Question-2: Explain why PM Modi’s recent visit to Lumbini is not only political but also strategically important.
Answer: Prime Minister Modi has recently visited Lumbini in Nepal to participate in the celebrations held on the occasion of Budhha Poornima. The move is seen as a way to strengthen India’s strategic position in the Himalayan country.
Strategic importance of visit
- Lumbini, which is present near the Indian border, has seen increasing presence of China. They have been involved in building one of the largest monasteries.
- China conducts international conferences and summits on Buddhism. Grand celebrations are held every year on Vesak.
- There was a steady flow of Chinese tourists in Lumbini before the Covid-19 pandemic. China was also thinking of investing in the region.
- The Chinese are leaving no stone unturned to exploit the soft power potential of Buddhism, a fast growing religious tradition that has half a billion adherents (largely in East and Southeast Asia).
Prime Minister’s visit may have been carried out to heal old wounds developed during the rule of PM KP Oli. The message now is to look for new avenues to carry out cooperation.
Thus, India’s diplomacy must be a middle path forged through tolerance, dialogue and debate, and reconciliation and consensus.
Tags: GS 2 ( International Relations)
By – Prashant Tiwari