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B. Kalita: Address to 32nd International Leadership Conference

Address to 32nd International Leadership Conference, Seoul, Korea, August 26–29, 2018


Respected Family Members of Father and Mother Moon present here in this evening, Dr. Thomas G. Walsh and all the Global, Regional and National Leaders of UPF, IAPP and IAPD.

Distinguished Honorable Parliamentarians, Religious and Political Leaders from around the globe,

Ladies and gentleman, on behalf of the Indian delegates and the people of India, please accept my warm Indian greetings, “Namaste,” which means “I bow to the God in you.”

At the outset I would like to pay my homage and tribute to the late Dr. Sun Myung Moon. Though he is not with us physically, I believe he is very much present here as we all are gathered to commemorate the sixth anniversary of his holy ascension. I also would like to extend my warm appreciation to Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon and the UPF leadership, particularly Dr. Walsh, for convening this significant International Leadership Conference on this historical occasion and inviting us to be a part of this great initiative for global peace. It is my proud privilege and honor to be associated with this noble organization as the Chairman of the IAPP-India chapter of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP).

I am blessed to have the opportunity of being a parliamentarian of the largest democracy in the world for several decades since my young age and have witnessed the rapid changes that are taking place all around the world.  There is no doubt that humanity has achieved unprecedented success in the course of transforming this world toward a happy, peaceful and better world for all.

But tragically alongside the unprecedented successes, we have also seen unprecedented and devastating challenges threatening the very existence of humanity. As a result, the long cherished hope and dream of humanity for a peaceful and happy world has become an elusive dream. So, it is inevitable that stakeholders of our society come together and build a consensus to confront the critical challenges of our time. In my perspective, what UPF and IAPP have been doing is the need of the hour and the theme for discussion. “Addressing the Critical Challenges of our Time: The Responsibility of Parliamentarians and Religious Leaders” is very much relevant and meaningful.

I hope and urge everyone participating in this conference to pay your full attention and contribute your expertise for the great success of this conference. Please do not take this conference lightheartedly; rather open up your spiritual eyes and try to feel the divine ordinance for unfolding the historical incidents taking place in the Korean Peninsula. I am not claiming this divine role of Korea merely through my personal intellect, but I have come to realize the greatness of this nation through a prophetic poem written by a spiritually enlightened poet of India, the first non-European Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, which I quote:                   

In the Golden Age of Asia

Korea was one of the lamp-bearers

That lamp awaits to be lighted once again

For the illumination of the East.

I believe that the light that appeared in this land of Korea as prophesied by the great poet from India should be non-other than the idea and vision of UPF’s founders. For a  few years, I have been contributing my level-best for the fulfillment of that profound vision of the founders of UPF and IAPP, which in fact I have found very similar to the ideals and vision of the great founding fathers of my own country India, particularly the father of modern India, Mahatma Gandhi.

I have learned that UPF was founded to bring together leaders from all walks of life in single platform to solve the terrible crises humanity is facing today and build a world of lasting peace. Particularly the effort in bringing parliamentarians and religious leaders together to involve faith leaders in guiding and influencing global political affairs toward establishing sustainable peace and development is truly remarkable. As a practitioner of Gandhian thought and philosophy, I can confidently tell you that Mahatma Gandhi had exactly the same vision and thought, which can be understood from his words, “Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.”

I believe religion is the compass to guide politics in the right direction for righteous and the holistic achievement of peace and development. But no religion should claim supremacy over the others. We should treat all religions as instituted by God. They are like different rivers moving toward the ocean as their common goal. Tragically, throughout history we have witnessed bloodshed and wars fought in the name of religion, and millions lost their lives. Though there may be different reasons for fighting and killing, we often find that religion has been used to justify violence and killing, including widespread terrorist attacks in recent times. We are also challenged by natural calamities, diseases, poverty and so on.

It would not be an exaggeration to say all these problems cannot be solved by politicians or parliamentarians alone. Religious leaders and civil society leaders should join hands with government leaders and parliamentarians to bring about world peace and a bright future for all humankind. I would like to thank Dr. Moon and the UPF leadership for their dedicated work towards this end and for inviting us to be part of this great celebration in honor of the late Sun Myung Moon’s legacy for peace.  

Before I conclude, as a member of organizing committee of the upcoming historical First Asia Pacific Summit of UPF to be held in Kathmandu, Nepal, in the last week of November, I would like to extend a special invitation to you all to come and attend this conference.

Thank you very much!




To go to the 32nd International Leadership Conference Schedule page, click here.