Never Felt Far Away From India: Suu Kyi
Never felt "far away" from India, said pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu
Kyi, who describes herself "partly a citizen" of this country.
Addressing a gathering at her alma mater Lady Shriram College from where
she graduated in 1964, Suu Kyi remembered her formative years in the
prestigious institution and said she never felt far away from India even
in days when she had little contacts with this country.
"I feel myself partly a citizen of India, a citizen of love and honour,"
67-year-old Suu Kyi said, addressing "my girls" in the college.
Suu Kyi, who is on a visit to India after a gap of 25 years, said she
did not think that the people of India were connected to her through an
intellectual bond but it was more of an emotional bond.
"Coming back to LSR (Lady Shri Ram) is not just coming back home, it is
coming back to a place where I know my aspirations have not been wrong,"
Suu Kyi, who has been waging a campaign for democracy in Myanmar for
"I always knew I would come back to this hall where I had learned to
sing one of Gandhi's favourite renderings- Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram," a
smiling Suu Kyi said drawing loud applause from the audience.
Addressing a jam-packed auditorium with alumni and students in
attendance, Suu Kyi, who was placed under house arrest in 1989, talked
about her fight for democracy in Myanmar reminding the audience that
democratic rights were very precious.
"It's only when you don't have them, you realise how precious they are,"
she said, adding that many things were taken for granted here which "we
are fighting for, struggling for in Burma."
Noting that her country needs India's help in its progression towards
democracy, she made a passionate plea, saying, "We are trying to achieve
democracy. In our endeavour we need you, we need your help."
The pro-democracy icon had earlier said she was saddened that India was
drawn away from Myanmar in its "most difficult days" and hoped it will
stand by her country in achieving democracy.
During her speech today, Suu Kyi said, "At this moment we have to ask for help, we have to ask for your support.
"But we are doing that so that one day we are in a position to give to
others not just our experience, but our warmth and generosity or what we
have to offer to the world in a way of stronger and more positive links
between all human beings."
Touching on campus life in Myanmar, she said youngsters in her country
do not know what campus life means or what university means.
"For them, it means going to classes, lectures, and going home again.
There is no life beyond a classroom. We want our universities to be
institutions, we want to revive campus life in Burma," she said.
Suu Kyi said she wanted the universities to be institutions that produce
young people with courage, with probing minds, with the ability to go
out and face the challenges of life.
Suu Kyi said she was hoping to see what kept her closely linked to the
country over the years "when I had very little contact with you."
"It is basically the warmth in our hearts that has kept us together...I
think it is an intelligent emotional bond, a bond that is not just
emotional but based on intelligent acceptance of our mutual needs.
"We need one another, not just people of India and the people Burma but
people all over the world. We need you to help us in our progress in
democracy. We have not yet achieved democracy, we are trying to achieve
democracy and in our endeavour we need your help we need you with us,"
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