Lyonchoen stressed on the need to return to the basic values of civilization in his address at the India Ideas Conclave

Visit: “Which is the world’s greatest civilization?” Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay asked as he addressed over 350 participants of the second India Ideas Conclave in Goa, India yesterday.

It’s the Indian civilization, he said, for many reasons.

“Indian civilization gave birth to four major religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism which no other civilization can claim,” Lyonchoen said amid a roar of applause. “India is the fountainhead of the world’s greatest civilization based on values of love, kindness, compassion, non-violence and tolerance.”

Themed, “learning from civilization” lyonchoen stressed on learning and unlearning from civilization at the conference’s inaugural and touched on issues of poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental destruction or terrorism.

“We must not learn anything that has destroyed civilizations like greed, war, lust of power and environmental degradation,” he said.

As he offered his condolences to the recent terrorism attacks in Paris, France, lyonchoen said that most of the word’s problems whether big or small are fueled by consumerism. “We over consume, so we must over produce and over extract,” he said. “There’s unprecedented wastage and this is not a sustainable model for mother earth or humankind.”

The prime minister said he changed 10 mobile phones in the past 10 years failing to realize if he needed a new one or not. “Similarly, people carry two mobile phones, some with two SIM cards in one phone,” he said.

Lyonchoen also emphasized the need for an alternative model, to go back to the basics in learning from civilizations and that the purpose of civilizations is to create just societies that enhance the wellbeing and happiness of their people.

Besides, lyonchoen also said that there are lessons that can be drawn from civilizations near and far, big and small, past and present for which one must support and seek wise leadership.

Lyonchoen also spoke about the free education and health care in Bhutan besides the model of Gross National Happiness as its development path.

“Our development path is influenced by our culture and religion. It is unique,” he said.

However, he said he is confident that the learned masters, scholars and experts gathered at the Conclave will pool ideas and produce an outcome that will benefit not only India but the world.

Meanwhile, yesterday morning lyonchoen met the Governor of Goa Shrimati Mridula Sinha at the Raj Bhavan and Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar. On the sidelines of the conclave, lyonchoen also met the Union Minister of Defense, Manohar Parrikar and Union Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu.

On an invitation from India Foundation, Lyonchoen is in Goa as the chief guest of the second India Ideas Conclave.

Kinga Dema, Goa