An Extramural lecture entitled ‘Cultural diplomacy and conflict resolution’ was organised by Centre of West Asian Studies, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh on April 21 on April 21. In his welcome speech, Prof. Mohd. Gulrez, Chairman, Department of West Asian Studies, emphasised that while in deeep study of history, economy, polity and culture of a given state is vital to our understanding, new factors like economic, diplomacy, trade, new regionalism, decline of UN, rising tide of ethnicity and terrorism have added new dimension to our studies in the centre.
Speaking on Cultural Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, former Ambassador Bal Anand said the impact of culture on the conduct of modern diplomacy is unquestionable. Culture is a powerful instrument in the hands of diplomats to pursue national interest in an unintrusive, intelligent, convincing and cost-effective manner. Culture is utilised actively in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy to foster intercultural understanding and meaningful dialogue between nations. He was, however of the opinion that it is also a tool of conflict resolution and comes under the domain of public diplomacy.
Prominent Muslim Scholar and Vice president of Muslim Personal law Board, Maulana Dr. Kalbe Sadiq asked the scholars and students that nations and Individuals are recognised by their cultures and deeds and not alone by their religions. One has to be judicious to be respected. Prof Memoodul Haq, Former Dean, Faculty of Social Science in his presidential remarks emphasized that studies of Culture should be taken up in a more broader context as it is through this that people’s participation in civic and political life is refined and reflected.