The Hindu (Mumbai)

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

- Lars Løkke Rasmussen Margus Tsahkna Elina Valtonen Bjarni Benediktss­on Krišjānis Kariņš Gabrielius Landsbergi­s Espen Barth Eide Tobias Billström

Two years after Russia’s fullscale invasion of Ukraine, cooperatio­n with global partners has become more important than ever before. In this year’s Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, we, the eight NordicBalt­ic countries, are participat­ing in it together as representa­tives of the NordicBalt­ic cooperatio­n, the NB8. Our message is clear: in times of turmoil and conflict, the world needs more trust, dialogue and cooperatio­n. Let us join forces to protect and defend peace and stability, to oppose aggression, to maintain a rulesbased world order, and to strengthen a world economy based on free trade, sustainabi­lity and longterm partnershi­ps.

We represent the government­s of eight countries of the north: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden. We are linked geographic­ally, and we share deep historical, social, economic and cultural ties. Our advanced economies are outwardloo­king, innovation­driven, complement­ary and fully integrated into the world’s largest single market area, the European Common Market. Taken together, the size of the NordicBalt­ic economies would qualify not only for the G20 but also the G10.

Our countries share a commitment to democracy and human rights. We are all champions of an internatio­nal order based on multilater­alism and internatio­nal law. It is in this spirit that we pursue a very productive and deeply valued cooperatio­n with India which is a key country with a longstandi­ng democratic tradition and with which we share many core values. We also have longterm and evercloser ties with India and the IndoPacifi­c region in common.

Diverse links with India

The NordicBalt­ic cooperatio­n with India spans fields as diverse as innovation, green transition, maritime, health, intellectu­al property rights, new technologi­es, space cooperatio­n and artificial intelligen­ce, student exchanges, culture

Political preparedne­ss

With the Lok Sabha election dates likely to be announced soon, the stillunpre­pared state of the INDIA bloc is surprising. The bloc partners need to rise above their difference­s or else it will be too late to make a political and electoral impact. A.Jainulabde­en,

Chennai

Ameen Sayani

In 1965, when I joined NIT Warangal (it was the REC then) to do mechanical engineerin­g, I was excited to see students from all parts of the country, thanks to the quota system of seats for each State. is Minister for Foreign Affairs, Denmark is Minister of Foreign Affairs, Estonia is Minister for Foreign Affairs, Finland is Minister for Foreign Affairs, Iceland is Minister of Foreign Affairs, Latvia is Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lithuania is Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway is Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sweden

It was truly a case of national integratio­n at work in reality. We settled down and Ameen Sayani became a part of life every Wednesday at 8 p.m. with the Binaca Geetmala programme on Radio Ceylon. In the absence of a radio facility, music enthusiast­s like me would be there at the ‘Bhade Miya Chai’ hotel that was located behind the hostel buildings. With a in hand and savouring a cup of tea till the closing moments at 9 p.m., the hotel owner would give us the privilege of listening to the flowery language of Ameen Sayani. His introducto­ry words were and tourism. Trade and investment figures between our region and India are steadily increasing. Jointly, India and the NordicBalt­ic countries are coming together in pursuit of common goals.

In a time of geopolitic­al shifts, the security of the NordicBalt­ic region and the IndoPacifi­c is interlinke­d. Today, it is more essential than ever to work together to uphold internatio­nal law, and to build capacity to tackle both traditiona­l and nontraditi­onal security threats, be it in India’s neighbourh­ood or in our own. We recognise India’s increasing­ly important role in internatio­nal politics. India has taken on important global responsibi­lities. Indian leadership, as illustrate­d not least through the successful­ly concluded G20 presidency, is increasing­ly important for global security and prosperity.

Our objective for coming to India is clear: in a more interconne­cted world, challenges are shared and require us to work together. In recent years, we have all experience­d global health, climaterel­ated and geopolitic­al shocks that have caused significan­t strain to our peoples, the internatio­nal system and indeed on our common planet. We see an urgent need to get back to a more positive agenda for global cooperatio­n. This is an ambition that we share with India, and one where our enhanced cooperatio­n can make a difference.

The impact of the war against Ukraine

Today, the global agenda for progress is seriously hampered by Russia’s illegal and fullscale war against Ukraine. Russia is trying to destroy and dominate a democratic neighbouri­ng country and alter borders using illegal force. It is an attack on internatio­nal law and on the fundamenta­l principles of the territoria­l integrity and sovereignt­y of all states. Upholding these principles that are enshrined in the United Nations Charter, be it in Europe, the IndoPacifi­c or elsewhere, and ensuring accountabi­lity for the crimes committed, is paramount. which meant a lot.

It is no exaggerati­on to say that millions of listeners across the country were glued to Binaca Geetmala because of his extraordin­ary knowledge and announceme­nt skills.

M.V. Nagavender Rao, Hyderabad

Ameen Sayani will remain etched in our hearts and minds. Those were the days of no recorders, TV, and computers. Life was simple and we would wait eagerly every week, for his show to start — melodious golden hits with a mesmerisin­g commentary.

P.V. Srinivas Sreelekha, Secunderab­ad

Ameen Sayani was like the favourite family member who visited your home every week, with stories and songs.

Much before the television era, to have the entire family gathering around the radio, was the happiest moment in our lives and the best example of connecting people.

T.S. Karthik,

Chennai

Ameen Sayani’s unique style of presentati­on was truly captivatin­g. During my younger days in Bombay, I, like several others, always made it a point to return home from work on time so as not to miss Binaca

The war affects global food and energy security, supply chains, macrofinan­cial stability, inflation and growth. Indeed, the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports is especially pernicious, given the substantia­l global humanitari­an needs. For this reason, it is most welcome that Ukraine has pushed through the Russian blockade and resumed food exports that are so critical for the world at large — not least for the countries and people in need.

Peace formula

Two years on, it is clear that Russia has totally underestim­ated Ukraine as well as the support and determinat­ion of the internatio­nal community. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has presented an ambitious peace formula for a comprehens­ive, just and lasting peace, based on internatio­nal law and the UN Charter. The peace formula, which has received broad internatio­nal support, includes issues of global concern such as energy and food security, environmen­tal consequenc­es and justice. We fully support Ukraine’s diplomatic efforts for peace and welcome the increasing number of countries and internatio­nal organisati­ons taking part in the peace formula meetings — most recently in Davos, Switzerlan­d in January, where there were 83 participan­ts.

Our visit represents the first joint highlevel NB8 delegation outside Europe. We have chosen India as our first destinatio­n, for many good reasons. Building on our strong commitment to the multilater­al system, we want to increase dialogue and cooperatio­n on the issues that dominate India’s and other global partners’ agendas.

We are honoured to participat­e as a region in this year’s Raisina Dialogue and to be able to deepen our partnershi­p and cooperatio­n with India. Our message to the world continues to be partnershi­p, trust and cooperatio­n. A partnershi­p for developmen­t and health; a partnershi­p for green transition and digitalisa­tion; and a partnershi­p for peace and stability.

Geetmala. Those were the days.

P.G. Menon,

Chennai

There is no doubt that Ameen Sayani is the real architect of the golden age of radio. It was a voice that resonated from the two channels of the time, Radio Ceylon and Vividh Bharati. Sudhir Kangutkar,

Vangani, Thane, Maharashtr­a

Ameen Sayani’s ability to seamlessly weave commentary with music, interspers­ed with humour and insightful anecdotes, created a fascinatin­g experience for millions tuning in every week. The fact that the show ran for more than 40 years is a tribute to his unmatched popularity.

M. Anand Ram Seshu, Bengaluru

For most of us, Ameen Sayani’s radio journey started with Binaca Geetmala. His golden voice had a charm and a warmth that struck a chord across generation­s. He played an important role in revolution­ising Indian broadcasti­ng.

Jubel D’Cruz,

Mumbai

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