ENGAGEMENTS: Prince Charles (centre) and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (left), with Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House in New Delhi


THE Hindu concept of dharma can inspire con­temporary generations to live sustainably in the face of globalisation and climate change, Prince Charles said in India last week.

On the final day of the royal couple’s visit to Asia, the Prince of Wales also hailed India’s diver­sity and prime minister Narendra Modi’s commit­ment to a renewable energy as a “compelling ex­ample for others to follow”.

The royal couple pay their respects at the India Gate war memorial in New Delhi

Addressing guests at the British high commis­sioner’s reception in New Delhi last Friday (9), Prince Charles said: “The enlightened concept of dharma in the Hindu tradition is a classic example of the source from which we urgently need to draw inspiration in order to ensure that our economy better reflects nature’s own, waste-free economy.

“This offers us the best chance we have of rising to the challenge before it is too late.”

Accompanied by his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, the prince wrapped up an 11-day tour which saw the couple also visit Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.

Prince Charles with Shilpa Shetty at the high commissioner’s reception

The royals had a packed schedule in India, car­rying out more than half a dozen engagements in 24 hours. They met Modi, attended an event run by the charity Elephant Family, interacted with school children, entrepreneurs and also paid their respects to fallen soldiers at India Gate memorial in New Delhi.

In his remarks last Friday, Prince Charles spoke of his admiration for India, saying: “This uniquely, diverse and dynamic country, at the heart of the Commonwealth… can teach us how to blend the material with the spiritual dimension in order to create the integrated values of the future.”

With two of the 101 painted sculptures, named after the 101 elephant corridors that have been mapped across the country, at an ‘Elephant Parade’ during the Elephant Family charity event

Britain will host a meeting of the Common­wealth next year and Prince Charles extended an invitation to India’s prime minister to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London in April.

Prince Charles, who has been taking on more of the queen’s duties as the monarch scales back her engagements, stressed the relevance of the 52-na­tion Commonwealth, with its 2.3 billion people.

He said: “In so many ways, the Commonwealth is a microcosm of what the world is facing in terms of climate change and resource depletion.

Prince Charles meets children from New Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar-III School

“What gives me hope, however, is the extraordi­nary wealth of ideas, traditional knowledge and cut­ting-edge ingenuity on which the 2.3 billion people of the Commonwealth can draw.

“This diversity is to be celebrated and cherished not only because it is so central to our identities and our sense of belonging, but also because it offers us the best hope of

The Duchess of Cornwall sits in a taxi run by a company for cabs driven by women and that only takes female occupants in New Delhi

addressing the most pressing chal­lenges of our time.

“A one-size-fits-all approach to globalisation sim­ply cannot be the answer and will, I am convinced, lead us into a sterile, monocultural homogeneity that creates ever greater problems while simultaneously robbing us of the solutions to address them.”