India’s G20 theme of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ & Objections

Context
Defending the use of the Sanskrit term Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The world is one family) in its G-20 logo, the Ministry of External Affairs said it uses only the “English version” of the phrase — “One Earth, One Family, One Future” — in its summary documents and outcome statements. Why China made the objections?
  • China has reportedly voiced its opposition towards the inclusion of the Sanskrit phrase ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ in documents pertaining to recent G20 Energy Ministerial Meeting as also other G20 documents.
  • Arguments provided: China has objected to the use of this Sanskrit phrase, arguing that it is not recognised by the United Nations.
    • The six official languages of the UN are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’:
  • Translated as “the world is one family,” this phrase has regularly been used by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speeches and is inscribed at the entrance of India’s parliamentary building.
  • ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ is drawn from the ancient Sanskrit text of the Maha Upanishad.
  • The theme affirms the value of all life – human, animal, plant, and microorganisms – and their interconnectedness on the planet Earth and in the wider universe.

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