German ambassador Guwahati

Guwahati, April 04: German ambassador to India, Walter J Lindner is on his visit to Guwahati and boot ride on the mighty Brahmaputra River.

Sharing a glimpse of his journey to Guwahati on tweeter, the German ambassador wrote that “Before returning to Delhi, no better way to conclude short stay in Guwahati than by evening boot ride on mighty Brahmaputra River. The majestic river is sacred to Hindus. It is the world’s 9th largest river by discharge. Yesterday’s short tour in Assam’s capital Guwahati on the mighty Brahmaputra brought back vivid memories of (much longer) adventures on the Brazilian Amazon (here 1977 pics, with red hat) and Venezuelan Orinoco (pics 2013)…The majesty of huge rivers!”

Walter J Lindner also delivered a speech on ‘New Diplomacy for New Global Challenges’ at Assam Don Bosco University in Guwahati and interacted with the students of the university on April 1.

In his welcome speech, the vice-chancellor of the university, Fr Stephen Mavely said, “We are delighted to have you here to share with us your thoughts on the diplomatic challenges that face the world today. None of us present here have been through the agonies of a world war. On the contrary, we have been in a way privileged to enjoy the benefits of liberal democracies that blossomed after the war. But, now, war clouds threaten our lives in spite of being so far away from the actual theatre of war.”

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The German ambassador started his speech by appreciating the rendition of the song ‘Imagine’ presented by the university choir in different languages saying that the song set the right tone for the programme and that the students are fortunate for being exposed to a diverse culture on campus which builds tolerance towards others and to care what is happening in other parts of the world.

Calling for the need to have new diplomacy in the world, ambassador Lindner said: “I am not your typical, normal diplomat, I have a ponytail, I am a musician, I played in a rock band, so, bring it on! I am different I guessed. But, we need a different kind of not only diplomats but parliamentarians, politicians, and leaders who are transparent and accountable for their actions. They have to be one of you! They have to be one of us!”

Speaking about how busy his schedules are these days due to the war in Ukraine, he said: “I don’t want to bring ‘Ukraine’ to you because it is far away but only one aspect – for Germany it is much closer. Kiev is only 10 hour drive from Berlin. So, the bombs are 10 hours of car drive’s away. As we speak, people are looking for shelters in subways because of the continuous bombardments. But, the point I want to make here is more philosophical.”

“Many of our times, our brain cells, are invested in spending more money on tanks, bombs, confrontations, cold war. We need that money, we need that time, we need those brain cells for the really important questions in the world – poverty eradication, climate change, finding a solution for plastics, establishing smart cities, etc. Now parliaments are talking about military spending again, not education, not developments. The war in Ukraine has brought back an increase in military spending internationally and this is what I think is very bad about Putin’s war apart from attacking a peaceful country which is posing no threat to him,” he said.