The Asian Relations Conference was held at Purana Qila (Old Fort), New Delhi from 23rd March to 2nd April 1947
Opening Plenary Session -- 23 March 1947.
Welcome Address of Sir Shri Ram, Chairman of the Reception Committee:
“The delegates, I believe, represent easily more than half the world’s population, even omitting Japan and Korea, whose representatives we miss here today, and if we add the observers also this Conference will represent the much greater part of the whole world."
Sarojini Naidu’s Address -- 23 March 1947
“You will wonder why a mere woman has been chosen to occupy the great place of honour today. The answer is simple. India has always honoured her women........This Purana Qila, this historic ruin, the broken arches---what do they signify? They signify the dawn of history, the history of many forgotten ages. And they also symbolize the dawn of a new era beckoning today....”
Jawaharlal Nehru’s Welcome Address -- 23 March 1947
“We stand at the end of an era and on the threshold of a new period of history. Standing on this watershed which divided two epochs of human history and endeavor, we can look back at our long past and look forward to the future that is taking shape before our eyes. Asia, after a long period of quiescence, has suddenly become important again in world affairs.”
Exhibitions held during the Conference -- 24 March-2 April 1947.
Inter-Asian Art Exhibition
The Science Exhibition
The Archaeological Exhibition
Speech of Mahatma Gandhi, Group Plenary Session -- 2 April 1947.
“The representatives of all Asian Powers and Asian peoples have come together. Is it in order to wage war against Europe, against America, against non-Asian? I say emphatically ‘no’. This is not India’s mission and I am free to confess that I would feel extremely sorry if India, having won her independence essentially or rather predominantly through non-violent means, was going to use it for the suppression of other parts of the world – let alone Asian powers – of European powers because they have exploited the different races inhabiting this vast continent called Asia.”
Closing Plenary Session 2nd April 1947
The Closing Plenary Session met once again at Purana Qila (Old Fort), New Delhi in the evening of 2nd April 1947 with Mrs. Sarojini Naidu conducting the proceeding in her role as the chairperson.
Speech by Mahatma Gandhi at Closing Plenary Session
“… You friends have seen not the real India. Delhi, Bombay, Madras, Calcutta, Lahore, all these are big cities and have been influenced by the West…. See perhaps a few villages of India. Then you will find the real India. Today I will make this admission also that you will be fascinated at the sight....
Speech by Dr. Sutan Shariar, Prime Minister of Indonesia at the Closing Plenary Session -- 2 April 1947.*
“We from Indonesia deeply appreciate the reasons which have led to the inauguration of this Conference, namely, the desire to see the Asian continent rise to its full stature, not in any spirit of hostility or as a threat to those in other lands, but purely in order to provide Asians the opportunity to plan and execute orderly and coordinated development along humanistic and international lines.”
Sarojini Naidu’s Address at the Closing Plenary
“We are reborn in the crucibles of many sufferings and we have emerged as pure gold, the gold of Asian consciousness, of wisdom, scholarship, culture, fellowship, service, dedication, dignity of the human spirit, and the oneness of man."
Role — Conceived By: Prof. Mahesh Rangarajan, Director, NMML.
Role — Supervised By: Dr. N. Balakrishnan, Deputy Director, NMML.
Role — Consultant: Ms. Deepa Bhatnagar, Head Research Publications Division, NMML.
Role — Curated By: A.Selvam, Research Officer, Oral History Division, NMML.