Success of Indian diaspora due to Indian values of assimilation and inclusivity, says Vice President

Hindustani78

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Vice President's Secretariat
09-January, 2018 19:13 IST

Success of Indian diaspora due to Indian values of assimilation and inclusivity, says Vice President of India

Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu asserts Indian nationalism is about taking pride in upholding such values;
says occasional aberrations do not dent the core Indian values


Biggest challenge to world order is terrorism; it has no basis in any religion: VPI

The Vice President of India, Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu has asserted that the success of the Indian diaspora in different parts of the world is a clear reflection of the strength of the Indian values of assimilation and inclusivity. Shri Naidu said so in his Key Note address at the Valedictory Session of the first ever PIO-Parliamentarians Conference held here today.

Lauding the success of the over three crore Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) across the world, Shri Venkaiah Naidu said, “The presence of such a large number of elected representatives of Indian origin in legislatures of such a large number of countries from across the world goes beyond the symbolism of the expanding horizons of the influence of India in the global scheme of things. In my considered view, it is a clear reflection of the strength of the Indian values of inclusivity and assimilation, nurtured and consolidated over the centuries since ancient times”.

Shri Naidu further said, “This land of ours had assimilated in its fold over the centuries a large variety of people who came here for a variety of reasons including for learning, commerce and trade, religious propagation and even invaders. Every such encounter had further enriched the syncretic nature of our traditional values and ethos. The inhabitants of the motherland of India and those who have roots here can be genuinely proud of such time-tested values which constitute the principle of unity of mankind”.

Elaborating further, the Vice President noted, “When we talk of Indian Nationalism, we refer to the pride that is associated with such inclusive humanism, which is native to this land. Some deviant words and deeds of some misguided persons can in no way dent the quality and strength of the core values of our motherland”.

Shri Naidu asserted that while the citizens take pride in the spirit of Indian nationalism that unites the people of different social and religious hues cohabiting in the country, Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) imbibe and uphold the ethos and values of those countries which again is a manifestation of the spirit of ‘assimilation’ which is at the heart of core Indian values.

Shri Naidu said the biggest challenge to world order today is terrorism and we must build a global consensus to fight the menace. “All of us must recognise terrorism as a threat to humanity and take concerted action to curb it. Unfortunately, some people are clothing terror in the garb of religion but, in fact, terrorism has no basis in any religion of the world,” he said.

The Vice President said the Indian diaspora, which is the second largest such community in the world has contributed enormously to strengthening India’s cultural, literary, political and economic bonds across the world. He urged them to contribute in an appropriate manner to the ongoing efforts to build a New India. He referred to the story of a little squirrel contributing its bit to the making of a bridge across the sea for Rama to reach Lanka.


Following is the text of the Vice President’s address:



“It gives me immense pleasure to be present here amidst you on this historical occasion of the First PIO-Parliamentary Conference. This is also a special occasion to pay high respects to our ancestors, remember their sacrifices, acknowledge their struggle and celebrate successes and achievements of their descendants. We commemorated the 100 years of abolition of indentured labour last year so that the history of suffering and cruelty will not be repeated again.

As you know, country of your ancestral roots is the largest democracy in the world. It gives us a wonderful feeling that PIO-law makers across the continents are here today with us.

India has the second largest diaspora in the world estimated at over 31 million (3.1 crore) spread across the globe whose ancestral roots can be traced to traders, indentured labourers, political deportees, business entrepreneurs among others. Far away from their homes, our Girmitiya brothers and sisters underwent a prolonged period of trial and tribulations, indignities and physical and mental sufferings. Long journeys in ships were extremely difficult and painful. Despite all these suffering and challenges, the evolution of diaspora is remarkable.

Today, there is not a patch of foreign land which is not inhabited by Indians and glows with traces and influence of our multi-layered culture. We are proud of our rich Diaspora, spread over many countries and across continents, who stand out for their innate ability to assimilate and yet maintain their distinct identity.

Overseas Indians are not just content with tried and tested professions and vocations; many of them have successfully carved a career in politics, government, and diplomacy. In many countries, such as Mauritius, Fiji, Trinidad & Tobago and Portugal, PIOs have become heads of state and government. This year, to mark the return of Mahatma Gandhiji, the greatest Pravasi on the earth, to India in 1915, we are celebrating the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas with the PIO Members of Parliament and Mayors from around 23 countries, and I warmly welcome you and thank you for finding time to be here with us.

Hon’ble Members of Parliament and Mayors, you are from different countries and regions and may be professing different professions in addition to your political career, but there is one vital spiritual bond that unites you – it is the sense of organic connection to this ancestral land, the deep-rooted sense of Indian-ness that is civilizational and predates nation states.

The essence of Indianness is, in my view, the global vision, the holistic vision and harmonious vision. We have believed that the whole world is one family. We believe that life has to be viewed as an integrated whole. We believe that harmony and peace are at the heart of sustainable development. It is this unique world view we have collectively inherited. It is this world view that has inspired all Indians over the last two thousand years. This is the message which is probably more relevant than ever in today’s world.

We must combat the disruptive forces of terrorism that are impeding development. All of us must recognise terrorism as a threat to humanity and take concerted action to curb it. Unfortunately, some people are clothing terror in the garb of religion but, in fact, terrorism has no basis in any religion of the world. I urge each of our countries and the United Nations to build a global consensus against terror in all its forms so that we can focus our energies and resources on the welfare of our peoples.

The presence of such a large number of elected representatives of Indian origin in legislatures of such a large number of countries from across the world goes beyond the symbolism of the expanding horizons of the influence of India in the global scheme of things. In my considered view, it is a clear reflection of the strength of the Indian values of inclusivity and assimilation, nurtured and consolidated over the centuries since ancient times.

This land of ours had assimilated in its fold over the centuries, a large variety of people who came here for a variety of reasons including for learning, commerce and trade, religious propagation and even invaders. Every such encounter had further enriched the syncretic nature of our traditional values and ethos. The inhabitants of the motherland of India and those who have their roots here can be genuinely proud of such time tested values which constitute the principle of unity of mankind.

When we talk of Indian Nationalism, we refer to the pride that is associated with such inclusive humanism, which is native to this land. Some deviant words and deeds of some misguided persons can in no way dent the quality and strength of the core values of our motherland.

While we take pride in our spirit of nationalism, that unites the people of different social and religious hues cohabiting on our mother land, Persons of Indian origin living in a large number of other countries, imbibe and uphold the ethos and values of those countries. This is yet another clear manifestation of the spirit of ‘assimilation’ which is at the heart of our core human values. This first conference of Persons of Indian Origin Parliamentarians is a certain celebration of this spirit of assimilation which is the bed rock of Indian values. It is because of this spirit of assimilation that all of you have been able to get accepted in the countries of your adoption and could rise to the level of being the law makers for the people with whom you chose to live. I heartily congratulate all of you for keeping the flag of Indian values fly high all across the globe.

The Indian diaspora has contributed enormously to strengthening India’s cultural, literary, political and economic bonds across the world. India sees in you an important bridge with the countries where you are living. You are also instrumental in building the people to people ties.

Friends, I am happy to know that in recognition of Diaspora’s contribution to the development of India and to connect young diaspora to their ancestral roots, several flagship programmes have been taken by Government of India. Foremost among them are Know India Programme, Bharat Ko Janiye Quiz and Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children.

I also feel happy to share with you that in the face of hostile conditions, Government of India successfully evacuated from war-torn countries over 90,000 overseas Indian nationals, including foreign nationals from nearly 45 countries under operations Rahat and Sankat Mochan. It reassured the overseas Indian community that wherever they may be, if they face problem, the Indian government is there for them.

I congratulate External Affairs Minister and her team on such rescue operations undertaken successfully by Government of India for the safety of overseas Indian nationals.

Friends, there were different forces of history and circumstances that forced and prompted our people to leave India and settle abroad. The time and the world have since changed. Today, the role and stature of India, has been growing and our nation has been scaling up in the ladder of the Comity of Nations. Resurgent India is a power – economic and military- to reckon with internationally. India is a land of opportunity today.

Government of India has taken a series of steps towards economic reforms and to improve the business environment. The jump in India’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report, from 142 to 100, in three years, is a result of this. There are many flagship programs launched by Government of India where diaspora can actively participate and be an integral part of growth story of India. There are some amongst you who would like to contribute in business and investments. Others may feel more comfortable supporting through contributions made to Swachh Bharat, Namami Gange and other flagship programmes. Some others may feel motivated to spare their valuable time and effort in volunteering in India, helping the under-privileged or contributing to capacity building programs in various sectors.

There are many and diverse opportunities for contributing to your motherland and being a part of its exciting growth story. Be it “Make in India”, “Start up India”, “Digital India” or “Swachh India”; all these programs provide ample opportunities for you to participate, contribute and benefit.

We have a story of squirrel in Ramayana. when the whole army of the Sugriva was busy making a bridge over the sea to reach Lanka, then a small squirrel in the field watched the whole scene. It thought that it should also contribute towards the construction of the bridge. But there were obstacles. The squirrel was too small even to carry little quantities of sand or stone. An idea stuck to its mind. It went to the sea and had a dip. Came back to the sand and rolled over. Again with the sand all over its body, went back to the sea and had dip. The squirrel tirelessly continued its work till the construction of the bridge was completed.

So, it was an idea and sense of duty that dawned on the Squirrel, which became an agent of change. Friends, we want your ideas, best practices, richness of your experience and expertise to shape the contours of New resurgent global India.

Friends, I am confident that your participation in this Conference has contributed in strengthening your attachment with your place of domicile and your connect with the land of your ancestors.

The themes deliberated upon today held during the course of the day are timely, relevant and inspiring.

With this, I take this opportunity to congratulate the External Affairs Minister for her initiative in successfully hosting the first PIO –Parliamentary Conference and wish you all a happy, healthy, prosperous and enriching New Year. I also wish you a safe journey back to your respective countries.

शुभास्ते पंथान: सन्तु !

May your paths be auspicious,

and may 2018 bring happiness in your life.

Let me end with a quotation, a prayer for peace from our ancient scriptures, a prayer that probably can inspire each one of us to make our planet a better place to live in.

“May we hear with our ears what is good,

May we see with our eyes what is beautiful,

May we dedicate our lives to promote goodness, with strong bodies and steady minds.”

****


Prime Minister's Office
9 -January, 2018 13:31 IST
PM addresses inaugural session of PIO-Parliamentarian Conference


The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today addressed the inaugural session of the PIO-Parliamentarian Conference in New Delhi.

Welcoming the delegates to the Conference, the Prime Minister said that while many people may have left India over the course of hundreds of years, India continues to have a place in their minds and hearts. He said it is not surprising that people of Indian origin have integrated themselves fully with their adopted lands. He added that while they kept the Indian-ness alive in themselves, they also imbibed the language, food, and dress of those countries.

The Prime Minister said that it appears as if a Mini World Parliament of Indian origin is gathered in Delhi today. He noted that persons of Indian origin are today Prime Ministers of Mauritius, Portugal and Ireland. He added that persons of Indian origin have also been Heads of State and Heads of Government in many other countries.

The Prime Minister said that the global impression about India has changed over the last three to four years. He said the reason for this is that India is transforming itself. He said the hopes and aspirations of India are at an all time high. He said signs of irreversible change are visible in every sector.

The Prime Minister said that PIOs are like permanent ambassadors of India, wherever they reside, and he always attempts to meet them when he is travelling abroad.

The Prime Minister praised External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for continuously keeping an eye on issues being faced by Indian citizens abroad. In this context, he mentioned the "MADAD" portal for real time monitoring and response of consular grievances.

The Prime Minister said that the Government believes that NRIs are partners for India's development. He said that NRIs have an important position in the Action Agenda till 2020, drafted by the NITI Aayog.

The Prime Minister said that the values of Indian civilization and culture can provide guidance to the entire world, in an era of instability.

The Prime Minister said that India has very close ties with ASEAN countries, which will be showcased during Republic Day, a few days from now.



*****
 

Hindustani78

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Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs
9 -January, 2018 17:30 IST
1st PIO-Parliamentarian Conference held in New Delhi

Shri Ananthkumar calls the Conference a mini World Parliament of People of Indian origin, an ideal platform for PIOs to partner in the development of India

The 1st PIO-Parliamentarian Conference was inaugurated by Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi here today. Welcoming the delegates to the Conference, the Prime Minister said that while many people may have left India over the course of hundreds of years, India continues to have a place in their minds and hearts. The Prime Minister said that PIOs (Persons of India Origin) are like permanent ambassadors of India and partners for India's development, who have an important position in the Action Agenda till 2020, drafted by the NITI Aayog.

Addressing the 2nd Plenary Session on ‘Resurgent India-Role of PIO Parliamentarians’, Shri Ananthkumar, Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs said that, “I am honoured to be here on the momentous occasion of the 1st PIO-Parliamentarian Conference and extend a warm welcome to all of you.”

At the outset, the Minister congratulated Union Minister for External Affairs (MEA), Smt. Sushma Swaraj for hosting this important and historic conference, where a Rainbow of Parliamentarians of Indian Origin from over 20 Democracies of the World gathered to share Parliamentary best practices and mutually enrich each other with their experiences.

Shri Ananthkumar stated that under the dynamic leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, India and the Indian Diaspora has found greater recognition and popularity among the Comity of Nations. This is evident from the unprecedented response received by the Prime Minister in every country that he has visited. Occasions such as this conference provide us with an opportunity to further strengthen and diversify our engagement with diaspora, the Minister added.

Elaborating the contributions of PIOs in different countries around the world, Shri Ananthkumar said that people of Indian origin have contributed considerably to the economy and social upliftment of the countries in which they lived. The Minister conveyed his sincere appreciation at how languages like Hindi, Bhojpuri, folklore such as Ramayana, literature from India, traditional cuisine etc. have not only survived but are flourishing in these countries. This was possible and achieved only because Indian migrants in these countries were determined to preserve their traditions, norms and customs. “All of you here are members of our extended family and bound by ties of history, emotional attachment, cultural affinities and kinship”, the Minister added.

Shri Ananthkumar called the gathering as a mini World Parliament of People of Indian origin. He congratulated the External Affairs Minister for laying a strong platform today by organizing todays summit on PIO Parliamentarians. Further, he stated that PIOs have achieved great heights in Politics and Governance in various countries and also become Heads of State which is a matter of great pride and happiness for 1.25 billion Indians here.

The Minister invited the august gathering of PIOs to partner in the development of their Motherland India. Flagship schemes of Government of India such as Skill India, Start up India, Stand up India, Make in India etc. provide a great opportunity for PIOs to partner in India’s resurgence as a global power, Shri Ananthkumar stated

The session also witnessed distinguished PIO Parliamentarians placing their experiences before the gathering and how they are still very much connected to their roots in India through the Principles of Peace and Harmony that they have imbibed from their ancestors. Other dignitaries who addressed the gathering included Shri M. Thambidurai, Deputy Speaker Lok Sabha and Shri D.K. Mulay, Secretary MEA.



*****

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi at the First PIO Parliamentarian Conference, in New Delhi on January 09, 2018.


The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi lighting the lamp at the First PIO Parliamentarian Conference, in New Delhi on January 09, 2018. The Union Minister for External Affairs, Smt. Sushma Swaraj and other dignitaries are also seen.


The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi at the First PIO Parliamentarian Conference, in New Delhi on January 09, 2018. The Union Minister for External Affairs, Smt. Sushma Swaraj, the Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri M.J. Akbar and other dignitaries are also seen.


The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressing the First PIO Parliamentarian Conference, in New Delhi on January 09, 2018.


The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressing the First PIO Parliamentarian Conference, in New Delhi on January 09, 2018.


The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressing the First PIO Parliamentarian Conference, in New Delhi on January 09, 2018.


The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressing the First PIO Parliamentarian Conference, in New Delhi on January 09, 2018.
 
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Hindustani78

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The Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Ananth Kumar addressing the First PIO Parliamentarian Conference, in New Delhi on January 09, 2018.


The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu at the Valedictory Session of the First PIO Parliamentarian Conference, in New Delhi on January 09, 2018. The Union Minister for External Affairs, Smt. Sushma Swaraj and the Minister of State for External Affairs, General (Retd.) V.K. Singh are also seen.


The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu at the Valedictory Session of the First PIO Parliamentarian Conference, in New Delhi on January 09, 2018. The Union Minister for External Affairs, Smt. Sushma Swaraj, the Ministers of State for External Affairs, General (Retd.) V.K. Singh and Shri M.J. Akbar are also seen.


M The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu addressing the Valedictory Session of the First PIO Parliamentarian Conference, in New Delhi on January 09, 2018.


M The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu addressing the Valedictory Session of the First PIO Parliamentarian Conference, in New Delhi on January 09, 2018.
 
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Hindustani78

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The President, Shri Ram Nath Kovind addressing at the inauguration of the International Conference of PIO Parliamentarians, organised by Antar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad - Bharat in association with the PIO Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of External Affairs, in New Delhi on January 10, 2018. The Minister of State for Finance, Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla and other dignitaries are also seen.
 

Hindustani78

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President's Secretariat
10-January, 2018 11:37 IST
President of India inaugurates international conference of PIO Parliamentarians

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the International Conference of PIO Parliamentarians, being organised by Antar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad - Bharat in association with the PIO Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, in New Delhi today (January 10, 2018).

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the Indian diaspora has climbed to appreciable heights in almost all the countries where it has found a home. It has contributed to the well-being of that country and of that society – enriching the economyand adding to intellectual wealth and local culture. Members of the Indian diaspora work hard on farms in countries as far apart as Italy, Bolivia and Tanzania. They are instrumental to the tech start-up ecosystem of Silicon Valley. They form the backbone of the economy of Dubai and other major business cities in the Gulf region. The global financial centres of New York, London and Singapore would simply not be the same without the Indian diaspora.

The President said that as a country, we are very proud of what our Pravasi Bharatiya brothers and sisters have done. They have embellished the identity of India and of the Indian people all over the world. They have also remained true to Indian culture and retained a strong and commendable bond with their roots, even when living thousands of miles away. If Indian cuisine and Indian films have a global market today, it is because the diaspora has taken them to distant lands.

The President said that for the Government of India, engagement with PIO parliamentarians – or indeed with the wider Indian diaspora community – is not a transactional relationship or a zero-sum game. Rather, we look upon the community and look upon PIO parliamentarians and elected and public representatives as a living bridge. They have a role in enhancing understanding between their countries and the country of their parents and ancestors. And in helping build economic, people-to-people and strategic connections that will be of benefit to both countries and to all of us.

The President said that as PIO parliamentarians, as those in public life in their systems who have the best understanding of India, it is important for them to link their individual country’s priorities to India’s development. And to see how these can intersect.

***
 

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