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Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modiji, the inspiration and moving spirit behind Pravasi Bharat Divas Convention 2017

Prime Minister of Portugal and the Chief Guest for Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas Convention 2017, H.E. Dr. Antonio Costa,

Vice President of Suriname, HE Mr. Michael Ashwin Adhin,

Minister from Malaysia, Dato Seri Utama S. SamyVellu,

Special Envoy to India and South Asia for Infrastructure and 

Datuk Seri Dr. S Subramaniyam,

Minister of Health, Minister for Arts and Culture and Social Integration & Economic Empowerment of Mauritius, Mr.Prithvirajsing Roopun,

Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri Siddaramaiahji,

Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen. V.K. Singhji, Minister for large & medium scale industries Sri R V Deshpande ji, Government of Karnataka, Distinguished overseas Indian and other delegates

  • Ladies & Gentlemen,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

    1. ನಿಮ್ಮೆಲ್ಲರಿಗೂ ಈ ಶುಭ ದಿನದ ಮುಂಜಾನೆಯ ಶುಭಾಶಯಗಳು . ಜಯ ಭಾರತ ಜನನಿಯ ತನುಜಾತೆ ಜಯ ಹೇ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಮಾತೆ  ಎಂದು ನಮ್ಮ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರಕವಿ ಕುವೆಂಪು ಅವರು ಹೇಳಿದಂತೆ ಇಂದು ನಾನು ಬಹಳ ಸಂತೋಷದಿಂದ ನಮ್ಮ ಕನ್ನಡ ನಾಡಿಗೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಎಲ್ಲ ಸಹೋದರ ಸಹೋದರಿಯರಿಗೆ ಸ್ವಾಗತವನ್ನು ಬಯಸುತ್ತೇನೆ 

    My senior colleague Smt Sushma Swaraj whose diligence and commitment under the guidance of Hon’ble PM Modiji has made this PBD 2017 possible.

    2. It is my honour to welcome you to the inauguration of 14thPravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention but the first one in Bengaluru, built by Nadaprabhu Kempegowda a visionary king, known as Silicon Valley of east and a crucible of moon mission Chandrayaan and mars mission  Mangalayaan  thanks to ISRO.

    Today, we commemorate the return of Mahatma Gandhi, our greatest Pravasi to India in 1914. It is the experiences which he gained as a Pravasi, in distant shores which transformed ‘Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’ to ‘Mahatma Gandhi’.

    3. The Indian Diaspora symbolizes a journey, a journey in search of knowledge, adventure, well-being and of better opportunities. It is more importantly a journey within- a journey to find oneself. The sages and monks, the seafarers and explorers, the traders, the Girmitiyas of yesteryears; and the students, the skilled and semi-skilled professionals on the move in modern times, all represent the Indian Diaspora which migrated globally through centuries.

    4. We have the pleasure of welcoming Prime Minister of Portugal, His Excellency Dr. Antonio Costa, the Chief Guest of this Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention. India and Portugal are connected by a shared history, culture, language and people-to-people ties. I am confident that under his able leadership, India-Portugal partnership will acquire momentum and depth. We welcome you to Bengaluru, India and wish you a memorable and productive visit.

    5. H.E. Mr. Michael Ashwin Adhin, Vice President of Suriname who is with us today epitomises the power of youth. He was also our Special Guest at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas yesterday. I take this opportunity to welcome him.   

    6.  I also take this opportunity to welcome Ministers from Malaysia Dato Seri Utama S. Samy Vellu, Special Envoy to India and South Asia for Infrastructure and  Datuk Seri Dr. S Subramaniyam, Minister of Health. We celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations between India and Malaysia this year.

    7. Let me also extend a warm welcome to Mr. Prithvirajsing Roopun, Minister for Arts and Culture and Social Integration & Economic Empowerment from Mauritius. Mahatma Gandhi made a brief stopover in Mauritius on his way from South Africa to India. The National Day of Mauritius is celebrated on March 12, the date of launch of Dandi Salt March. We value our deep friendship.

    8. I also have the pleasure of welcoming the Chief Ministers of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Puducherry, who are present here today and hope that the platform of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention provides them an excellent opportunity to reconnect with their Diasporas.

    9. Friends, when we decided two years ago to redefine our engagement with the Indian Diaspora, and make it continuous, broad-based and sustained, it was to chart a new beginning.  Our Prime Minister, whom we are privileged to have amongst us, has made a conscious decision to make engagement with the diaspora as one of the corner-stones of India’s foreign policy. During his visits abroad, the Indian community in various cities across the world showed their fervour, dedication and enthusiasm for their motherland. The applause that we heard from the Diaspora in those capitals was an echo of their own aspirations; it was because India was speaking their language. It was their mirror image that they saw, in those gathe

    10. Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is not to be a one-off event, it is part of an ongoing dialogue. You are not our guests who will visit us once in a while, you are part of our family and will remain part of the Indian family. Indeed the broader view of ವಸುಧೈವ ಕುಟುಂಬಕಮ್  (which means the whole world is one family) should start with our own Indian diaspora, i.e YOU!. This desire on part of the Government was evident in the recent initiatives such as the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas panel conferences held throughout 2016; the establishment of Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi, the hub of activities for Pravasis; the transformational E-governance programmes such as MADAD (Consular Management Services System) and E-migrate etc.

    11. India’s development story is a story of commitment of the Government to craft a new life for its citizens. India’s economic potential, its democracy and pluralism and its rich civilizational past are its key to its future success. India succeeds not only because Indians want it to succeed; India succeeds because the world wants India to succeed. The world wants India to succeed because when India succeeds, each one of them succeeds. I see the dream, the hope and the wish in all of you here today. Let us carve out a new future together.

    12. With these words, I welcome you all to this wonderful celebration of ties, bonds and ideas and I hope you will have fruitful discussions and deliberations in the two days ahead. Government of Karnataka has made fabulous arrangements to make this event a truly enriching experience. I hope you will return to your homeland with a sense of satisfaction, only to return to Bharat another time, quicker and for a more productive journey.


      Thank you. Jai Hind Jai Karnataka.