Kyoto-Varanasi Connect: High noon for cultural diplomacy

Feeding the fish to attract good fortune. Praying in a Buddhist temple. Twinning Kyoto and Varanasi in smart city bonding. Sharing notes on stem cell research. Blending the ancient and the modern, the spiritual and the scientific, cultural diplomacy has acquired a new resonance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day trip to Kyoto, a modern-day pilgrimage that kindles anew possibilities of diplomacy and the two nations coming together in pursuit of national resurgence.
Thinking Smart – this is the game of the new diplomacy that’s going to renew old friendships and forge new coalitions to uplift India and help carve a friction-free Asian century in days to come.
In Tokyo, there will be weightier subjects on the table – nuclear deal, investments, maritime security, Chinese assertiveness, the elusive Asian balance of power – but spirited cultural diplomacy in Kyoto has already softened the hearts, rekindled civilizational bonds and set the stage for transformational outcomes that will pitch India-Japan relations into a higher stratosphere.

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