By Abdul hafiz lakhani
Our Correspondent, Ahmedabad
Speaking at the inauguration of the 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the world’s largest annual gathering of people of Indian-origin Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphatically said the world is keen to embrace India and gave as example how the UN had accepted and also passed his proposal of having an international yoga day.He said diaspora members living in far away countries feel they would not be able to contribute in any meaningful manner to their motherland.
Following are the glimpses of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s speech at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas inauguration function at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar today:
100 years ago Mahatma Gandhi arrived on this land as Pravasi Bharatiya, and now after 100 years today a Pravasi Gujarati is welcoming Pravasi Bharatiya people.
100 years back Indians went abroad seeking opportunities. Come back, India has opportunities waiting for you.
For the first time I went to the United Nations and spoke on behalf of India and in the course of my speech I said that while UN celebrates various kinds of days, why not ‘Yoga day’? There are 193 countries as member of UN. Of them 170 nations supported this move. This is a record break support to any proposal. None has been supported in such strength. Over 40 Muslim nations supported this proposal. Generally such proposal would pass in about two years, but this one took hardly 100 days. This is a small example of how the world is eager to accept us.
I received a press cutting from Gujarat. It was about NRI from Surat district who used to visit his village every year and stay there for a few days. He would take broom in his hand and clean the village. Earlier, villagers would think he has gone mad and make fun of him. But this time when he arrived and did the same, he was joined by entire village. And a press cutting featuring this story was sent to me. There could be many more examples like this.
Young teams of NRIs settled abroad should initiate an online quiz competition on ‘Bharat ko jano’ theme. Winners could be felicitated once every year on the occasion of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas function.
Modi then recounted that a friend had sent him a newspaper cutting about the news of an NRI from Surat, Gujarat, who would visit his village every year and stay for 15 days.
“The gentleman would take the jharu (broom) and clean all the rubbish and the people would make fun of him thinking he is mentally offa But this time when he came, and took up the broom as usual as soon as he landed, he was joined by others in the village,” said Modi in apparent reference to the “Swachch Bharat” or Clean India mission launched by his government.
He said this was an example of how a person with commitment can change his village and said there would be many diaspora members like him contributing to their motherland.
Modi also recounted how his proposal during his speech at the UN last year of instituting an international yoga day has been passed in record time and with record number of member countries supporting the proposal, including over 40 Muslim countries.
He said of 193 member countries 177 as co-sponsors supported it, which he added was a record.
He also said that generally a proposal takes two years to fructify but with his proposal took around 100 days to pass.
“The world is keen to embrace India and this is a small example,” he said and added that the people of India need to believe in their potential.
He also recounted how a young NRI Muslim woman who visited Kutch during the 2002 quake in Gujarat stayed on for months and worked among the people to help in the rehabilitation efforts
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated ‘Dandi Kutir’ museum in salt mound at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar. Modi took a round of each section of the newly inaugurated permanent museum. He was accompanied by state Chief Minister and Ministers Nitin Patel and Saurabh Patel among others.
Modi watched a short film after entering the salt mound and reached top floor in lift from where he started visiting different sections from top to ground floor.
Singer Parshottam Upadhyay and group gave performance and presented Gandhian songs throughout the visit of Modi. P M Modi, at the end of his visit penned down his opinion.