Ministry of Human Resource Development
Press Information Bureau (press release) - New Delhi, India
Address by Shri Kapil Sibal, Union Minister of Human Resource Development, during the “General Policy Debate” at the 35th session of thegeneral Conference of UNESCO 9th October, 2009
20. May I also thank the DG for his support in organising the great spiritual event here in UNESCO on 16th Sept., 2009 culminating in the unveiling of the statue of Sri Aurobindo in front of an audience of eminent persons. A great philosopher, poet and freedom fighter, Sri Aurobindo was an important leader of India’s movement for independence before turning to develop his own vision and philosophy of human progress and spiritual path which he termed as integral yoga. [...]
24. We in India believe that the global community must rededicate itself to building a society free from conflict and adopt and adapt to sustainable lifestyles. At the heart of a global community free from conflict is the spirit of non-violence and the message of the Mahatma. This message provides our way forward. President Obama in a recent response to a question from a student at Wakefield High School in Arlington Virginia in the United States said that Gandhi, ended up doing so much and changing the world just by the power of his ethics.
President Obama further went on to say: “I am always interested in people who are able to bring about change, not through violence, not through money, but through the force of their personality and their ethical and moral stances”. At the heart of the concept of non-violence and sustainable development is the ethical principle. This is the ethic of moral stances. It is this spirit that must be propagated through UNESCO.
May I conclude with a quotation from the famous thinker Sri Aurobindo, who wrote in ‘WHO’ :
“In the blue of the sky; In the green of the forest; Whose is the hand that has painted the glow?... We are blind to our pride and the pomp of our passions, We are bound in our thoughts where we hold ourselves free. It is He in the sun who is ageless and deathless, and into the midnight His shadow is thrown; when darkness was blind and engulfed within darkness, He was seated within it immense and alone.”