On the occasion of the 131st birth anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh and in memory of Shri Geetest Sharma, late President of the Indo-Vietnam Solidarity Committee, the Embassy is delighted and honoured to introduce an article by Shri Geetest Sharma about Ho Chi Minh.
During the liberation war of Vietnam President Ho Chi Minh had said we are fighting with the enemies on our soil but at the same time we must keep on fighting against those Governments, who have occupied our land and are trying their best to enslave us and so alongside our military we must use a soft power, which is culture and literature to enlighten the people of those countries, whose governments are massacring our people irrespective of old, women and even children, not only in thousands but in lacs. He had also said – We have not harmed the common people of those countries and we are not treating them as our enemy, so we must communicate with them.
It was on this tactical line that he had sent hundreds of delegations all over the world including the U.S.A., France, U.K., India and of course to the then Soviet Union, who was wholeheartedly supporting Vietnam’s Liberation movement both morally and materially.
This humble writer had an occasion to meet few delegations from Vietnam visiting India in Calcutta to have a direct dialogue with teachers, students, intellectuals, and activists.
Madam Binh, the then legendary Foreign Minister of Vietnam had travelled to dozens of countries in Europe, Africa and Asia and had a direct dialogue with the local people. She had also visited India, and of course Calcutta, where this writer had the proud privilege of meeting and interacting with her. She was an extremely simple and affectionate person. She interacted with the people in a manner as if she was talking to her akin.
President Ho Chi Minh had asked the writers and poets to write articles, stories and poems to arouse the people to combat and resist the foreign aggressors and also their puppet resumes that were functioning from the then Saigon.
Such types of propaganda through literature were translated into various languages of the world including Russian, French, English and was sent to Asian, African, and Latin American countries. In our live library in Calcutta, we do have about 3-4 books of that period in English.
Besides being a great statesman, President Ho Chi Minh himself was a writer, poet, dramatist, singer, cartoonists and what not. He used his artistic talent to arouse patriotic passion among his fellow countrymen along with international outlook.
It is amazing to note that writers writer’s, poet, artist all over the world had responded and expressed their solidarity with the liberation of Vietnam through their writings and performances. Naturally, therefore the aggressor governments were put under pressure even by their own people to abstain from aggression and atrocities in Vietnam.
Today, when we cast a glance over the global scenario, we find that certain powers with its hegemonic designs, are challenging and sovereignty and integrity of its neighbouring countries, not only military but culturally also through openings of cultural centres to promote to promote its divisive designs. The victim countries, therefore, should follow the example of President Ho Chi Minh and should pay them back in their own coins. They should use a soft power through people to people diplomacy.
Although we call it soft power but in fact it is as good as hard power and is even more effective than the military power.
So, we must learn to utilise President Ho Chi Minh‘s people to people diplomacy, which is most effective and relevant under the current juncture./.