Cultural parks planned to lift
China and India are establishing two sister cultural parks — in Beijing and Bengaluru — to boost the soft power content in, and impart a holistic dimension to, a rapidly evolving relationship.
Dana Schuppert, founder of the Beijing-based 21st Century China India Centre for Culture and Communication, is the driving force behind the initiative. Fully backed by the Chinese government, the concept of setting up large-scale cultural hubs flows from the Joint Statement signed during President Xi Jinping’s visit to India last September.
“My point was, if we can have big industrial parks, why not also establish large cultural and educational parks,” said Dr. Schuppert during an exclusive interview with The Hindu. She said Buddhist studies would be part of the curriculum at the park at Beijing Normal University. “Land has already been allocated at Beijing Normal University. An Indian hotel and a convention centre would be established, within a zone where knowledge of Sanskrit, Ayurveda, Vivekananda and Yoga would be imparted.”
At the Bengaluru centre, a railway college will be set up.
With China and India ready to inject a cultural vigor to their bilateral ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis on soft power dovetails completely with China’s remarkable ongoing cultural renaissance, says Dana Schuppert, who is the driving force behind the initiative of setting up two sister cultural parks in Beijing and Bengaluru.
“The cultural renaissance that we are experiencing under President Xi [Jinping] is a great Buddhist renaissance. Buddhism is number one together with Confucianism and Taoism. These are three schools of thought that shape the Chinese mindset. The distance this country has travelled from the trauma of the Cultural Revolution is unbelievable,” she said in an exclusive interview with.