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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India has no intention of exploiting any country’s resources and is not eyeing anyone’s territory, basing its relationships not on “profit or loss” but on humanity.
Addressing the first PIO Parliamentarians Conference here, he said India has always played a constructive role in the world arena. The Prime Minister reminded the participants that the event is aimed at reconnecting the Indian diaspora with their ancestral land and spirit. Intensifying outreach to the Indian diaspora, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday began the conference for parliamentarians of Indian origin from all over the world. The “First PIO Parliamentarian Conference” was inaugurated here by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who reminded the participants that the event is aimed at reconnecting them with their ancestral land and spirit.
“Your ancestors had to leave India under various circumstances and that is why when you return to an Indian airport, you are reminded of your ties with this country. You have a desire to return to India and I understand your feelings very well,” said Mr. Modi.
If any philosophy can counter extremism and radicalisation, it is Mahatma Gandhi’s and India’s philosophy of non-violence and ‘satyagraha’, he noted.
“We neither have the intention of exploiting anyone’s resources nor are we eyeing anyone’s territory. Our focus has always been on capacity building and resource development,” the prime minister said.
The comments come in the wake of increasing border tensions in certain sectors of India’s border with China.
“India is that country which has always played a constructive role in the world arena. We have not weighed our policy towards any country on profit or loss basis, but have viewed it from the prism of human values.”
India’s model of development aid, he added, is not based on give and take, but depends on the needs and priorities of countries.
“At a time when the world is divided by ideologies, India believes in the mantra of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’,” he said.
This particular event is special as it includes the legislators and political leaders of Indian origin from different parts of the Indian diaspora. The MEA said 124 parliamentarians and 17 Mayors of Indian origin have come to attend the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
“On the one hand, you have preserved Indian culture. On the other hand, your people have excelled in sports, arts, cinema in the global platforms and have contributed to your adopted country’s welfare,” said Mr. Modi speaking in Hindi.
Mr. Modi specially mentioned the presence of former Guyanese President Bharat Jagdeo in the celebration and noted that from Mauritius to Guyana there are several Indian origin individuals who have become leaders of their countries. “We have a mini world parliament in front of us today,” Mr. Modi said.
“For enhancing our pride and dignity, you all deserve our appreciation,” he said, noting that India is experiencing aspirational and societal changes. Mr. Modi noted that a ‘irreversible change’ is sweeping India and urged leaders of Indian origin to come forward to join hands.
When concerns over extremism and radicalisation in the world are increasing, India’s message of inclusiveness can go out to the world, he told the parliamentarians.
“If there is any philosophy to counter radicalisation and extremism, it is the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and the philosophy of Indian values,” he said.
India, with its rich values and traditions, has the power to lead and guide the world dealing with instability, Modi said.
According to the prime minister, the 21st century is known as the Asian century and India has an important role to play in it.
Persons of Indian origin can take pride in the country’s increasing strength worldwide, he told the gathering.
Modi also called on Indian origin lawmakers from across the world to be partners in India’s development and act as catalysts in the country’s economic growth.
Over half the total investment into the country came in only the last three years with a record USD 60 billion of foreign direct investment (FDI) last year.
All this has happened due to far-reaching policy changes ushered in by his government, with “reform and transform” being its guiding principle, the prime minister said.
“India is changing, India is transforming. India has moved far ahead and Indian hopes are at the top and you will see the result of change in every sphere. A record USD 60 billion dollar FDI came into the country last year,” he said.
Earlier, introducing the theme of the event, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj reminded the contribution of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in starting the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas. “141 lawmakers confirmed their attendance and 134 leaders have made to this event today despite massive weather disturbance,” said Ms. Swaraj, explaining that the event will include a session which will focus on their struggle to reach the Parliament in their adopted countries. In all, 141 legislators and political leaders of Indian origin from different parts of the world are expected to attend the event.
“Gandhiji inspired people in Mauritius to get education and increase political awareness and that is why after few generations, they have achieved political leadership,” said Ms. Swaraj congratulating Indians, who are now a leading community in Mauritius. She also announced that a session in the event will focus on the role of the Indian origin leaders and explained that there will be discussion on the role of Indian-origin legislators in enhancing India’s global role.
“Second session will cover what you, the parliamentarians, are doing and will do in your countries to support the role of this emerging new India in the global platform,” Ms. Swaraj said.
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