A book written by veteran Indian diplomat Pascal Alan Nazareth on Mahatma Gandhi’s outstanding leadership qualities, which have great relevance in today’s world plagued by violence and terrorism, has been translated into Mandarin and will soon hit the stands in China. The Mandarin edition of Nazareth’s book entitled «Gandhi’s Outstanding Leadership» will be published in China at a time when the new generation of Chinese intellectuals is showing interest in the Gandhian principles despite being influenced by Chairman Mao Zedong’s revolutionary ideals.
An MoU in this regard was signed on Monday by Indian Ambassador S Jaishankar and Yu Dianli, CEO of the Commercial Press China, at a function at the Indian embassy in Beijing.
Nazareth has written extensively on Mahatma Gandhi. His book on Gandhi’s leadership published in 2006 was translated into Spanish and Portuguese, besides several Indian languages.
Incidentally, this is the second book on Gandhi in Mandarin to be released in China. It will come out in markets next year.
‘The Gandhi Memories’, written by American journalist William L Shirer, recently hit the stands in China. Speaking on the Nazareth’s book, Jaishankar said the publication of the Chinese edition is timely as it would highlight the importance of soft power and the limitations of hard power.
The book also highlights the distinction between progress, modernisation and westernisation, dwells on the role of ethics in leadership and how national leaders acquire universal relevance, he said.
Shang Quanyu, the history professor of the South China Normal University who translated the book, said it was a trail blazer because it was a rare book that highlighted Gandhi’s leadership qualities and Mahatma’s ideas on leadership, which have great relevance today.
Shang, who has done his doctoral thesis on Gandhi and Nehru and visited India, believes that the book would provide new thoughts on leadership qualities to the Chinese and how rigid Gandhi was when it came to standing up to his ideals and principles.
Though Gandhi and Mao were contemporaries who led the respective movements in their countries, the Mahatma’s ideals of truth and non-violence are just catching on in Communist China.
A Chinese rock music magazine recently portrayed Gandhi on its cover page, highlighting that he was symbol of freedom. On Nazareth’s book’s translation into Mandarin, former Prime Minister IK Gujral said the publication of the book in the highly cultured country of China is of particular significance.
Former External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh said he has read the book more than once and added that it was greater pleasure to know that its Chinese edition will be published soon.
National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon said the publication of the book in China is good news «for all of us in India and China who wish for enhanced mutual understanding between our peoples.»
«I am very glad that Ambassador Nazareth’s book will now be available to our Chinese friends and introduce them to the broad range and contemporary relevance of Gandhiji’s leadership and thinking,» he said.
Former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said the publication of the book here marks the growing interest in China in the extraordinary contributions made by Gandhi to the concept of moral and ethical leadership as a sine qua non of true national progress and greatness.