‘Let’s make India’s G20 presidency one of healing, harmony, hope,’ says Modi

100 monuments across the country to be lit up with G20 logo from December 1 to 7; celebrations will reportedly begin at Nagaland’s Hornbill Festival, which starts from December 1

Mann ki Baat
Indonesian President Joko Widodo symbolically hands over the G20 presidency to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the end of the Bali summit last month (image: Twitter/Narendra Modi)

As India formally takes over G20 presidency today (Thursday), 100 monuments across the country, including Unesco World Heritage sites, will be illuminated with the G20 logo for seven days from December 1 to 7.

These monuments include Srinagar’s Shankaracharya temple, Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, and Purana Quila in Delhi, Thanjavur’s Great Living Chola Temples, Modhera Sun Temple in Gujarat, Konark Sun Temple in Odisha, and Sher Shah Suri’s Tomb in Bihar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said earlier that India’s year-long G20 presidency would be “inclusive, ambitious, decisive, and action-oriented,” has called for “a shift in fundamental mindset to benefit humanity as a whole.”

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He said the country will work to further promote oneness, inspired by the theme of “One Earth, One Family, One Future” (based on the philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam) and listed terror, climate change, and pandemic as the greatest challenges that can be best fought together.

“Time to catalyse mindset shift”

“India’s G20 priorities will be shaped in consultation with not just our G20 partners, but also our fellow travellers in the global South, whose voice often goes unheard,” he said. India’s G20 agenda will be “inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented, and decisive,” he added.

“Let us join hands to make India’s G20 presidency a presidency of healing, harmony, and hope. Let us work together to shape a new paradigm of human-centric globalisation,” he said in an article that appeared in several newspapers and was posted on his website too.

Also read: India can use G20 presidency to engage Pakistan on Kashmir: National Conference chief Abdullah

“The country looks forward to working on encouraging sustainable lifestyles, depoliticising the global supply of food, fertilizers, and medical products, among other subjects,” the PM said in a series of tweets. He said, “I firmly believe now is the best time to go further still and catalyse a fundamental mindset shift, to benefit humanity as a whole.”

“Mindsets shaped by circumstances”

Gone is the time to remain trapped in the same old zero-sum mindset, which has led to both scarcity and conflict, the PM said. “It is time to get inspired by our spiritual traditions, which advocate oneness and work together to solve global challenges,” he added.

“As India assumes this important mantle, I ask myself — can the G20 go further still? Can we catalyse a fundamental mindset shift to benefit humanity as a whole? I believe we can,” he said in the write-up to share his thoughts on the significant milestone for Indian diplomacy.

Also read: Looking forward to supporting India’s G20 presidency next year: White House

“Our mindsets are shaped by our circumstances, as through history, humanity lived in scarcity. People fought for limited resources because their survival depended on denying them to others. Confrontation and competition between ideas, ideologies and identities became the norm,” he said.

“Trapped in zero-sum mindset”

“Unfortunately, we remain trapped in the same zero-sum mindset even today. We see it when countries fight over territory or resources. We see it when supplies of essential goods are weaponised. We see it when vaccines are hoarded by a few, even as billions remain vulnerable,” he said.

If humans were inherently selfish, what would explain the lasting appeal of so many spiritual traditions that advocate the fundamental one-ness of us all, he asked. Modi said, “One such tradition, popular in India, sees all living beings, and even inanimate things, as composed of the same five basic elements — the ‘panch tatva’ of earth, water, fire, air and space. Harmony among these elements — within us and between us — is essential for our physical, social, and environmental well-being.”

He added, “India’s G20 presidency will work to promote this universal sense of one-ness. Hence our theme ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future.’ Today, the world has the means to produce enough to meet the basic needs of all people. “Today, we do not need to fight for our survival our era need not be one of war. Indeed, it must not be one,” he said.

“India a microcosm of the world”

Fortunately, today’s technology also gives us the means to address problems on a humanity-wide scale, he said, adding that India, with one-sixth of humanity and immense diversity of languages, religions, customs, and beliefs, is a microcosm of the world.

Also read: India to focus on MDBs, climate finance during G20 presidency, says Sitharaman

“For imbuing hope in our future generations, India will encourage an honest conversation among the most powerful countries on mitigating risks posed by weapons of mass destruction and enhancing global security, he said. As the ‘mother of democracy,’ India’s national consensus is forged not by diktat but by blending millions of free voices into one harmonious melody,” he said.

India is now the fastest growing large economy and its “citizen-centric governance model” takes care of even its most marginalised citizens, while nurturing the creative genius of its talented youth, he said. “We have leveraged technology to create digital public goods that are open, inclusive, and inter-operable. These have delivered revolutionary progress in fields as varied as social protection, financial inclusion, and electronic payments,” he said.

Meetings in exotic locations

Over its presidency, India is expected to host 200 meetings in over 50 cities and in 32 different sectors. The first one, the Sherpa Meeting, will be held in Udaipur this week. According to sources, the G20 meetings will take place in less explored parts of the country at very exotic locations.

India will reportedly kick off the celebrations at the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland, which starts from December 1 as well. Recently, G20 Chief Coordinator, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, discussed with Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphu Rio the opportunities to showcase the festival, The Border Lens reported. “India’s G-20 is an opportunity for the state of Nagaland to showcase its cultural diversity, uniqueness, and tourism potential,” Shringla was quoted as saying.

For the G20 summit in New Delhi in September 2023, India’s objectives include the supply of affordable technology for sustainable environmental development, highlighting digital transformation. India’s focus will also be on counter-terrorism and “unity” in tackling global challenges, such as climate crisis and economic slowdown, building consensus on creating disaster and climate-resilient infrastructure and debt sustainability. Start-ups and ways to bridge the digital divide will also be discussed.

PM Modi’s vision is reportedly to connect all districts and blocks with G20 so that the message reaches the masses through the Jan Bhagidari initiatives. Jan Bhagidari refers to the participation of people in governance at the local level.

(With agency inputs)

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