Modi, the rock star, sells India dream to diaspora in Australia

It was a show like no other! For the thousands of Indians gathered at Sydney’s Allphones Arena on the evening of November 17 at least, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was no less than a rock star. It was evident not just in the huge presence of members of the Indian community at the cavernous arena, but also in the manner in which they hung on to every word of his and cheered him on.
If the Rolling Stones Mick Jagger rocked the iconic sports complex in Sydney just a week ago, the Indian Prime Minister had Indian expatriates virtually eating out of his hands during his six-hour stay in Sydney. A stay during which he received a traditional Aussie welcome and a boomerang as a gift.
Mr Modi, in turn, played to the gallery as he tugged at their heart strings, his speech a mix of the emotional, the practical and even the humorous. The around 20,000-strong crowd, in turn, responded by frequently breaking into chants of ‘Modi, Modi’ as the Indian leader exhorted the rapturous crowd to return to their Motherland what they had got from it.

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Modi’s Canberra visit: Continuing the momentum

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Australia for the G20 Summit in Brisbane, and will then travel to Canberra for an official bilateral visit. Modi’s visit, taking place nearly 30 years after the last Indian Prime Ministerial visit (Rajiv Gandhi in 1986), comes at a critical time for both countries – when strategic equations are being redrawn, creating new Asian security dynamics.
India and Australia are engaged today in a variety of areas. They have growing defense ties in the form of consultations and multilateral exercises, as well as a broader security and strategic relationship that covers nuclear non-proliferation and energy security, both in coal and civil nuclear, and is likely to expand to solar and wind. The congruence of interests and ideas is indeed growing. However, it is important that India-Australia relations are not entirely viewed through the bilateral prism. Instead, the relationship needs to be based on regional security considerations about which Canberra and New Delhi share similar views.

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Modi targets black money, pitches for BRICS Bank by 2016

Fourth months after his BRICS debut in Fortaleza, Brazil, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the leaders of Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa in the picturesque Australian city of Brisbane and underlined that the repatriation of black money parked abroad, that runs into billions of dollars, was “a key priority,” and linked it to security challenges facing the world.

Mr Modi, whose government has vowed to vow bring black money kept in secret bank accounts by Indians abroad a national priority, made a strong pitch for “close coordination” on the issue during an informal meeting of the five-nation BRICS leaders on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Brisbane November 15.

Building on the architecture of the BRICS Bank fleshed out in Fortaleza at the July 15 summit, the Indian leader said that BRICS should set 2016 as the target for the inauguration of the BRICS Bank.

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