Buddhism, Ramayana connect ASEAN to India, says Sushma Swaraj – The Indian Express

Posted: August 20, 2017 at 4:42 pm

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By: Express News Service | Bhopal | Published:August 19, 2017 6:02 am External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj addresses India-ASEAN Youth Summit in Bhopal on Friday. PTI photo

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said Buddhism and Ramayana connect members of Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) alliance, including Muslim-dominated Indonesia, to India.

Recalling her trip to Indonesia last year, Swaraj said the country is full of motifs from Ramayana and Mahabharata. She said every major road junction depicts the famous image from Gita of Arjun bowing before Krishna, the charioteer.

Speaking at the valedictory function of Indo-ASEAN Youth Summit here, Swaraj quoted Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and said that the former Prime Minister was surprised to find Muslim sculptors making what looked like idols of Hanuman during his visit to Indonesia as the External Affairs minister.

She said Vajpayees curiosity got better of him and he asked the sculptor what he was making. But you are a Muslim, he told the sculptor, only to be told, Hamne mazhab badla hai purkhe nahi (we have changed our religion, not ancestors), she said.

She asked Indian participants of the summit to visit these countries and see how India and these countries were embracing each other.

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Buddhism, Ramayana connect ASEAN to India, says Sushma Swaraj - The Indian Express

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August 20th, 2017 at 4:42 pm

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