Guwahati (Assam) [India], May 2 (ANI/SRV): The seventh edition of the much-awaited ‘Professor Sarat Mahanta Memorial Lecture’ was held on Sunday in which Special advisor to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ambassador Deepak Vohra spoke on the topic ‘Megatrends-Our World at 2025’.
The lecture is organized by the ‘Professor Sarat Mahanta Foundation’ in association with the ‘Royal Global University on May 1 every year to mark the birth anniversary of the renowned educationist, writer, journalist and human rights activist. (Late) Prof Sarat Mahanta was a former Member of the Assam Human Rights Commission and former Head of the History Department at Sivasagar College.
The world needs India more than India needs the world. This was stated by Deepak Vohra, renowned strategic affairs expert and advisor to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Delivering the 7th Professor Sarat Mahanta Memorial Lecture at the Royal Global University in Guwahati on Sunday, Vohra said that as the youngest nation in the world, India is unstoppable and its time on the world stage has come.
Vohra, who has represented India in many nations across the world including the USA, France, Spain, Poland, Vietnam and a host of African countries, is also the special advisor on national renaissance issues to the heads of governments of Lesotho, South Sudan and Guinea-Bissau.
The former diplomat said India is well-poised to provide leadership to the world in meeting the primary challenges of health, climate instability and economic recovery through free and open seas that humankind is faced with today.
The inspiring talk was preceded by the rendition of a devotional song Zublee Baruah. Chairman-cum-Managing Director of media conglomerate Pride East Entertainment Pvt Ltd, Riniki Bhuyan Sharma, spoke about her association with Prof Sarat Mahanta and his family while inaugurating the memorial lecture. Recalling her association with Prof Mahanta, she paid tributes to his ideals and values.
Earlier, on behalf of the Prof Sarat Mahanta Foundation and Royal Global University, Dr Sabyasachi Mahanta and Ankur Pansari felicitated Deepak Vohra. In a fine gesture, Vohra then felicitated Mina Mahanta, wife of Late Prof Sarat Mahanta.
Assam Assembly Speaker Biswajit Daimary and cabinet minister Pijush Hazarika also spoke on the occasion. Rajya Sabha MP Pabitra Margherita, legislators Jayanta Malla Baruah, Lawrence Islary and Rekibuddin Ahmed, education advisor Dr N.G.Mahanta, Advocate General Devajit Saikia, DGP B.J.Mahanta, Special DG (LO) G.P.Singh, Guwahati Police Commissioner Harmeet Singh, Additional Chief Secretary Maninder Singh, Principal Secretaries Niraj Verma, Avinash Joshi and Rajesh Prasad and other senior civil and police officers, besides several eminent personalities, were also present. Royal Global University’s Chancellor Dr Ashok Kumar Pansari hosted the event while popular actor Kapil Borah anchored the programme.
Addressing the audience, Vohra said that the pace of change in geopolitics and geoeconomics is the fastest it has been in the last one hundred years. The much-hyped ‘China dream’ has faded and far from being a global development partner, China is now a ‘universal threat’. Many developing nations, including those in India’s neighbourhood, have woken up to this threat and want India to bail them out, he said.
In his inspiring presentation delivered in his signature style, Vohra took the audience through the difficult years and decades since Independence when India had to beg for food grains and had to mortgage its gold reserves to the present when world leaders defer to India.
India’s neighbours like Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka who were once very critical of India and closely aligned with China are now looking to India for help. “We stumbled and fell when the pandemic hit us, but we picked ourselves up and tackled it head-on very successfully,” said Vohra.
India has successfully tackled the gargantuan health crisis posed by the Covid-19 virus, and will emerge as a health hyperpower, said Vohra. “The world is now marvelling at our capacity to meet all ambitious targets, be it vaccinating our people or meeting green energy targets, ahead of schedule,” he said.
“Our country is getting ahead in hyper-technology that will drive the world. We have made tremendous strides in digitisation and have recorded the highest number of digital transactions in the world. We have the highest pace of constructing highways in the world and will achieve other social targets like supplying potable water to every household very soon,” said Vohra.
Indians, he said, are special people who have to provide leadership to the world now. “We are Indians not because we live in India, but because India lives in us,” Vohra said to thunderous applause from the audience comprising top state officials, politicians, academics, professionals and civil society leaders.
The former diplomat called on Indians to have faith in the collective capability of the country and not fall victims to cynicism. “We have to be confident of our tremendous capabilities and have to forge ahead,” he said. He added that Indians have to be patriotic and work unitedly to achieve the goals that the country has set for itself.
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