Lauding the “exemplary courage” shown by the country’s armed forces amid the stand-off with China, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that there can be a debate on the issue of military might between the two countries but as far as soft power is concerned India is “far ahead” of China, in leading the world with ideas.
“In these testing times, our forces have shown exemplary courage and remarkable fortitude. They fought the PLA with the utmost bravery and forced them to go back. The coming generations of this nation will be proud of what our forces have managed to achieve this year,” said Rajnath Singh while addressing the ‘Valedictory Session’ of FICCI’s Annual Conclave.
Talking about the ongoing military face-off between the two countries, the Defence Minister said, “Whenever there is a situation at the Line of Actual Control, the most obvious outcome is a comparison between India and China’s military strength. But I don’t want to dwell on that.”
“There can be a serious debate on who owns more military might but when it comes to soft power there is no scope of ambiguity. India is far ahead of China when it comes to leading the world with ideas,” he said.
Citing the history of Indian civilisation, Defence Minister said, “If you look at entire East Asia from Burma to Thailand to Indonesia and Malaysia even Japan, there is a huge Indian cultural impact on all these countries. Buddhism had a monumental influence over China to an extent that before the 1949 revolution almost 80 per cent of China’s population followed Buddhism.”
To back his point, Rajnath further quoted a Chinese thinker Hu Shi, who said “India has culturally dominated and controlled China for more than 2000 years without sending a single soldier across the border”.
Defence Minister Singh added: “This statement by Hu Shi underlines the fact that India as a civilisational state has been inspiring and influencing the world through its culture and soft power for centuries.”