Remarks

By Ambassador Abdali

 

India-Afghanistan Culture Week Festival

29th November, 2017

New Delhi

H.E Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of Culture, India  

H.E Prof. M. Rasool Bawari

Excellences, Ambassadors of Friendly Countries

Distinguished Scholars, Lecturers

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

The Embassy of Afghanistan in New Delhi is honored to inaugurate the first India-Afghanistan Cultural week Festival in the presence of a distinguished audience, and cultural elites from both India and Afghanistan in Gandahara Hall, which was recently inaugurated by the Afghan President. We are also glad to have scholars with us today from different universities of Afghanistan and India to commemorate the eternal relations between India and Afghanistan. I welcome you all to this festival.

Distinguished Scholars,

One of the most ancient and epic phenomenas of India which is reputed globally, the Mahabharata which contains the practices of residents of Bharat or ancient India at the first step and includes the neighboring regions at the second step.

This epic phenomena is the interpretation and spiritual nature of the human kind itself which is struggling in a numerous scenes of life, pays fruitful efforts in some and vice versa in others. Mahabharata is a fight and struggle between two sides which carries out the first stage to the peak and the violent ending, defeat and failures for both at the end. 

What we have learnt from Mahabharata, Ramayana and etc is the man made understandings and equality while this is what we haven’t been able to practice most of the times.  East, as per Alama Eqbal is stuck into its own captivity and can’t read its glorious image in the past to bring out a specific interpretation as its guide and teacher for the life, and step forward to the future under its shadow.

We Afghans, who have continuously been part of the Eastern history are indeed honored and proud of being merged into the history with today’s most nations in Asia and have paid joint efforts in various parts of our lives. One of these efforts is building up civilizations in Asian countries such as India, Iran and Central Asia. Throughout the Vedic, Buddhist and finally Bakhtari civilizations, we have historical relations with ancient India and modern India, and the historical and epic phenomenas witness these relations.

Distinguished friends

Throughout recent 1,400 years, two cultures and two nations have had various joint destinies and these commonalities have indisputable relations with our spiritualties. 

Travel of thousands of scholars to and from Ghazni, Balkh, Kandahar, Hari or Herat, Farbyab, Badakhshan and Seestan explains the strength of our relations with India and its other mythological aspects.

Abu Rayhan-Al-Bironi, who traveled to India from Ghazna and his acquaintance to Indian culture and religion made us understand each other, get to know each other’s countries, spiritualties and finally each other’s strength and weakness, and Al-Beroni, the elite of Ghazna was able to do it easily. He wrote a book named as Ma Lalhind or Hindustan which has obtained its value throughout the years and is one of the most significant resources for the scholars of India and the world.

The true Sufis and mystics make an important subject of today’s discussion who have left their vital role in regards to our spiritual relations. The mystics such as Soharwardi, Roshania or  Roshanian, Cheshti, Naqshbandi as well as Indian mystics and their efforts such as Bakti Movement, Guru Nanak Teachings and thousands of other movements caused us to live in a spiritual and close coordination, and convey the illustrious lessons of spirituality along with the human kind values to each other, listen to them and present them with whatever we have.  These voices were of unity and honesty which is still prominent from Punjab to Gulbarga-and from Ajmir to Delhi and Bengal.

Poets and admirers make another important segment of this relationship which has made India and Afghanistan associated in their valuable written works. Amir Khusraw Delhlawi Balkhi, Abul Ma’ani Mirza Abdul Qadir Bedil and thousands of other Dari Persian names, as well as Bayazeed Roshan, Khushal Khan Khatak, Hamid Mashokhail and Kazim Shaida in Pashto are the everlasting names in literature who are the pride of India and Afghanistan. Khusraw, Bedil and Bayazeed Roshan and Khusal Khatak are the live examples who are playing the role of a bridge for the current and future generations, and were able to get their caravans from the heart of India towards Balkh, Bukhara, Kandahar, Herat and even Asfahan to join the great voice of Maulana Balkhi who say:

کز نیستان تا مرا ببریده‌اند        وز نفیرم مرد و زن نالیده‌اند

Distinguished Guests

And finally, in today’s world, Indians and Afghans have been two Asian countries whose joint fight against British empire’s cultural and political captivity and domination is known to all.  Living in a joint cultural stronghold, these people were able to leave permanent memories and art to their future generations. If, from the one side Mahatma Gandhi and Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan (Frontier Gandhi) held the invincible sword of non-violence and fought against colonialism; on the other side, Rabindranath Tagore combined both the nations writing the everlasting novel “Kabuliwala”.

Kabuliwala plays the best role portraying the feelings of Indians and Afghans towards each other and has brought up another piece of description of the joint literature and cultural aspects of the two nations in 20th century.

Today, our cultural relations are to the extent that is rare throughout the history of the world, as you distinguished scholars will surely shed light on it today, and this is the responsibility of our generation to thrive and further boost these relations using the existing educational and cultural facilities, and events such as today. Here, I would like to acknowledge with deep appreciation the cooperation of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), The Afghan Ministry of Culture and Information and the India-Afghanistan Foundation for making today’s event happen. I very much hope that we will continue with such joint academic and cultural events in the future.

I thank you once again for your presence and wish you a very productive day!

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