PM Modi hails contribution of Indian diaspora for closer India-Australia ties

New Delhi/Sydney: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that India-Australia ties are marked by mutual trust and mutual respect, which is not due only to diplomatic relations, and the real reason and real power behind the close ties is the Indian diaspora.

Addressing an ecstatic 20,000-strong Indian community event at the Qudos Arena at Sydney Olympic Park, alongside Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, PM Modi said:

“When I came here in 2014, I made a promise to you that you will not have to wait for 28 years for an Indian Prime Minister to come again. So, here I am in Sydney once again,” to loud cheering from the crowd.

On the close bilateral ties, he said:

“Once upon a time, India-Australia relations were defined by the 3Cs – of Commonwealth, Cricket and Curry.”

“After this, some said it is defined by 3Ds – of Democracy, Diaspora and Dosti.”

He said that now some say the relations is being by 3Es- Energy, Economy and Education.

“But the truth is that the actual depth of the relations between our two nations transcends these C, D, E….”

“The basis of historic ties between India and Australia is mutual trust and mutual respect.”

He said that this has developed not just due to the diplomatic relations. “The real reason, the real power is – all of you Indians who live in Australia,” he said, to loud chants of “Mod, Modi”.

“Cricket is something which has kept us connected for ages…and now tennis and movies form other connecting bridges… Our lifestyles may be different but now Yoga also connects us. We have been connected due to cricket for a long time. But now, tennis and films are also connecting us. We might prepare food in different manners but Masterchef is connecting us now,” Modi said amid thundering applause and cheering.

He hailed the cricketing ties between India and Australia and said that millions of Indians were saddened when Australia spin bowler Shane Warne passed away.

“When the great Shane Warne passed away last year, then along with Australia, each and every Indian also mourned,” he said.

He also pushed for strengthening the ties between the two countries. He said, “There are many direct flights between India and Australia… their numbers would further be increased in the coming days.”

He said that both countries have taken steps towards authorising each other’s educational degrees, which would help students.

He also said that the Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement will ease travel and work in Australia for India’s skilled professionals.

PM Modi also announced that India will open a new consulate in Brisbane soon. “This is fulfilling the long-standing demand of the Indian community in Brisbane,” he added.

On India’s economic standing, he said:

“Today, the IMF considers India a bright spot in the global economy. The World Bank believes that if anyone is challenging global headwinds, it is India. The banking systems in several countries are in trouble today but on the other hand, the strength of India’s banks is being appreciated everywhere.”

He said amid the global crisis India made record exports last year. “Today, our Forex reserve is scaling new heights.”

“India has no dearth of capability or resources. Today, India is the biggest and youngest talent factory,” PM Modi said.

He also asserted India’s position in the world as the “force of global good.”

“India is always ready to help others whenever there is a disaster,” he said.

The Prime Minister thanked his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese for the renaming of Harris Park as “Little India”.

PM Modi also mentioned Sameer Pandey as being elected the Lord Mayor of Parramatta.

In a tweet, the PM said on his address: “An absolute delight connecting with the Indian diaspora at the community programme in Sydney!”

Australian PM Anthony Albanese called PM Modi the “boss”, after seeing the massive adulation from the Indian diaspora.

“The last time I saw someone on this stage was Bruce Springsteen and he didn’t get the welcome that Prime Minister Modi has got. Prime Minister Modi is the boss,” the Australian PM said to loud cheering from the crowd. PM Modi and EAM S Jaishankar and other dignitaries were seeing smiling and laughing at this statement.

Earlier, to chants of “Modi! Modi!” PM Albanese introduced his “dear friend” PM Modi to the crowd. PM Albanese also praised the Indian diaspora for making Australia “stronger and more inclusive”.

PM Albanese said PM Modi gets a “rock star reception” wherever he goes.

“When I was in India in March, it was a trip full of unforgettable moments, celebrating Holi in Gujarat, laying a wreath for Mahatma Gandhi in Delhi… Everywhere I went, I felt a deep connection between the people of Australia and India. If you want to understand India, travel by train and bus,” he said.

PM Albanese also pitched for greater cooperation between India and Australia.


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