Indian High Commissioner in Colombo, Gopal Baglay, delivered a speech during the Indian Travel Congress, where he highlighted the cultural significance of the Buddha, Lord Rama, and Lord Shiva as a unifying “trinity” binding India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. He urged tourism stakeholders to further promote people-to-people ties in the region. Mr. Baglay also commended the exceptional “spontaneity” evident in the Indo-Lankan relationship, a characteristic rarely found in international partnerships.
Referring to the period between March and May 2021, when India was grappling with a severe wave of COVID-19, the High Commissioner recalled the heartening display of solidarity within the religious communities. During this challenging time, spontaneous prayers were conducted in temples and Buddhist viharas, with devotees fervently praying for the well-being and recovery of all people affected by the pandemic.
The High Commissioner’s emphasis on the cultural unity shared by India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka reflects the deep-rooted historical and spiritual connections between these nations. The Buddha, revered as the founder of Buddhism and a symbol of peace and enlightenment, holds immense significance in all three countries. Lord Rama, the central figure of the Hindu epic Ramayana, is widely venerated in India, while Sri Lanka regards him as a key figure in their mythology and history. Lord Shiva, a prominent Hindu deity associated with destruction and regeneration, is revered across the Indian subcontinent.
These shared cultural threads not only foster a sense of unity but also provide a foundation for stronger bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka. High Commissioner Baglay’s call for increased promotion of people-to-people ties through tourism highlights the potential for further collaboration and mutual understanding between the two nations. Tourism plays a vital role in facilitating cultural exchanges, fostering friendships, and nurturing a deeper appreciation of each other’s traditions and heritage.
Moreover, the High Commissioner’s observation of the “spontaneity” present in Indo-Lankan ties underscores the unique nature of the relationship. Such spontaneity signifies a deep sense of camaraderie and empathy, where people from both nations come together in times of crisis, transcending formal diplomatic channels. It reflects the innate warmth and shared values that underpin the Indo-Lankan friendship.
As the world continues to grapple with the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, the spirit of unity and solidarity demonstrated between India and Sri Lanka serves as an inspiring example. It showcases the power of cultural bonds and spontaneous acts of compassion, reaffirming the enduring ties between the two nations.
High Commissioner Gopal Baglay’s address highlights the cultural trinity of the Buddha, Lord Rama, and Lord Shiva as a binding force between India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. He emphasizes the need to strengthen people-to-people ties through tourism and praises the unique spontaneity present in the Indo-Lankan relationship. By promoting cultural understanding and fostering spontaneous acts of solidarity, India and Sri Lanka can continue to deepen their friendship and create a brighter future together.