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

modi-pbdExhorting 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.

Mr Modi was all praise for the “invaluable contribution” made by the Indian community to the Indian economy by investing about $69 billion. “For me, FDI has two definitions — one is ‘Foreign Direct Investment’ and the other is ‘First Develop India,” he said. “I can say with full confidence that 21st century belong to India,” he underlined.

Portugal’s Indian-origin Prime Minister Antonio Costa is the chief guest at the PBD, which has brought around 6,000 overseas Indians to the country’s IT capital for the diaspora convention.

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. In this context, Mr Modi unveiled a skill development programme ‘Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojna’ for the Indian youth seeking employment abroad.


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