The concluded Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2017 early this year had its high points and one of them was the speech by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The three-day event took place in the country’s IT hub and highlighted the role of youths to play ‘Vishwa Guru’. In attendance was the Portugal Prime Minister, Minister of State for External Affairs, and Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports.
The keynote address of the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was delivered by the Prime Minister on Sunday (the second day of the event). Modi lauded Indians in the diaspora and said they are the best representation of India’s values, ethos, and cultures. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2017 presented Modi the opportunity to reiterate government priority to engage with Indians in the diaspora.
PM Narendra Modi’s Speech at Inauguration of 14th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) not only touches the emotional chords of many resident and non-resident Indians but also provides an opportunity for the diaspora members to explore business options in India, marketed aggressively by several state governments.
“Engagement with the oversea Indian community has been a key area of priority. There are over 30 million overseas Indians living abroad. They are not just respected for their numbers, but for the contributions they make. NRIs and PIOs have made outstanding contributions to their chosen fields. They are role models for immigrants from other backgrounds and countries… they take our values and culture wherever they go.”
The major object of this year’s Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was to strengthen the network between Indians in the diaspora as well as fast-track the creation of a platform to improve the network of the oversea Indian community. Another key agenda of the 14th PBD was to harness the power and talent of the youths for the growth of different sectors of the country.
“For us, all Indians living abroad, including the youth, are precious. We will shortly launch a skill development programme (Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana) targeted at unskilled youth who seek jobs abroad. We are there for you when you need us. The welfare and safety of all Indians abroad is our top priority.”
Source: Hindustan Times
Modi used the opportunity to speak on the ‘personal corruption’ allegation leveled on him by the opposition. The government was also widely criticized for phasing out the 500 and 1000 rupee banknotes. This move was an attempt by the government to clamp down on corrupt individuals.
Late last year, Rahul Gandhi, the Congress vice president, accused Modi of taking a bribe from a number of corporate houses during his time as the Gujarat chief minister. In his keynote address, Modi mentioned that only a few people who have the interest of the country at heart would criticize his move.
“You all must have seen and heard that we have taken action against corruption and black money… These have been corroding our system from within… India needed to take a stand and we have… We will no longer have any space for corruption and black money to exist. Our diaspora has supported the government’s move against corruption and black money, and I thank you all for your support.”
Modi praised Sushma Swaraj, the External Affairs Minister, for her proactive measures to reach out to Indians in the diaspora. He further mentioned that last year’s “Know India Quiz” had 5000 participants and urged the youths to ensure that this year had ten times more participants. He ended his keynote address by dishing out advice to the youths in the diaspora.
“I hope on returning to your respective countries you will remain connected with us. Whether knowledge, time or money, we welcome your contributions that strengthen India’s partnership with oversea community.”
A regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is slated to hold between the 6th and 7th of January 2018 in Singapore. The event will come ahead of the Indian-ASEAN summit later in the month and further help both nations connect for a better partnership.