Gandhinagar event of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas marks centenary of return of Mahatma, the original NRI
GN Bureau | January 8, 2015
"100 years ago, one NRI returned to India and today one non-resident Gujarati welcomes entire overseas Indian community." This is how prime minister Narendra Modi spoke on Thursday as he inaugurated the 13th edition of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
The event is being held in Gandhinagar on January 7-9 to mark the centenary of India's "sarva sreshtha pravasi Bharatiya", or foremost Indian diaspora member, Mahatma Gandhi's return to the country from South Africa. 2015 is the centenary year of the return of Mahatma Gandhi to India from South Africa on January 9, 1915. The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas has traditionally celebrated Gandhi as the original NRI.
The more the entire world gets to know about Mahatma Gandhi, it will be better. It has the strength to guide everyone: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) January 8, 2015
Modi praised the diaspora for putting India on the global map and said that they are admired all around the world for their values. "The whole world admires the Indian community not due to the money but the values they are living with," he said.
"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 the desire to partner with India... I have realised the world is looking at India," the PM said. Indian community is admired all around the world. It is not due to the money but the values the Indian community is living with, said Modi.
Modi in his address to over 4,000 delegates from 58 countries said that several opportunities await the NRIs in India and that they will be welcomed with open arms. There are 25 million people of Indian-origin residing outside India.
I welcome all of you & say that there are several opportunities waiting for you in India. Times have changed very quickly: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) January 8, 2015
"There was a time when professionals in India went to distant lands to explore new possibilities. Now India awaits you with opportunities," the PM told the NRI delegates.
Modi also highlighted the fact that PIO (person of Indian origin) and OCI (overseas citizen of India) have been merged due to which everyone will get the same benefits.
We have so much to give to the world. What is needed is the confidence in ourselves: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) January 8, 2015
The Foreign Minister of South Africa, Maite Nikoana-Mashabane is the chief guest and President of Guyana Doland Ramotar is being presented the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians and people of Indian origin.
Pravasi Divas is the world's largest annual gathering of people of Indian origin and it aims at enhancing networking and reinforcing commercial linkages.