New Delhi:
 External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at an Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) event in New Delhi on Wednesday said that soft power is absolutely central to rebalancing the world.

“As Foreign Minister, I regard it (soft power) today as absolutely central to rebalancing the world. We have seen in history that powerful countries that failed in soft power met political reversals. Connecting through culture is central to rebalancing and works to India’s advantage,” Jaishankar said.

Speaking further about soft power in today’s world Jaishankar said: “What countries do with soft power depends on the power of the country. It could be a smooth osmosis process or you could have an aggressive push. Soft power is about creating narratives, making images and setting standards so that the rest of the world is conditioned to actually deal with those standards as a reference.”

The Foreign Minister mentioned at the ICCR event that rebalancing today is a huge historical corrective process, which is in the making.

“It is enabling us to revisit many of the compromises and balances that societies stuck among themselves in the last 200 years,” he said.

Jaishankar highlighted that India is faith respecting society and rule-abiding polity.

“The reality of this world we live in today is that for all the nice talks, hegemonism exists…You can’t have a skewed distorted legacy at home. I would certainly say that with a great deal of credibility and authenticity, stress on democracy and pluralism. we can emphasize our return to the world stage as a civilization state which is particularly rich in culture, we are a faith-respecting society. We are a rule-abiding polity,” he mentioned.

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan present at the event also spoke on soft power and said coinage of the term is done recently but the concept is not new to India.

“It is deeply rooted in Indian cultural ethos. India’s power depends on two factors which are Sanskrit language and Sanskriti (culture),” Arif Mohammed said.

EAM Jaishankar launched an anthology of essays on various aspects of India’s Soft Power strengths today named as ‘Connecting through Culture’, this first of its kind book is a joint project of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA).

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