In a school hall in Dujiangyan — the home of Taoism — hundreds of young people, from all parts of the country, elbowed for mat space, to soak in from an authentic Indian master, the finer points of Yoga, which has become the new spearhead of India’s soft-power push in China.
The glittering World Cultural Festival [...] had the country agog for days. The colorful three-day extravaganza, featuring yoga and meditation sessions, peace prayers and cultural performances by Indian and foreign artists, also boasted a VIP audience in attendance: top Indian politicos including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, corporate honchos and guests from across the world.
A new film looks at the intersection of yoga, climate change and people to people public diplomacy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday termed terrorism and climate change as the biggest problems faced by the world saying the solutions to these can be found in Mahatma Gandhi's life and ideals. [...] Modi also expressed hope that people of Turkmenistan will learn about the ideals and life of Mahatma Gandhi.
The impressive participation around the world on International Yoga Day is indeed a testimony to India’s immense reservoir of soft power. In his energetic engagement with world leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has put a special emphasis on cultural diplomacy. Modi should, however, remember that India’s soft power has the greatest impact when official New Delhi keeps its heavy hand away from it. India is not new to cultural diplomacy. India’s self-discovery of its rich cultural heritage and its global reach played an important role in shaping its modern nationalism.
International Yoga Day serves as a soft power tool for India.