India-Israel connect: Modi mesmerises Indian Jews in Tel Aviv

India-Israel connect: Modi mesmerises Indian Jews in Tel Aviv

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The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, on Wednesday addressed the Indian Community in Israel, at a function in Tel Aviv.
He began by noting that this was the first time that an Indian Prime Minister had come to Israel, and it had taken a long period of 70 years after independence.
He thanked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the warm welcome and respect accorded to him throughout his visit.
He said that though diplomatic relations between the two countries are only 25 years old, yet ties between India and Israel go back several centuries. He said that he has been told that in the 13th century, the Indian Sufi Saint Baba Farid had come to Jerusalem, and meditated in a cave.
The Prime Minister described the relationship between India and Israel as one of traditions, culture, trust and friendship. He noted the similarity in festivals between India and Israel. In this context, he mentioned Holi and Purim; and Diwali and Hanukkah.

Sheikh Hasina in India: Bangabandhu bonding and Unfinished Memoirs

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Bangladesh’s Liberation War and Bangabandu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman loomed large as the prime ministers of India and Bangladesh held their official engagements and appeared together at a function to honour the Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives for an independent Bangladesh.
After holding talks, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi jointly released the Hindi translation of Bangabandhu’s book “Unfinished Memoirs” at the Hyderabad House, with the Indian leader saying that Bangabandhu’s “life, struggle and contribution to the creation of Bangladesh will continue to inspire future generations.” The two leaders then pressed a remote control to unveil the plaque containing the new name of a prominent street in the heart of New Delhi — from Park Street to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Street.
In his joint appearance before the media with Mrs Hasina, Mr Modi termed Bangabandhu “a dear friend of India and a towering leader” and said the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujiur Rahman Street is dedicated to the friendship between India and Bangladesh.
“As a mark of our respect and deep admiration for the father of Bangladesh, a prominent road in our capital city has been named after him,” Mr Modi said.

Modi targets worshippers of black money, seeks Indian diaspora’s support

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Exhorting the Indian diaspora to play a more proactive role in transforming India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought their support in his battle against corruption and black money as he launched a frontal assault against the “worshippers” of black money.
The biennial convention of the well-heeled Indian diaspora in India’s IT hub Bangalore on January 8 saw a spirited address by Mr Modi in which he robustly defended his controversial move of demonetisation and unveiled his plans for national resurgence.
“It is unfortunate that some political worshippers (rajnaitik poojari) of black money are calling our efforts anti-people,” he said in his address at the 14th edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD).
“…You might have noticed and heard that we have taken up a big fight against black money. Black money and corruption are making our polity, society and administration hollow gradually,” he said while he thanked the overseas Indian community for their support.
Engaging the over 30 million-strong Indian diaspora has acquired an added salience in the foreign policy and development agenda of the Modi government, which is underpinned by his belief in converting brain drain into brain gain.

Why PM’s Modi visit to Vietnam matters & Why China will be watching

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With China closely watching amid the ongoing ferment in the South China Sea, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will head to Vietnam, the first stop of his extended overseas trip which will impart a greater strategic traction to India’s Act East policy at the dual ASEAN and EAS summits in Laos.
The importance of Mr Modi’s maiden visit to Vietnam, an emerging ASEAN economy and a crucial plank in the maritime stability in the region, can’t be overstated. Over the years, Vietnam has morphed into a trusted strategy ally of India due to a host of reasons, with China’s assertive posturing in South China Sea driving the two countries in a closer embrace.
PM Modi’s visit to Vietnam will put the spotlight on an intersection of India’s Act East Policy and Hanoi’s Act West Policy as they deepen their military and economic partnership. Building upon the ongoing transformation of the defence relationship, one can expect India to play a bigger role in Vietnam’s military modernisation. In the military sphere, there is a convergence of interests and a demand-supply fit which will ensure that the relationship keeps growing.
Moving beyond merely strategic calculations, what imparts an emotional resonance to India-Vietnam relations is deeply felt solidarity and connections of heart and mind, as exemplified in spiritual linkages of Buddhism and the enduring popularity of Indian films among the Vietnamese people. Instead of getting lost in a strategic maze, the two countries are rightfully focusing on enhancing people-to-people bonds through travel, tourism and cultural contacts.
Taking strategy is no excuse for not seeing the country with your own eyes. It’s time to open the unusual door, see more and open new vistas in this mutually invigorating partnership. Read more…

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