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India banks on Mahatma to connect with Egypt
The overriding spirit of the Tahrir Square revolution as millions of young Egyptians protested peacefully to change the decades-old Hosni Mubarak regime was of “silmayyiya” (peaceful). India, attempting to engage a new Egypt, is seeking to connect the spirit of the revolution with Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings.
This week, the Indian government used the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti to launch a global poster design competition, which brings out the spirit of non-violence and peace in the Tahrir Square revolution. Titled ‘Did you sense the spirit of Gandhi in Tahrir Square?’, the competition is inviting entries from Indians and Egyptians across the world to give artistic expression to the peaceful intent of the Egyptian revolution and the inspiration it drew from Gandhi.
Navdeep Suri, India’s envoy to Egypt, said he was reminded of the famous posters that exemplified the revolution. They were quotes from Gandhi, like “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Attempting to connect with a post-Mubarak Egypt, India is beginning with its soft power attributes, even as China, the other Asian giant, attempts to engage Cairo economically. India’s approach has been somewhat different. In September, India signed an agreement with Egypt’s new Election Commission for supply of electronic voting machines for elections there. Egypt is likely to even observe the conduct of elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat in November and December, respectively.
Courtesy: The Times of India, 04.10.2012