South Asia is a region that is rich in culture, possesses great human qualities and, is also endowed with numerous resources. Yet we have not seen the best of our potential. Even though we have many things in common and many things to be proud of as a group, we can still stand to make progress in several areas. At present, we are still beset with conflicts both within and across ours border. These conflicts are deterring us from moving forward and stopping us from enjoying the best of our capacities. We ought to work together to spread the messages of peace, mutual respect and tolerance toachieve human dignity.
Many efforts are already underway to bridge the gaps of communication, promote mutual understanding, and enhance citizen-to-citizen dialogue in the region. The Diaspora of the South Asian citizens have a unique capacity to assume leadership roles in these efforts. Many have learned that, from their adopted countries, they can play crucial roles in promoting peace and prosperity in their countries of origin.
The launching of South Asia Journal is a milestone initiative of Diaspora leadership. As a Bangladeshi I am proud to note that the South Asian Journal is an initiative of another Bangladeshi whose main vocation is not media but business. He is someone who is committed to the cause of peace. This is laudable.
I am confident that the Journal will offer a much needed platform, especially to the younger generation of the region’s expatriates, to freely discuss the issues that challenge us as citizens of the region and as citizens of our respective countries.
I believe that the South Asia Journal, with its strong commitment to free and truthful discourse, will do much to bridge the gaps that have emerged between us as South Asian citizens. At the same time, the Journal can work as a vehicle to educate our younger generation about ourselves, and bring them closer both culturally and emotionally to the countries of their ancestry.
With the Grameen Bank initiative and social businesses in Bangladesh, I have been trying all my life to address the challenges that the poor face on a daily basis. The Grameen Bank model is being followed in almost all of the countries of the world. The goal has always been about improving human dignity and freedom, for which the alleviation of poverty is a prerequisite. The concept of social business is also attracting global attention. Young people, business executives, governments, academics, and civil society organizations are coming forward to explore the power of social business in changing the world.
We can design innovative social businesses for our region to solve our local and regional problems. We can provide leadership to the global social business movement. We must continue to work on projects that promote mutual understanding, enhance cooperation and deliver peace, worldwide. I believe that through informed discourses the South Asia Journal will do much to fulfill this mission.
I would like to see more and more people of the region work together to the causes that will make South Asia in general, and each country in the region, better places for everyone. Greater regional cooperation in education, trade, science, and politics can help us forge the bonds needed for a more verdant and just world.
With these thoughts in mind, I congratulate the dedicated people behind he South Asia Journal and wish the Journal every success in its mission of building trust and achieving peace through dialogue in the South Asian region, and the world in general.