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“Think the Unthinkable,” & “ Harness Social Media” highlight first ever 'Young Minds of C3S

C3S Report No. 0131/2016

This is an Event Report of the Inaugural Meeting of Young Minds of C3S, 8.10.2016.

The Inaugural Meeting of Young Minds of C3S was conducted on Saturday, October 8 2016 at Chennai Centre for China Studies, Athena Infonomics Building, T. Nagar. It was a well attended event, with C3S members, research officers, students from city colleges and Pondicherry and NGO professionals.


Ms. Preethi Amaresh, Intern, C3S, began the proceedings with a Welcome Address in Chinese and a Chinese poem with English translation.

Introduction in Chinese

Peng you men nimen hao! Zai zhong guo yan jiu zhong xin de qing jian zhi li kai mo hui yi shang, wo re lie de huan Ying nimen! Qing nian zhi li shi tao lun he jiaohuan zhong guo yu guo ji guan xi de yi ge qing shao nian chang yi. Wo men hai you yi ge Wei da de mu biao, jiu shi zu jin yin du he zhong guo zhi jian de hu xiang guan xi. Women zai qian tu de hui yi he Wang shang de Google ji tuan tao lun shang, qian Wang nimen de gui zhong de can jia. Zhu nimen yun qi hao! Xie xie

“Hello friends! Welcome to the Inaugural Meeting of Young Minds of C3S. Young Minds is a youth based initiative for discussions and brainstorming ideas on China & its international relations. We also hope to improve bilateral relations between India and China. We look forward to your valuable participation in future sessions and the online Google group discussions.”


Chinese Poem

Rang Zhonguo long he yindu laohu yiqi

Let the Chinese dragon and Indian tiger rise together

Rang women wubian jiede shenqi

Let us rise without boundaries

Rang women re aide an Ning de Shang qi

And yet with peace and love

Rang Zhong guo he yindu Mao Zhuxi yu shengxiong gan di yang sheng qi

Let China and India rise like Mao and Mahatma

Bu xiu mingxing yiyang sheng qi And shine like immortal stars.

This was followed by an introductory brief about Young Minds of C3S by Asma Masood, Research Officer, C3S. Young Minds of C3S is a C3S initiative launched for, by and of the youth. It aims to bring together the young minds of Chennai and elsewhere to a common forum where they can share knowledge and brainstorm ideas on China’s foreign relations and internal dynamics. The scope is not limited to politics, economy and defence. Diverse topics such as culture, art, gender issues, human rights, climate change, energy security, media and development are on the platter ( See link ‘Young Minds of C3S’- Call for Membership for more details)

The discussions will not be limited to monthly meetings or Chennaites alone. A Google group has also been created to which members from other locations are also added in order to participate in online discussions. Projects will be taken up by Young Minds’ members based on these inputs. They will be compiled and forwarded to the relevant authorities. Young Minds’ members are invited to participate in future events and on virtual platforms.

Ms. Kirthi Jayakumar, Founder, Red Elephant Foundation & Award-winning United Nations Volunteer, gave the inaugural address. She emphasized that the right perspective on China can be gained by pushing the envelope further. She put forth a question on the need to focus on China. The answer is that it is an inter-connected world, and doubly so, thanks to the internet.


The internet offers myriad opportunities to take Young Minds forward. Social media where C3S is already active can be galvanized as a tool to share dynamics of Young Minds of C3S. These will help in ensuring an actual tangible operation and produce a forum where ideas are made in actual. It is a place where one can ask questions, and also helps in crystallisation of thoughts. One must have an ability to think, criticise and engage. The shared inputs depend on three aspects: Commitment towards knowledge, Tangibility and Impact. Community level engagements are also needed.

Ms. Kirthi concluded by quoting a Chinese proverb which means, “One generation plants the trees and another generation enjoys the shade.” It is hoped that the seeds of knowledge planted by the Young Minds of C3S will give shade to future generations.

Cmde. R. S. Vasan, Director, C3S, delivered a talk on C3S and Young Minds of C3S. He conveyed his gratitude to Ms. Kirthi, Ms. Raakhee, Associate Member, C3S, the Research Officers of C3S and C3S interns for their phenomenal contribution in materializing the event. Mr. B. Raman (Late), counter-terrorism expert, was quoted that there is scope for expanding the study of international relations from Delhi to Chennai. In this light, C3S publishes articles and initiates several interactive programmes by involving economists, Army & Navy personnel, educationalists and civil societies. The virtual group of Young Minds of C3S can benefit from inputs from experts such as Shri B. S. Raghavan, Patron, C3S.


Ms. Preethi who has completed two levels of Chinese language learning was complemented for her effort taken to recite a poem in the language. She was also bestowed the title of Honorary Secretary of C3S. The institution welcomes internship programs, and has mentored interns from all over the world including U.S.A and South Sudan.

Shri B. S. Raghavan expressed that Young Minds of C3S’ members have the potential to make India the greatest amongst top nations. It was recalled how there was a time when the greatest invention was the manual typewriter. Today, time and distance have been abolished. One has to think at the speed of thought and not merely at the speed of light. Abolishment of old concepts such as caste, community, etc. is in process. In the later stage there is going to be a world without war and it is going to be a single landmass. According to him, www does not stand for ‘World Wide Web’ but ‘World Without Walls’. He advised that the study of any situation at one location has impact on other places, which is why Young Minds of C3S is significant.


The adage was quoted that, ‘When a butterfuly bats its wings in Brazil, it causes an avalanche in the Himalayas’. In other words, nothing should be read in isolated or insulated contexts. Interconnectivity, interdependence and harmony matter the most. Besides, there are five mantras for the Young Minds to remember on ‘thinking’:

  1. Just Think – keep your mind fermenting all the time

  2. Think big

  3. Think beyond the dot

  4. Think outside the box

  5. Think the unthinkable!

The floor was then open for the young minds present to introduce themselves and their areas of interest related to China. A discussion was initiated among all present, moderated by Ms. Kirthi and facilitated by Ms. Asma. Participants suggested various topics on which Young Minds of C3S can focus.


Mr. L. V. Krishnan, Member, C3S, encouraged the young minds to learn Chinese for better understanding via first hand observations of Chinese media and think tank reports. Mr. K. Subramanian, Member, C3S, recommended that China be seen in an unbiased perspective and not only through the Western lens. Cmde. Vasan highlighted that two main subjects are to be dealt with: one being the border issue and the other, trade deficit. However there is room for improving bilateral relations on other fronts as well.

Ms. Kirthi was asked to release the publication of a C3S occasional paper written by C3S intern Ms. Lakshya Anand, titled Applicability of UNCLOS in the South China Sea Dispute.


Ms. Raakhee presented the vote of thanks. C3S looks forward to continued zeal and participation from the Young Minds. Updates about the upcoming events and activities of Young Minds of C3S will be provided soon.

Compiled by Lakshya Anand, Intern, C3S.

(Note: View more photographs of the event at our Facebook page

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