PM Modi dubbed the Indian diaspora as the country’s “permanent ambassadors” who helped further ties and improve relations with the nations they’d chosen to settle in.
“Whenever I’m on an official tour of a foreign country, I try to meet with the Indians residing there. This is because I believe the Indian diaspora is the permanent ambassador for bilateral relations with countries all over the world,” said PM Modi during his keynote address at the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra.
He also hailed them as India’s partners in development and said the laurels they earned in their “karmbhoomi” reflected favourably on their motherland.
“21st century is being considered the Asian century and India will be a major player in this with the growing stature of our country and you shall feel proud about our growth, hence inspiring us to work even harder,” Modi told the gathering.
He urged PIO parliamentarians to play the role of catalyst in India’s economic development and added that values of Indian culture and civilisation can guide a world gripped in increasing instability.
The Prime Minister observed that in the last few years, India’s polity and economy has witnessed an “irreversible change”, which has led to greater focus on the country and a shift in the worldview.
“India has moved way ahead of the ‘jaisa pehle tha vaisa chalta rahega, kuch badlega nahi’ thinking, aims and aspirations of our people are on an all time high and that is because of the transformation the country is going through,” he said.
“Today, bodies like the World Bank, IMF and Moody’s are looking at India in a very positive way,” he added.
In an aside, PM Modi said that India’s relations with Asean countries are going from strength to strength and this will be evident at the upcoming Republic Day parade.
He also appreciated external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj‘s efforts in making the foreign ministry more open and accessible, as well as her personal outreach to all those who petitioned her for help on Twitter.
“Be it Indian citizens or immigrants, our foreign minister Sushma Swaraj ji checks on their problems 24×7. Under her leadership, the Ministry of External Affairs launched the ‘Madad’ portal which monitors and reponds to consular grievances in real time,” Modi said.
Every year, January 9 is celebrated as Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD), an annual celebratory day that marks the contribution of overseas persons of Indian origin (PIO) towards their homeland.
This is the first PIO-Parliamentary Conference and is a way of reaching out to the Indian community overseas by the government.
As many as 124 Members of Parliament and 17 mayors from 23 countries are participating in this conference.
(With ANI inputs)