Asia’s oldest traditions – dialogue and debate – will help find solutions for many global challenges in the 21st century, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday. He added that dialogue would help cut through religious prejudices that create conflict between nations.

In a video message during the second edition of the two-day Samvad - Global Initiative on Conflict Avoidance and Environment Consciousness in Yangon, Myanmar, Modi said he was a “product of the ancient Indian tradition that firmly believes in dialogue”. The prime minister added that the concept of “tarka shastra” or debate was founded on this model of exchanging views.

He also called for a greater, “harmonious environmental consciousness” in all as it was more important than legislation on the environment. He said humans must revere nature and not exploit it. “If man does not nurture nature, then nature reacts in the form of climate change,” he was quoted as saying.