Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Hailing Indian youth studying, working and travelling abroad, Union external affairs minister, S Jaishankar, said that the younger generation is at the forefront of connecting India with the world.
He was speaking at the inaugural session of the three-day 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), which got off to a rollicking start on Sunday, as Indories opened their hearts and hearth to the overseas Indian guests. The first day was dedicated to the youth and was christened Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
“We strive to create a better workplace, a more secure travelling experience and a non-discriminatory approach… We endeavour to maximise our support to the Indian diaspora. We aim to focus on redressing grievances through online mechanisms. I am confident that Indian youth at home and abroad will propel the growth of this country to greater heights,” he said
The packed hall at Brilliant Convention Centre heard Jaishankar with rapt attention, as did Australian MP Zaneta Mascarenhas, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union minister of sports and youth affairs Anurag Thakur and minister of state for home affairs Nisith Pramanik, who shared the dais.
The theme of this edition is ‘Diaspora: Reliable partners for India’s progress in Amrit Kaal.’
Jaishankar recalled the utterance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the PBD convention held in Bengaluru in 2017. “The PM had said that Hamara to Khoon ka Rishta hai, Passport ka Rishta Nahi. This one phrase, I think, captures the entire complexity of a relationship we have today with 34 million People of Indian Origin and NRIs abroad,” he said.
He added, “The relationship was very much evident amid the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. We recognised the tremendous response that we got from PIOs (during that crisis).”
Jaishankar noted that the identity of a diaspora is derived from how closely it is connected to its roots.
“Our efforts have been to encourage easier exposure (for the diaspora) to the Indian culture and traditions. Many of our embassies offer yoga, dance and music classes and we have asked them to support and facilitate community functions and collective activities," he said.
He added, "It is a matter of pride for us that centres of faith are growing abroad. They serve the purpose of inculcating values, promoting culture and nurturing traditions”.
“India is changing in front of our eyes in an unprecedented manner. Today, India has the largest diaspora in the world and most will say the most talented one,” he went on to add.
Indians the fastest-growing diaspora in Aus: Mascarenhas
Australian MP Zaneta Mascarenhas said, “Indian community is the fastest-growing diaspora in Australia. PM Anthony Albanese is looking forward to visiting India later this year. Indian diaspora seeks to do great things in the world.”
Hailing India’s diversity, she stated that the Indian diaspora combines two cultures to create a third culture with the best of both worlds.
Mascarenhas said that the Australia-India relationship has never been this close.
Indians have achieved great feats abroad
Chief Minister Chouhan said, “Indians from the engineering and technology sectors have achieved greater feats abroad. Many Indians now play a crucial role in major multinational companies in the world. Now, India is taking greater strides in development.”
Chouhan said that the UN was formed after the Second World War, but Indian seers had given the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam centuries ago. When the world was troubled during the Corona period, Indians started start-ups and converted them into Unicorns.
India is 1/6th of humanity: Thakur
Thakur said that India is 1/6th of humanity. “Indian-origin people have shown pragmatism in foreign lands. India diaspora youth have some unique qualities. Even as they climb up the professional ladder in the countries of their domicile and pursue their dream and embrace their new country, ‘Indianness’ beats in their hearts,” said Thakur.
He stated the Indian diaspora’s spirit is unparalleled and unflinching. Their achievements are tales of triumphs against the odds in a foreign land.”
Indori street food finds mentions
From Jaishankar to Thakur, Chouhan to Mascarenhas all the speakers spoke about Indori street food from the dais. While Thakur stated that the visit of NRIs will be incomplete if they do not visit Sarafa between 10 pm to 2 am and relish the dishes there, Chouhan suggested that they should go to Chhapan Dukan as well. Jaishankar stated that he hadn’t visited Sarafa but went to Chhapan Dukan. He also suggested that the NRIs go to these street food markets. Mascarenhas too talked about Indori street food.
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