In being unafraid of bringing religion into foreign policy, Modi treads new ground in India. But there are dangers.
- PM’s Address to a conference called “A Global Hindu-Buddhist Initiative on Conflict Avoidance and Environment Consciousness” in the capital.
- Notion of promoting India’s soft power to highlight the importance of Buddhism in dealing with the contemporary political challenges before Asia and the world. For one, he insisted that the spiritual values of Buddhism are deeply connected to the principles of democracy.
- The deeply secular West European states are acknowledging the resurgence of religion as a major factor in world politics, especially on their doorstep in the Middle East, and are finding ways to cope with it.
- If Buddhism has the potential to reinforce India’s engagement with many East Asian countries, a similar outreach on Islam might boost India’s ties with the Muslim world.
- A purposeful engagement with key religious communities around the world could certainly lend new effectiveness to India’s international relations, but only when it is handled with great political care and diplomatic competence.