BEST WISHES FOR ASIA

 

I am grateful to the organizers of this assembly for the honour of addressing this inaugural session. And I join my colleagues in warmly applauding and thanking the president of India for his words of profound wisdom and kind words of welcome on behalf of the great Indian nation. To be in Delhi again is a joy to me personally.

On this occasion, it is perhaps permissible to offer some good wishes to the Asian people: and I shall confine myself to three wishes.

First and foremos,t I wish and pray that peace will reign everywhere in Asia, and for a long, long time. And by that I mean real peace, not merely outward ceasefires with inward bitter hostilities. or superficial withdrawal of troops from one place only to increase them at another. Without peace, what we are going to discuss in this One Asia Assembly cannot bear fruit. International sympathy, mutual tolerance, the spirit of brotherhood, the practice of Pancasila, are as sorely needed in Asia as in any other part of the world.

My second wish is for nutrition, that is, good food for the body and intellect of our people. Hunger is still the scourge of the masses; we must produce and consume more food, and more nutritious food. We must also produce and consume more spiritual and intellectual food; and therefore educational and cultural development for the masses must occupy the top of our priorities.

In recent years, Asian governments, one after another, have become more oppressive and have more and more attacked and limited freedom among peoples. My third wish, therefore, is for more freedom, not only for the mass media, scholars, writers, and students, but for the man in the street and in the field. Without freedom, efforts at economic development would be a waste of time and money.

Best wishes for Asia: peace, nutrition and freedom for Asia.

 

Address to the inaugural session of the New Delhi

Conference of the Press Foundation of Asia,

5 February 1973.