Ahead of the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping in Mahabalipram, China Radio International’s Tamil Wing (CRI Tamil) organized a diplomatic event in Chennai at Taj Connemara Hotel. Tamil Nadu government’s Minister for Tamil Official Language, Tamil Culture and Archeology, Mafoi.K.Pandiarajan attended as the chief guest for the event. The event was also graced by BJP Tamil Nadu General Secretary Vanathi Srinivasan, Senior Journalist Malan, CRI Tamil wing director Kalaimagal, CRI’s Asia-Africa director, China Embassy advisor, Hello FM Suresh and many other participants.
The event begun with few Bharathanatyam dances and one such dance was performed by the Bharathanatyma dancer Divyashree Lakshmi, who is currently under the scholarship of cultural ministry. A Team from Madras University also performed Parai dance. Videos of Chinese Girl Nilani reciting Thirukkural and quoting its similarities with Chinese proverbs were also telecasted.
Kalaimagal, the director of CRI Tamil, in her address thanked the listeners of CRI Tamil for its consistent growth for the past 50 years. She also talked similarities between Indian and Chinese food and mentioned about the Dosa like food in China. She emphasized the similarities between messages displayed by Thirukkural and Chinese proverbs and she ended her speech by thanking Indian people for welcoming Chinese president.
Prominent journalist Maalan Narayanan said that every day there are various interactions between India and China, when Indians drink Tea, use paper and eat sugar. It should be noted that Chinese discovered Tea, Paper and the methods to process Sugar. He also mentioned that he had visited China four times and praised the hospitality displayed by Chinese. He also told that Kalaimagal’s dream of every Tamil person in the world hearing CRI Tamil radio should get fulfilled and the facebook page for this is turning out to be a great use for Kalaimagal’s CRI Tamil. He also requested Minister for Tamil Official Language, Tamil Culture and Archeology Mafoi.K.Pandiarajan to telecast CRI Tamil videos in the Tamil Nadu government’s education based TV Channel, Kalvi TV.
Then, the stage was addressed by Kalaimamanai V.K.T.Balan, where he wished for good outcomes from India-China informal meet in Mahabalipuram. He also mentioned about the estimate of 15 Lakh Chinese tourists visiting Tamil Nadu.
Chinese Embassy Advisor Bi Jieng in his address mentioned about the positive progress between India and China relations in the past few years. He also told that there is lot of opportunities between India and China to work upon in bilateral relations. He also made a mention about the completion of 70 years of diplomatic ties between India and China by next year.
The event was then addressed by the chief guest, Tamil Nadu Minister for Tamil Official Language, Tamil Culture and Archeology Mafoi.K.Pandiarajan. He mentioned about the interview given by CRI Tamil’s head Kalaimagal with Puthiya Thalaimurai and praised the in-depth Tamil knowledge of these Chinese people. He made a mention about Bodhidharma, who had his roots in Pallava Empire and mentioned that he taught martial arts to China. Minister also talked about former Chinese head Zhou Enlai’s visit to Mahabalipuram in 1956, where he opened a primary health center. He also touched upon how China learned cracker manufacturing from Sivakasi few years back and at the same time about the competition faced by Sivakasi from the Chinese crackers. He recollected the Chinese Thirukkural translation initiated by Former Chief Minister Jayalalitha and also mentioned that Tamil Nadu government gave doctorate to the professor who undertook this translation. He also spoke about the initiatives of Tamil Nadu government to start “Tamil Valar Mayyams” in Chinese cities like Beijing and Shanghai and mentioned that funds are being requested from Central government for this initiative. Minister also emphasized that if India and China works together, no power in the world can match this combination. Minister in his talk called this event as “Track-2” diplomacy, where the meeting between Modi and Xi Jinping was seen as “Track-1” diplomacy. Minister also presented the Chinese Thirukkural translation book and Keezhadi report to CRI.
Suresh from Hello FM in his address compared CRI Tamil’s Kalaimagal with ancient Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang in the aspect of strengthening cultural contacts with both the countries. He also mentioned the post held by Hieun Tsang as the vice-chancellor of Nalanda University and mentioned about Buddhism’s spread from Emperor Ashoka. He also talked about his show “Maya Kannadi” in Hello FM, which runs excellent programs on cultural contacts between India and China.
At the end of event, award ceremony for Social media interaction took place and these awards were provided by Tamil Nadu Minister Mafoi.K.Pandiarajan, BJP General Secretary Vanathi Srinivasan and Chinese representatives from CRI. The event ended with a group photograph.
As minister Mafoi.K.Pandiarajan mentioned in his speech, this event should be seen as a “Track-2” diplomacy, where people to people interactions take place to strengthen the cultural relations between India and China. This kind of relationship is beyond politics and geo-politics between both the countries. Such events emphasize the strong cultural relations that India and China are having for centuries. Strong people to people interactions and sound cultural relations can create path for better political relations between both the countries. Soft power is a major dimension between two countries in the 21st century world. India’s culture and history can act as a soft power in Sino – Indian relations, which can have huge influence on the geo-politics and the political relations between India and China.