Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said three centuries of British rule had prevented Indians from learning about their glorious traditions.
“A strong awareness of the country’s glorious past, its great cultural and spiritual legacy is a must for today’s youth to build a strong India,” he said addressing a convocation of the Swami Ram Himalayan University here.
Singh said international acceptance of India’s spiritual and intellectual supremacy in the past was spontaneous and cited Chinese scholars who acknowledged India’s path breaking role in various realms of knowledge.
Quoting one of the Chinese intellectuals he said, “India was China’s teacher in quadratic equation, grammar and phonetics.” Referring to a former Peking University vice chancellor who represented China subsequently at the United Nations, the defence minister said, “India has dominated China culturally for more than 2000 years without sending a single soldier.” Also quoting French philosopher Voltaire, Singh said he used to say, “Everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges.” The Union minister said Indonesia which is basically an Islamic country and Thailand which is Buddhist have given recognition to the Ramayana as part of their own cultural heritage.
He asked students conferred with degrees at the convocation to remember that they belong to a great country and dedicate all their knowledge to nation building and social betterment.
He also appealed to the students to keep learning all their lives and never be afraid of failure.
“Our failures should not drive us to despair, we should learn from them and move on,” he said.