‘We are 90 nautical miles close’, Modi tells Indian diaspora in Bali

We are 90 nautical miles close: PM Modi tells Indian diaspora in Bali( CREDIT: Twitter@ narendramodi)

Bali, Nov 15 (IANS) India and its diaspora in Indonesia is not 90 nautical miles far, but 90 nautical miles close, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said addressing the Indian community in Bali on Tuesday.

Modi, who is here to attend the G20 Summit at the invitation of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, said that the accomplishments of the Indian diaspora makes him proud.

“There may be a difference of 90 nautical miles between India and Indonesia, but I want to say that we are not 90 nautical miles far, but 90 nautical miles close,” Modi said amid thunderous applause.

“Indonesia has lovingly accepted the Indians who came here, accepted them as a part of this society, which is why the diaspora is contributing towards the development and prosperity of Indonesia,” Modi said.

Asserting that India is a beacon of hope for the world in the 21st century, the PM said that there is a huge difference between pre-2014 and post-2014 India, with the country now moving ahead at an “unprecedented speed and scale”.

In a display of wit and humour, the PM said: “There is a huge difference between pre-2014 and post-2014 India, and that is not Modi.”

“Today Indian is working at an unprecedented speed and scale. Indian of today thinks big,” Modi said, adding that India today holds numero uno position in digital transactions, global fintech, IT outsourcing, smartphone data consumption and vaccine manufacturing.

“Since 2014, we have opened more than 320 million bank accounts. More than the population of the USA,” said the BJP leader, who again stormed back to power in 2019 general elections after 2014.

The leader added that post 2014, India has built houses for three crore citizens for free of cost.

As per the Ministry of External Affairs data, there are 120,000 (1.20 lakh) Indians residing in Indonesia.

Indians were brought to Indonesia by the Dutch in the 19th century as indentured labourers to work on plantations located around Medan in Sumatra. A significant majority of these came from South India.

The Indian diaspora in Bali also includes several thousand Sindhi families who constitute the second wave of Indian immigrants who made Indonesia their home in the first half of the 20th century, according to an MEA report.

“A lot of Sindhi families from India live here, and they have immensely contributed to the textiles and sports goods sector,” Modi said, asserting that India has a lot to give to Indonesia, in terms of talent, technology, innovation and industry.

He also said that a lot of people here with roots in Gujarat are involved in gems, diamond, mining and farming sectors, while artistes from the Tamil community are contributing towards Indonesian arts and culture.

He also invited the Indian community for the upcoming Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to be held in Madhya Pradesh on January 9 next year.

“Get Indonesian families along with you too when you come,” Modi said.

“I believe that your contributions towards strengthening relations between India and Indonesia will continue,” Modi said, amid chants of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.

Earlier, Modi played the drums as a huge crowd of people dressed in Indian attire welcomed him upon his landing in Bali.

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