Shantiniketan: President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said India and China's association can be pivotal in attaining world peace and welfare.
"India and China stand on the threshold of a leap into an exciting phase of global exchange, where harnessing of ideas and resources for global welfare can serve as a major fulcrum for world peace and welfare," Mukherjee said in Shantiniketan after inaugurating the centenary celebrations of the Visva Bharati, the university founded by Rabindranath Tagore, in West Bengal's Birbhum district.
In 1913, Tagore became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for literature.
Mukherjee said the seminar was not merely a celebration about the award of a Nobel Prize to an individual but also an occasion to commemorate the potential of the idea of exchange, co-operation and multi-culturalism.
"Tagore had noted the oppression suffered under imperial rule. He also noted the movements of the ideas of spirituality, non-violence and tolerance across the borders, especially through the message of Buddhism. It was this historical bond that he sought to revitalise," Mukherjee said.
"Tagore had realised the special role of Asia in the pattern of vibrations between the self and the world. His winning the Nobel Prize was also a moment of reassertion of an Asian dignity within China," he added.
Mukherjee said the key note of Tagore "Talk in China" in 1924 emphasised the necessity of the two Asian neighbours to strengthen bonds across culture and together strive for the welfare of their citizens rather than look for material greed or power.
"Tagore's attempt to build bridges was not a mere utopian dream. Visionaries like him have made us realise that literature, histories and cultures represent common ideals of humanity that transcend national limits.