India to host R-20 summit of global religious leaders, parallel to G-20, during its presidency in 2023
India is set to overtake Indonesia as the country with the largest Muslim population, RSS leader Ram Madhav said on Thursday (3 November), telling a group of global religious leaders that India celebrates diversity and welcomes the world’s persecuted to its shores.
He was speaking at Religion-20 (R20), a global summit of religious leaders being held parallel to the G20 summit, which is being hosted by Indonesia this year. Next year, when India will hold the Presidency of the G20, it intends to also host the R-20, Mr. Madhav announced.
“We have 180 million Muslims in India, 25 million Christians. The projections say that in 2030, India’s Muslim population will be equal to that of Indonesia and by the end of 2050, we will be the world’s largest Muslim population with 310 million Muslims in India”, said Mr. Madhav, speaking on the concluding day of the summit in Bali.
The RSS leader emphasized that India is a country that doesn’t just tolerate or respect diversity but celebrates it, noting that Indian Muslims have held the roles of President, Vice President, and Chief Justice. India gives absolute respect to all religions and diversities, he said.
“India is a mosaic of religion and mother ship of spirituality. India is a country where all religions of the world exist and lives far from persecution. All the persecuted come to India came to India, and continue to come and take shelter in India,” added Mr. Madhav.
Terming the summit as ‘significant’ and ‘unique’, he hailed the initiative and said that it had unleashed a tectonic force by bringing together leaders of all the important world religions to discuss the important issues of the 21st century.
“It’s not just a religion-centric event but a humanity-centric event. Here, we brainstorm challenges like climate change, terrorism, wars, disharmony, hunger, and poverty. These issues require the attention of spiritual, cultural, and religious leaders apart from the leaders of the government,” he said.
Mr. Madhav also stressed that humans are entering an era of artificial intelligence which is already making machines that are more intelligent than human beings.
“There is a discussion in psychiatry circles that today’s machines have their mind and will they also have their consciousness. Will they start crying, will they start responding to situations? It may sound absurd today but please don’t rule out the ability of humans to create demons. We are entering into that kind of an era,” he added.
He added that in the past when humanity faced such challenges, there were philosophers and religious leaders, who guided mankind in the right direction.
“Today, we are busy quarreling among ourselves. This is why there are no philosophers. The religions are quarreling. This is why politicians, economists, and technocrats are the new popes of the world. We should be today pondering this big challenge,” he added.