The Distinguished President of Indian National Congress Smt. Sonia Gandhi,
Distinguished former Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh,
Distinguished former Presidents,
Ladies & Gentleman,
It is an honour and privilege to be here today, to be in India today, to commemorate the legacy of a great man, a great statesman and leader. To commemorate the legacy of one of those rare individuals to come by, individuals and all by means of their vision, courage, dedication and hard work are capable of vending the history of a nation, of a region, and indeed the whole world. Leading behind a lasting mark such was the influence of Nehru and a significance of his legacy, one that lives on 125 years after his birth and 50 years after his death. Much has been said today about Nehru’s roll as a stalwart of India’s freedom struggle, as a revolutionary and as a pillar of Indian India’s Nationalist Movement that led the way to independence. Much has also been said about Nehru’s roll as India’s first Prime Minister in laying the foundation of more than India as the world’s largest Multi party democracy and an open secular, rural and inclusive society for all.
Nehru’s legacy as a global leader is seen from thousands of miles away is appreciated from thousands of miles away as a continued relevant story to today’s world.
Ladies & Gentleman, Nehru together with the towering figures of the era Nasser, Sukarno, Tito, Nkrumah and other renowned leaders set about to establish the Non Aligned Movement. They were not only guided by their own country’s colonial experience that left them determined to be the masters of their own faiths. They were guided by the principle of Non-violence struggle enshrined Independence, enshrined by Mahatma Gandhi. They were equally guided by the national interests in and international system dominated politically by cold war alliances and economically by western capitalism and soviet communism.
These leaders left the developing world to preserve its freedom of action by enshrining the principled of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.Non-aggression, non-interference, Nehru added to that democracy. Democracy to all is democracy as a system to reckon with and to contribute for a better future and subjugation. Moreover those leaders were a force to reckon with in the fight of millions for independence and here the roll of Nehru should be underlined.
Africa today is free from colonialism. Thanks to in most parts for those leaders who stood up in support of African countries quest for liberation and human dignity. It makes me certainly proud to be part of this, against colonial power, colonialism at this dark era of humanity. Nehru was also an avid supporter of the idea and ideals of the United Nations as a global body with the mandate to peacefully settle disputes but equally important as a forum for settling international norms, international problems and to call for global governance with developing countries are treated equally and their voice are heard loudly.
This is the legacy of Nehru, Nehru’s global leadership and it is one not only to be proud of but also to continue to be on its relevance today cannot be emphasized enough. On one hand and as the world celebrates the 125th century of this leader this iconic movement that ushered in the end of the cold war, one must be deeply concerned as an alarming signals of cold war mentality making a comeback.
Global powers are vying for spheres of exclusive influence and international relations seem to be back to be conducted as a zero some game were winner tries to take all.
This is the challenge that is compounded by the lack of global leadership from any one country or group of countries and by the relenting erosion in the practical and norm and moral authority or the United Nations and the order that came with it.
Such a situation with called on us, such anniversary to revisit the principal of Non alignment, just incase, but in new paradigm feeling with the new era, new elements, new circumstance, but still based on the non-alignment that should not allowed again the world to be subject to great power manipulation, influence and perhaps conflict and confrontation.
Ladies and Gentleman, the current challenges, risks and threats to international peace and security to the international well being, spreading the global map could not be greater today. From Eastern Europe to Africa, and from the middle east to Asia the world seems to be on the verge of another turbulent very seriously troubled decades coming.
Finally one must also be alarmed by the changing nature of conflict where interstate wars are giving way to intrastate wars, struggle, or how religious and ethnic games leading to terrorism. Here I would recall the principles that Nehru stood for, humanity and diversity we have all to live together without discrimination as to religion to sect or dignity. In the face of all these challenges Nehru’s legacy could not be more relevant, the principles that guided his foreign policy at the height of the cold war which came to define India’s role in the world are highly in demand. Non violence resolution of conflicts, Non interference that respects state sovereignty and Independence should became the main foundation of a newly reintegrated international system with the title Cooperation, Coordination, better future for mankind.
Wherever as the world’s largest democracy and the society based on tolerance and pluralism, India of today can ensure should offer itself as a model that stresses the commonalities between all human beings that choices diversity and differences. As a global economic power house India has another effective role to play.
I come from a continent that has successfully thought to emotional part of India’s leadership, successfully overcome with the obstacles standing in the way of freedom and independence from colonial powers.
I come from a region that is facing major challenge but that is neighboring under one title change. Change that should move all the countries of the middle east, of the Arab world, into an era of democracy, into an era of success, into an era of cooperation and understanding and hear the principles enshrined by Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. And I come from a country Egypt that is deeply changing, leaving to the future, will determination that democracy is the dream, democracy is the style, democracy is the way to the future and here I believe that we have more than understanding between India and Egypt.
Ladies and Gentleman, I am really very honoured to have been accorded this opportunity to come back to India. The country that I loved, the country I believe in her wisdom and the wisdom of its leaders. This legacy is celebrated all over the world and in Egypt and Egyptians who salute India at its very unique occasion.