing, is a divine creation and pervaded by it. The second part of the shloka is for a greed free world leading to non-exploitation of natural resources. It suggests that the entire universe is his manifestation, let us rejoice and experience it without being greedy.

For all such masters, the world is one family with which we share share our knowledge and sources of
happiness. We come from a land where people have lived for others. Our sages lived an austere life not
for personal advancement but to bring happiness and peace to others. Whosoever came to India in olden
times, whether they were Jews or Parsis. India gave them space not only to live but to develop in whatever way they liked according to their capacities. They became a part of our Indian culture and society without harming or disturbing our social fabric. But on the other hand thousands and thousands of Roma, singular Rom, also called Romany, an ethnic group of traditionally itinerant people who originated in northern India (the forgotten children of India) were brutally killed in concentration camps even their body parts were sold because they looked different, spoke a different language, their ways of living and thinking were different, thus they are eliminated. The countries who were behind all this brutalities, did not have the philosophy of life of Vasudhaiva kutumbakam. This type of action were result of discrimination, dividing the society into two parts- the known and the unknown. India does not accept and promote such ideologies. Everybody is born with a divine spark, everyone has the same right to live.
World is family, Family means happiness and let‟s expand this happiness with Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam
to the world and consider world as one family and let‟s feel that same comfort in world as we feel in our
own family. We need peace, prosperity and for that we need native culture and their knowledge. Respect
for all and have faith that we all are Amritasya Putra only then we will be happy.

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