Increasing number of “centres of faith” abroad are a “matter of pride,” said External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar on Sunday. Addressing the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2023 which is the first event of the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention in Indore, Mr. Jaishankar said the young members of the Indian diaspora can learn values and traditions from such institutions to stay connected to their Indian roots.
“Many of our embassies, in fact I think most of them today now offer yoga, dance and music classes. We ask them also to support and facilitate community functions and collective activities. It is a matter of pride for us that centres of faith are growing abroad,” said Mr. Jaishankar making a special mention of “the one in Abu Dhabi” in the United Arab Emirates.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the construction of the Hindu temple project in Abu Dhabi on February 11, 2018 and the construction of the structure is expected to be completed soon. Unveiling a replica of the temple, Mr. Modi had said, “The first traditional temple in Abu Dhabi will act as a catalyst for the flourishment of humanitarian values and harmony between the two countries. The temple will become a medium for India’s identity.”
Reflecting that sentiment, Mr. Jaishankar connected the Indian identity with faith, and added, “The centres of faith are growing abroad because they also serve to inculcate values, promote culture and nurture traditions. The youth living abroad today, therefore have many more opportunities than before to stay connected.” He also mentioned the New Education Policy will “create more pathways for deeper involvement of the diaspora”.
Mr. Jaishankar conveyed the government’s commitment to ensure “more secure travelling experience abroad” and “non-discriminatory treatment” for Indians in foreign countries. In this regard he mentioned the recent agreements on “migration and mobility” that India has concluded with multiple countries like Austria.
“Younger generations are also very much in the forefront of connecting India to the world. They do so not only through their activities at home but by studying, working and travelling abroad,” said Mr. Jaishankar. The 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention is a three-day event that is taking place between January 8 and 10. Zaneta Mascarenhas, Member of Parliament of Australia, was the Guest of Honour at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas held on Sunday.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur highlighted links between the Indian diaspora and the Indian youth and said, “The 17th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas Convention is another opportunity to build bonds of friendship, mentorship and camaraderie that are forged when Indian youth directly interact with and learn from our diaspora youth.”