GANDHINAGAR: It’s a song of India, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi knows how to chant, and enchant the captive audience of overseas Indians with his projection of India as the land of opportunity and a beacon of hope in the world.
“India awaits you with opportunities,” Mr Modi told around 4,000 overseas Indians in his inaugural speech at the 13th annual get-together of the Indian diaspora in Gujarat’s capital on January 8. “I welcome all of you and say that there are several opportunities waiting for you in India. Times have changed very quickly. The world is looking at India with hope and anticipation,” he said in eloquent Hindi.
Modi exhorted NRIs and PIOs to return to the country, and leverage their formidable talent, experience and expertise to transform India into a self-assured, powerful nation.
“From the world’s richest countries to the poorest of the lot, the whole world has its eye turned on India. They want to embrace India. They want to walk together with India,” he said to applause from the audience.
“There was a time when professionals in India went to distant lands to explore new possibilities. Now India awaits you with opportunities. I want to tell you that India is full of opportunities now,” he told the delegates.
Heaping lush tributes on variegated contribution of the Indian diaspora, he asked them to become “the driving force” for India.
“I have met more than 50 world leaders in the short span that I have been given this new responsibility. All the world leaders I met expressed a desire to partner with India. Such opportunities do not come easily in a country’s life. So it’s the responsibility of every Indian, including Pravasis to become the driving force to achieve new results for India,” he said.
He stressed that the over 25-million strong Indian community abroad was admired all around the world, not due to their wealth but the values that animate their life and careers.
The prime minister vigorously sought the support of the overseas Indian community to fructify his signature projects for national transformation, including Clean India, Clean Ganga, Skill India, Digital India and Make in India campaigns.
In what was music to the ears of overseas Indians, Mr Modi announced the merger of PIO and OIC cards, and underlined that the holders of these cards will be entitled to life-long visas without police reporting requirement.
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