The Vietnam-Ho Chi Minh Corner in the Central Secretariat Library in New Delhi was inaugurated recently by Vietnam’s Ambassador to India Ton Sinh Thanh and Sujata Prasad, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Culture.
The event also saw the launch of a book that celebrates Ho Chi Minh’s unstinting love for India and his legendary friendship with India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Entitled “Uncle Ho with India,” the book comprises accounts of Ho Chi Minh’s historic visit to India, and his writings, speeches and messages sent to the government and people of India. During his first visit to India in February 1958, Ho Chi Minh was unabashed about his admiration for the “homeland of one of the most ancient civilizations of the world” where “culture, philosophy and the arts have developed splendidly and have made great contributions to mankind.” During 1942-43, while being detained, Ho Chi Minh heard about his friend Nehru’s imprisonment, and sent him a moving letter: “From thousands of miles we haven’t met. No words of mouth ever spoken, yet we sympathize with each other.”
“But it is not the last of our efforts to bring Vietnam closer to Indian people by providing the Indian readers with valuable resources for better understanding about Vietnam and also how our people and leaders treasure the friendship with India,” said the Vietnamese envoy.
“There are books on Vietnam-India relations and notably some of them are about former president Ho Chi Minh, a Vietnamese hero, a freedom fighter of national liberation movement and a great man of culture recognized by UNESCO, who is the great friend of Indian people,” he said.
Initiatives like the Ho Chi Minh corner in a well-known library in the Indian capital are aimed at widening the arc of understanding between the two long-standing friendly countries, which elevated their bilateral ties to the level of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during the landmark visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Vietnam in September 2016.
Blending Buddhism and cultural linkages with an expanding economic and strategic partnership, the India-Vietnam relations are poised to soar high in months to come.
(Manish Chand is Founder & Editor-in-Chief of India and World, a pioneering magazine on international affairs, and India Writes Network)