Jamia richly encapsulates the best of Indian Muslim tradition: UN chief
OT, April 28, 2012 11:06 IST
Okhla Times Campus Reporter/JMI
Mr. Chancellor, Lt. Gen. M.A. Zaki, Mr. Vice-Chancellor, Najeeb Jung, distinguished guests, faculty members, dear students, ladies and gentlemen, Assalam Alaikum. Namaskar.
May ya haan aakar bahut khush hoon! [I am so happy to be here.] Thank you for this distinguished recognition. For decades, I have been a student of India. Now I finally have a degree to prove it! Today you do me and the United Nations a special honour.
In that spirit, I accept this honorary doctorate on behalf of the women and men who serve the United Nations around the world. Because you have been so kind to recognize me – let me begin by sharing a bit of personal history. My journey in foreign service started right here.
Arrived in New Delhi exactly 40 years ago
When I am in India, I am at home
At the same time, there is unease everywhere I travel. Worries about economic uncertainties … concerns about corruption … tensions over growing gaps within societies …and questions about whether institutions are up to the task. The old order is breaking down and we do not yet know the shape of the new. This 21st century mix of change and challenge brings me to India.
You are the world’s largest democracy. You are an emerging economic leader. You are a superpower on the information superhighway. You are a beacon for the world – proving that democracy and development are one and the same path.
But beyond that, something else stands out. I see it all around me today. India is a union of cultures … religions … languages … all coming together within the fabric of tolerance, understanding and collaboration.
Maulana Azad, a founder of this great university, once said: “The Indian genius has always recognized that truth has many facets. And conflict and hatred arise because people claim a monopoly on truth and virtue.” That Indian genius – that need for respecting and safeguarding diversity – is needed everywhere.
I count on India
On the other hand, India faces many of the challenges of a developing nation.
(Short version of the remarks made to Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) by the eighth and the present Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon at the convocation ceremony held at Dr Ansari Auditorium on April 27)
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