New Delhi, Dec 10 (IANS) Cultural diplomacy will help India strengthen its bond with neighbours and make the people of the country feel that they are part of one large family, says union External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
"India wanted to bond with neighbours and get the people of the country feel that they were part of one large family," Khurshid told IANS on the sidelines of the South Asian Bands Festival here Dec 9.
"We have already created vehicles and platforms for tomorrow. This will be a very important part of the configuration. Cultural diplomacy and soft diplomacy play an important part in the configuration of our strategy," Khurshid added.
Culture is a way to bond and go beyond the "restrictive realities towards an idea of a future where the past and present restrictions will not hold us (the South Asian region) back from being one family," the external affairs minister said.
"Culture reflects the concerns of today, the memories of yesterday and the potential of tomorrow,"
Khurshid said there was no better way than music to communicate with people.
"The bonding is not just between SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) nations, but the bonding can be seen here (at the festival) as well. These (protagonists of culture) are absolutely invaluable people who will lead us tomorrow," Khurshid said.
"There is a need to attend functions that is attended by all. That is the future. We need to build India of tomorrow," he added.
The minister said the government's priority was to promote culture for "better understanding of the world".
The South Asian Bands Festival that featured bands from Myanmar, Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan and Maldives began in the capital Dec 7 and ended Dec 9.