FILE PHOTO: The United Nations building stands in Manhattan on September 22, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
INDIA alleged that the UN general assembly has failed to acknowledge the rising hatred and violence against Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism.
Ashish Sharma, first secretary in India’s permanent mission to the UN, said that while India fully agrees that anti-Semitism, Islamaphobia and anti-Christian acts need to be condemned, UN resolutions on such important issues speak only of these three ‘Abrahamic’ religions together.
“Culture of peace cannot be only for Abrahamic religions. And as long as such selectivity exists, the world can never truly foster a culture of peace,” Sharma said while addressing the assembly session on ‘Culture of Peace’ on Wednesday(2).
He said: “What we are trying to build here is an ‘alliance of civilisations’, not set up a clash. I call on the UN alliance of civilisation to act likewise and speak for all, not just a select few.”
The Indian diplomat recalled the shattering of the iconic Bamyan Buddha by fundamentalists in Afghanistan as well as the terrorist bombing of a gurdwara in the war-torn country in March where 25 Sikh worshipers were killed.
He also mentioned the destruction of Hindu and Buddhist temples and minority cleansing of these religions by many countries.
Sharma said that overall, Hinduism has more than 1.2 billion followers, Buddhism has over 535 million followers and Sikhism around 30 million followers across the world.
“It is time that attacks against these religions are also added to the earlier list of the three Abrahamic religions when such resolutions are passed,” he said.
“India is not just the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, but is also the land where the teachings of Islam, Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism have taken strong root and where the Sufi tradition of Islam has flourished. Today, every one of the world’s major religions has a home in India.”
Sharma stressed that the culture of peace is the cornerstone of the foundation of a global order of peace and tolerance.
“India has tried to foster this culture through tolerance, understanding, respect for differences, respect for other religions and cultures, respect for human rights and gender equality – all under the pluralistic ethos and democratic principles,” he added.
India on Wednesday co-sponsored a resolution presented by Bangladesh titled, ‘Follow-up to the declaration and programme of action on a culture of peace’ with an objective to strengthen the global movement for a culture of peace.