PM Modi lauds presence of ruling party, Opposition members at Indian community event in Australia 

PM Modi’s comments come against the backdrop of Opposition parties, including the Congress and many of those in power in several States, announcing their boycott of the new Parliament building’s inauguration by him on May 28

Updated - May 25, 2023 02:03 pm IST

Published - May 25, 2023 07:39 am IST - New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being welcomed by supporters at the Palam airport upon his return from a three-nation visit to Japan, Papua New Guinea and Australia, in New Delhi, on May 25, 2023.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being welcomed by supporters at the Palam airport upon his return from a three-nation visit to Japan, Papua New Guinea and Australia, in New Delhi, on May 25, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 25 asserted that he used every moment during his six-day tour across three countries for India’s good, as BJP workers and supporters accorded him a warm welcome on his return.

Addressing people who had gathered to welcome him outside the Palam airport in New Delhi, he noted that not only Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and that country’s ruling party functionaries, but a former Prime Minister and Opposition members were present as well during the Indian community’s programme in Sydney where he had spoken.

Read Editorial: Ties that bind: On India-Australia ties and the Modi visit

“This was the atmosphere of democracy that everyone joined in the Indian community’s programme,” Mr. Modi said, lauding this show of “democratic soul and strength”.

Everyone accorded respect to the Indian representative, and it was not about Mr. Modi’s glory but about India’s strength, he added.

His comments came against the backdrop of Opposition parties, including the Congress and many of those in power in several States, announcing their boycott of his inauguration of the new Parliament building scheduled on May 28.

The Prime Minister, though, made no direct mention of this in his speech.

He said he speaks confidently of India and its people’s strengths abroad and the world listens because people here had elected a majority government.

World leaders knew that what he says is the voice of the 140 crore people of India, the Prime Minister added.

India, Mr. Modi said, faces the challenges of strengthening its roots while also working its way to a new high as the world expects it to.

“Challenges are big. But it is in my nature to challenge the challenges,” the Prime Minister said, expressing the confidence in front of a cheering crowd that his government would succeed in meeting these expectations in time. Global expectations from the country have been rising, he said, adding that the world now wanted to know what India was thinking.

Mr. Modi spoke about the respect accorded to him by the people of Pacific island countries during the visit, and said they were thankful to India for the COVID-19 vaccines sent to them during the pandemic. Taking a swipe at his critics, the Prime Minister said they had questioned him for sending the vaccines.

“Remember, it is the land of Buddha, it is the land of Gandhi. We care even for our enemies, we are the people inspired by compassion,” he emphasised.

He also asserted that the world is keen to listen to India’s story and said Indians should never suffer from a “slave mentality” while speaking about their great culture and traditions and instead speak with courage.

The Prime Minister added that the world agrees with him when he says that no attack on any of our country’s pilgrimage sites is acceptable.

Mr. Modi had on May 24 raised with his Australian counterpart Albanese India’s concerns over incidents of attacks on temples in Australia.

He lauded the strength of India-Australia relationship.

India’s G20 meet

India’s reception of G20 delegates in over 150 meetings held across the country had impressed the world a lot, he said.

“All the leaders and other people I met have been so mesmerised and appreciative of India holding the G20 presidency so excellently. This is a matter of great pride for all Indians,” Mr. Modi said.

Earlier, BJP president J.P. Nadda and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar also spoke and heaped praise on Mr. Modi’s leadership for India’s rising image and prestige in the world.

“The world is looking at a new India with a new perspective due to Modi’s leadership,” Mr. Jaishankar said.

The External Affairs Minister said Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape, whose gesture of touching Mr. Modi’s feet made headlines, told the Indian Ambassador that he considered the Indian leader a “vishwa guru”.

Mr. Jaishankar, a career diplomat who retired as India’s Foreign Secretary before joining the BJP and becoming a Minister, also referred to the Australian Prime Minister describing Mr. Modi as “the boss” and asserted that he never saw something like this in his experience spanning over nearly 45 years.

India’s image and standing had risen so high because of Mr. Modi’s leadership, he said, recalling U.S. President Joe Biden’s comments about the high demand for invitations to the events where the Indian Prime Minister was scheduled to be present during his state trip to the country next month.

Mr. Biden said he wanted Mr. Modi’s autograph and praised the Prime Minister’s leadership.

Mr. Nadda lauded PM Modi’s efforts to establish Indian values and traditions globally and said people of India felt proud about it.

Mr. Modi had visited Hiroshima in Japan to attend the Group of Seven or G7 Summit. He then travelled to Papua New Guinea in a first such tour to the Pacific island country for any Indian Prime Minister. Mr. Modi also travelled to Sydney at the invitation of his Australian counterpart.

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