Letter from FIND’s Honorary President, Jacques Cloarec
Dear Board Members, Friends and Collaborators,
FIND – India Europe Foundation for New Dialogues entered a new phase of development during the course of the past year, after a difficult period of dwindling financial resources and organizational problems. The evident need for change and renewal necessitated steps to ensure a gradual transformation in order to do justice to Alain Daniélou’s heritage and face the intercultural challenges of this new century.
Alain Daniélou believed that India’s cultural heritage is fundamental in widening the horizon of Western ideas and concepts. He wished to show the diversity of this “civilization of differences” so that Western culture could learn from it. Any widening of cultural horizons can however only be based on existing elements with a resonance similar to that of the new impulse. As Daniélou wrote in his book Approche de l’Hindouisme, “India and the West are not two fully separated worlds”. Channels of communication maintain essential links between certain aspects of our culture and fundamental aspects of Indian tradition. This process is varied, dynamic and enriching and, of course, both cultures can profit by it, because an exchange is never one-sided.
Today’s Europe shows signs of a general crisis: Can the Eurocentric perspective be identified with universalism? Is the objective perspective of Western science and technology really the only way of understanding the world and collaborating with a change for the better? Is so-called “Western democracy” really a model that can be imposed upon other cultures irrespective of their specificities? However, a crisis cannot be viewed as something purely negative, since it also brings hope and renewal, and the possibility of opening – even beyond the limits of what we deem possible.
There is and has always been continual exchange between India and the West, and FIND’s mission is to continue that tradition and show the results of such openness of mind and spirit to those willing to follow the stages of this adventure in intercultural exchange leading to inner (and outer) growth.