What Unites G-20 Leaders in India

- Vivek Shukla

A s the forthcoming G20 summit is going to take place in the national capital after a couple of days, there is a place that can unite many G20 nations. If you roam around inside the York Cemetery near India Gate, you are bound to see a small grave that unites the US, Brazil, and Japan, the three major G-20 member countries. The small symbolic grave belongs to the unfortunate passengers of Japan Airlines that crashed on the fateful June 14, 1972, in the barren land in South Delhi. Altogether, 82 passengers perished in the crash. The ill-fated plane was mainly carrying passengers from Japan, Brazil, and the US. Japan Airlines flight from the International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand to Palam International Airport in New Delhi. On June 14, 1972, the plane crashed short of the New Delhi airport, killing 82 of the 87 occupants: 10 of 11 crew members and 72 of 76 passengers. Four people on the ground were also killed.

The epitaph written on the grave announces: ‘In memory of those US, Brazilian, and Japanese passengers of the ill-fated plane.” George Solomon of Delhi Brotherhood society and the priest of Pitampura church says, “I place flowers at the symbolic grave whenever I visit. I think US President Joe Biden, Brazil President Lula da Silva, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida must visit the symbolic grave of their compatriots and place a wreath there.” Sixteen of the deceased were Americans. Brazilian actress Leila Diniz was also among those killed. The sole Indian passenger on the flight was Dr. K.K.P. Narasinga Rao, a senior official of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

The exact cause of the accident remains disputed. Investigators representing Japan pointed to the possibility of a false glide path signal causing the crash. Indian investigators claimed the crash was caused by pilot error, specifically the captain ignoring instrument indications and not having sight of the runway. “I feel bad that nobody from the US, Japan, or Brazil visits the grave. It is high time that the visiting leaders should be told about it,” says George Solomon.

Will Japan’s PM meet our ‘Japanese’? Meanwhile, the Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida would like to meet the tender-looking diminutive Katsu Sana, 87, while he is in Delhi. Katsu Saan is also known as Katusa behn. She has not missed even a single all-religion prayer since she was first asked to join in way back in 1969. She recites Buddhist prayers on October 2 and on January 30. Japanese by birth, Katsu Saan came to India in 1959 to study Buddhism in the land of Buddha. In the process, she taught both Hindi and Gandhi’s thoughts as well.

“While exploring Buddhism here, I started loving India deeply. That has forced me to stay here for the rest of my life. I learned Hindi and about the life and times of Gandhi ji from Kaka Sahab Kalalker in Delhi,” informs Katsu Saan, who looks after the affairs of the Vishwa Shanti Stupa, also known as the World Peace Pagoda, located in the heart of Delhi in the Indraprastha Park. South Korean War Memorial in Delhi And when South Korean President Moon Jae-in moves to his hotel after his arrival here in the capital on September 8 to take part in the G20 summit, he may not visit the South Korean War Memorial. However, he could visit Thimayya Park in the Delhi Cantonment area during his almost four-day stay here. It is not very far from the Army Base hospital. Alas, not many people are aware that the capital has a South Korean war memorial too, built at Thimayya Park. South Korea greatly owes India for sending medical and custodian forces during the Korean War from 1950-53. “Both India and South Korea agreed to build a war memorial here to commemorate the service India had provided to South Korea during the wartime,” South Korea’s envoy in India, Shin Bong-kil, once said. Well, such memorials are there in all the 22 countries that had helped South Korea when it was fighting a grim war with North Korea. There is also a bust of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. He is highly respected there since he wrote a poem on the great heritage of Korea in 1929. “There is a stamp of Korean architecture there in the war memorial.

The South Korean government has requested the Indian government to allot a piece of land in Thimayya Park for emotional reasons. Gen.

Thimayya is not only an Indian military hero but also a hero of the Korean War. It has been decades since the end of the Korean war, but even to this day, he is remembered by Koreans with gratitude and affection for his tactical support,” sources said. India also rushed 3500 custodian forces to assist South Korea in the post-war settlement for the prisoners of war while other countries sent their combat forces. India played a neutral role and contributed peacefully.

An acclaimed Delhi-based architect, late Anup Kothari, had designed the South Korean embassy in Delhi. “I am very proud of the fact that I was responsible for the designs of the South Korean, Bulgarian, and Ethiopian missions. An interesting thing happened when I was designing the South Korean embassy. The ambassador wanted me to include a South Korean pagoda on the campus. So he asked me, ‘Would you like to go to South Korea?’ Newsweek had covered a very famous architect, Professor Kim, who had won a competition for the queen of Iran. So I mentioned, ‘If I have to go to South Korea, I have to meet this man.’ So the ambassador said, ‘Alright, we’ll arrange it.’ And I had the opportunity to spend a week with him, see his work, and meet his people. His office was quite international,” Kothari narrated this anecdote to this writer a couple of years ago in his office. Kothari had also designed the PTI building in Delhi and Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai.


Central Chronicle is daily English Newspaper of Chhattisgarh. Central Chronicle has own website www.centralchronicle.in it is first news website in Chhattisgarh.

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