April 17, 2016
Nalanda University (NU) Chancellor, Mr. George Yeo’s book “George Yeo on Bonsai, Banyan and the Tao” was launched by External Affairs Minister, Mrs. Sushma Swaraj on April 12, 2016 at Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan in Delhi.
The distinguished panel that shared their views on Chancellor Yeo’s book included former Union Minister P Chidambaram, Singapore's High Commissioner to India Lim Thuan Kuan, and Nalanda University Governing Board Members: Mr. N K Singh and Professor Sugata Bose.
The book is a compilation of 91 essays and lectures by Chancellor Yeo, who is Singapore’s former Foreign Minister and had also served in the Singapore Armed Forces. The unusual title of the book according to its publishers is because “there are many aspects to George Yeo that makes him difficult to classify”.
Calling the book a “testament to the power of ideas”, Mrs Swaraj said “This collection of essays shows a deeply inquisitive mind, concerned with the primary task of building a sustainable political and social model for the modern world, but equally at home in our complex histories, the arts, culture and new forms of media.”
Describing Mr. Yeo as “a man who lived and flourished at the crossroads of our civilizations; at the meeting point – between East and West, between our ancient heritage and our modern future” she concluded her speech by saying, “under Mr. George Yeo’s stewardship, I am certain that Nalanda will also rise to redeem the promise of its glorious history.”
NU Governing Board Member and former Member of Parliament Mr. N.K. Singh introduced Mr. Yeo and talked about the early days of Nalanda University. Professor Sugata Bose, who is also Nalanda University Governing Board Member, the Gardiner Professor of History at Harvard University and a Trinamool Congress Member of Parliament, also shared his impressions of the book and spoke about Asian values and the learning from them.
Singapore's High Commissioner to India Lim Thuan Kuan, shared insights on how Chancellor Yeo has had an influence on the people of Singapore.
Former Union Minister P Chidambaram described Chancellor Yeo as a true friend of India and praised the Ministry of External Affairs for hosting the book launch.
Talking about how he and his family feel drawn to India, Chancellor Yeo said, “There is something in India that attracts me and my family to this great nation: Its culture, its people and its big heart.”
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