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Indian govt’s ICCR working to spread ‘spirituality as soft power’

New Delhi: The Indian govt is all set to focus on spreading Indian spirituality abroad and for this the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has started the process. The director general of ICCR Dinesh K. Patnaik held meetings with spiritual organizations in the country last week to evolve a strategy.

Speaking to WION, he said, “Spirituality as soft power has not been used by the govt, lot of spiritual organizations in India have centers abroad…Idea is work with organization which are already in the field, and govt organization like ministry of Ayush, ICCR, MEA, Ministry of health to see all of work together to share the great treasure we have with rest of the world.”

Founded in 1950, ICCR is an autonomous body under the Ministry of External Affairs. It’s main function is work towards the spread of Indian culture. Last week ICCR organized a program for foreign diplomats based in India on spirituality traditions. The programme saw a packed house.

DG ICCR explained, “Spirituality, yoga, Indic traditions, great traditions of India. ICCR’s job is to take Indian culture abroad, and this is a large part of our culture. To see Spirituality, Yogic tradition become part of our Soft Power is what ICCR is doing.”

One of the major initiatives on spread of Indian tradition was Indian PM Modi’s proposal at the United Nations to celebrate 21st June as Yoga Day. He gave the proposal during his first address at the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. Since then, the celebrations on Yoga day have grown in size. Indian missions have been engaged in the spread of yoga, including yoga certification programs.

Dinesh Patnaik highlighted, “Spirituality is where mind and matter get together. There are many spiritual organizations, which do spirituality across the world, especially at a time like this…..our spirituality, our age-old traditions give us a wonderful opportunity to give solace to the world.”

Rishikesh is one of the key locations in India which have seen a lot of foreign visitors. Infact, spirituality is the biggest search in Google.