Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday attended International Buddha Purnima Diwas celebrations in Talkatora Stadium, Delhi and offered prayers for the people affected by earthquake in Nepal.
The event was attended by thousands of devotees of Lord Buddha and followers of Modi, but the established agenda for the event was to help the affected people of Nepal in the best possible way.
In his speech, Modi expressed the role and relevance of Buddha’s messages in today’s world.
The focus of the Prime Minister’s speech was to share the pain of quake-devastated people of Nepal and providing the hope of their resurrection as soon as possible. One-minute of mournful silence was also observed to recall the victims of the massive earthquake in Nepal and India.
“Today is a special day yet we feel a bit burdened. That is because Nepal, a land we all love, is facing difficulty,” he said.
“We should share the pain and wipe the tears of people of Nepal,” he added while making a reference to the disaster affected birthplace of Lord Buddha on the occasion of his birth anniversary.
He further referred the teachings of Lord Buddha as an anchor that can save our world from being blown away. “If we want freedom from Yudh, it can be through the Marg of Buddha,” he said.
Modi furthermore said, “Everyone knows that 21st century is Asia’s century. But without Buddha’s teachings, the 21st century would not have been ours.”
He gave an example of Lord Buddha, who took birth as prince, abandoned all the pleasures of life in search of enlightenment 2500 years ago. “Some people think power and prosperity are good enough to solve all problems…. But Lord Buddha renounced all these to seek greater powers through love and compassion for welfare of humanity. This thought is not small. He must have been having big conviction and courage to renounce all these,” Modi said.
He also said that, “Whether its caste system or anything good or bad, Lord Buddha was sensitive on every issue and wanted evolution and the world to be united.”
Thousands of students took to the streets of Australia and other Asia-Pacific countries Friday to kick off a global strike demanding world leaders gathering for a U.N. Climate Action Summit adopt urgent measures to stop an environmental catastrophe.
“We didn’t light it, but we’re trying to fight it,” read one sign carried by a student in Sydney, as social media posts showed huge demonstrations around the country including outback towns like Alice Springs.
“The oceans are rising and so are we,” read another sign held by a protester wearing school uniform in Melbourne.
Similar protests, inspired by the 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, are planned in some 150 countries Friday. The aim is for students and others from around the world to speak in one voice about the impending effects of climate change on the planet.
“Soon the sun will rise on Friday the 20th of September 2019. Good luck Australia, The Philippines, Japan and all the Pacific Islands. You go first!” Thunberg posted Thursday on Instagram.
By early afternoon, the Sydney protesters were overflowing out of a 34-hectare (84-acre) open space in the city. Similar crowds were reported in Brisbane and other state capitals.
Danielle Porepilliasana, a Sydney high school student, had a blunt message for politicians like Australian Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, who told parliament Thursday that students should stay in class.
“World leaders from everywhere are telling us that students need to be at school doing work,” she said, wearing anti-coal earrings. “I’d like to see them at their parliaments doing their jobs for once.”
Thunberg has galvanized young people around the world since she started protesting alone with a sign outside the Swedish parliament building in August 2018. Over the past year, young people in other communities have staged scattered strikes in solidarity with her Fridays for Future movement.
In conjunction with the U.N. summit this week, organizers on Friday will hold coordinated strikes around the world for a third time, with Thunberg spearheading a march and rally in New York, home of U.N. headquarters.
In a show of support, New York City education officials will excuse the absences of any of its 1.1 million public school students who want to participate.
Demonstrators will gather in Lower Manhattan at noon and march about a mile to Battery Park at the edge of the financial district for a rally featuring speeches and music.
Thunberg, who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in March, sailed to New York from England aboard a zero-carbon-emissions vessel to partake in the U.N. summit.
It brings together world leaders to discuss climate change mitigation strategies, such as transitioning to renewable energy sources from fossil fuels.
Global warming caused by heat-trapping greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels has already led to droughts and heat waves, melting glaciers, rising sea levels and floods, scientists say.
Carbon emissions climbed to a record high last year, despite a warning from the U.N.-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October that output of the gases must be slashed over the next 12 years to stabilize the climate.
Organizers said the demonstrations would take different forms, but all aim to promote awareness of climate change and demand political action to curb contributing factors to climate change, namely carbon emissions.
Demonstrators in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, planned to dance on the beach in a celebratory pledge to protect their natural heritage. Protesters in Istanbul were heading to a public park for a climate festival with concerts and workshops scheduled throughout the day.
On Wednesday, Thunberg appeared before several committees of the U.S. Congress to testify about the next generation’s view on climate change. In lieu of testimony, she submitted a 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that urged rapid, unprecedented changes in the way people live to keep temperatures from rising 1.5 degrees C by 2030.
“I want you to unite behind the science. And then I want you to take action,” she said. (VOA)