The first international conference of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Shared Buddhist Heritage has begun in New Delhi on Tuesday with focus on India’s civilizational connect with the SCO nations. The aim of the two-day conference is to re-establish trans-cultural links and seek out commonalities, between Buddhist art of Central Asia, art styles, archaeological sites and antiquity in various museum collections of the SCO countries. The event, under India’s leadership of SCO has brought together Central Asian, East Asian, South Asian and Arab countries on a common platform to discuss Shared Buddhist Heritage.
Speaking on the occasion, Culture Minister G. Kishan Reddy said that the conference will not only celebrate Buddhist common heritage but will also build stronger and deeper bonds amongst the countries. He also said that Buddhism with its profound vision of eternal harmony in the world has spread far and wide and it touched the lives of inhabitants in all the SCO countries centuries ago. Mr Reddy said, the purpose of this conference is to renew transcultural links and shared histories between the nations.
Addressing the participants, Minister of State for Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal said that teachings of Buddha about self-realization and self-examination are very relevant for 21st century also. He suggested that the SCO countries should take up programmes and projects on Buddhist heritage which binds Country’s together.
In her address, Minister of State for Culture and External Affairs Meenakashi Lekhi said that heritage and history connects all the SCO countries. She also said that Lord Buddha talked about value based living which is essential for the co-existence. Ms Lekhi said, SCO members are connected by Buddhist philosophy which can make SCO a formidable force in terms of ethics and value system.