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Translation of Prime Minister’s speech at community event in Indonesia (May 30, 2018)

May 31, 2018

My greeting to all my brethren living India here in Indonesia,
Salamat Sore, Taman Taman, (Good evening friends,)
AapaaKabaar? (How are you?)
SaayaaSanaangSakaali Bar- Adaa Di Sini (I am glad to be here.)


I express my gratitude to you all, the people of Indonesia, and especially to President Widodo who have welcomed me in this holy month of Ramadan.

Ihad a glimpse of Indonesian diversity in the morning. The citizens and children of Indonesiadressed in various costumes welcomed me. It touched my heart.

Friends, few months back we had celebrated India’s Republic Day with all the 10 leaders of ASEAN. Indonesia, with the highest population, is an important member of ASEAN. I am grateful to President Widodo that he gave us an opportunity to welcome him then.

This is not a mere coincidence that President of Indonesia was the Chief Guest of the first Republic Day celebrations of India in 1950.

In the last four years, wherever I went in the world as a representative of 1.25 billion Indians, it has been my effort to meet millions of brothers and sisters like you whohave their roots in India. The discussions that I had during these meetings, all of them had a common theme and that is unwavering reverence and respect towards mother India.

I can see the same feelings here in Indonesia too. The devotion that you have towards Indonesia, you have the same strong feelings to connect with your roots. Most of you are citizens of Indonesia, but somewhere in your heart, there resides an India in you too.

Friends, we have a relation of Sanskrit and Culture. And all of you who are now settled here in Indonesia, you are our strongest link in this relationship.

Many of you are here from last four or five generations, then there are many people also who have been here since the past two-three decades.

Today, some of you are related to the business of clothingor of sports goods. Someone is an engineer or a consultant. Someone is a CA, a bankeror a spiritualguru.

Gurunam Singh Ji of Indian origin had won a medal for Indonesia in the Asian Games held in Jakarta in 1962.

I am very happy and proud also that with your tenacity and hard work not only did youmade the environment favorable here, but today you are also contributing a lot to the development of Indonesia.

Friends, once there was this time also when your ancestors had to leave India due to different circumstances. Today is that era when India has a strong identity throughout the world. In the last 4 years, India did the job of advancing the world economy.

  • Today India is among the most open economies of the world. FDI in India is at a record level.
  • India’s foreign exchange reserves have moved up from $300 billion to $400 billion.
  • India has become the world’s foremost country attracting Greenfield FDI.
  • India is among the top two emerging markets in the FDI Confidence Indes.
  • India’s rankings have improved from 71 to 40 in the Global Competitive Index of the World Economic Forum.
  • India has moved up to 100th rank from 142 in the Ease of doing business rankings.
  • There has been an improvement of 19 points in Logistics Performance Index.
  • India has improved its ranking in Global Innovation Index by 21 places.
  • In the UNCTAD report, India has been placed in the top three of the strongest economies of the future.
  • For the first time in the last 14 years, Moody's has improved the credit rating of India.
Brothers and sisters, India is the world's largest democracy, while in Indonesia, the roots of democracy are very strong. This is the reason that 1.25 billion Indians gave the opportunity to an ordinary citizen like me to become their chief server, similarly the people of Indonesia also chose Widodo Ji as their president.

Friends, India and Indonesia are symbols of social and cultural diversity and harmony. Many languages are spoken here and there are hundreds of communities. Similarly there is a very famous quote in India i.e. water changes every mile, language changes every four miles.

I have read somewhere that the Borneo island of Indonesia has remnants of seventeen hundred years ago, which are evidence of its connections with India.

Just three or four days back I was in the Cuttack city of Odisha state. The ground where this massive public meeting was organized, its name was 'Balijatra'. What is the meaning of Balijatra? Journey to the Bali of Indonesia. Hundreds of years ago great sailors from Odisha would sail from Cuttack to visit Java-Sumatra and Borneo. Even today 'Balijatra' festival is celebratedwith great fervor every yearin the month of October-November in Odisha.

Indonesia has had ancient relations with Gujarat also. When I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, somebody once told me that many of the Muslims who came out of Kutch in the 12th century came to settle in Indonesia too.Gujarati language and cuisine had also arrived in Indonesia with them. I have been told that Babur Gujarat, Gujarati Khichadi is also prepared in many Muslim families in Indonesia.

Even today, there are many such words that highlights the ancientness and closeness of Indonesia's relations with India. Like ‘sahodar’ for ‘bhai’, ‘maati’ for ‘nidhan’, ‘varn’ for ‘rang’, ‘samooh’ or ‘samooah’ for group, ‘upvas’ for ‘puvas’, ‘bahasa’ for ‘bhasha’, ‘rupiah’ for ‘rupaya.’ If we collect all such words, a dictionary can be prepared.

These parallels are natural. The distance between India and Indonesia is just 90 nautical miles. Which means we are not 90 nautical miles away, weare 90 nautical miles near, weare neighbors.

Friends,

I have been told that the deep cultural ties between India and Indonesia are celebrated herein many ways. Here the cultural events of 'Indonesia Tamil Sangam' also have their own individual identity. I have also been told about successful programs that were organized last yearon International Yoga Day at Jakarta and other places.

I have also received information that the popularity of the Indian Traditional medicines, the famous Panchkarma-Ayurveda centers, is increasingly growing in Bali. Attraction towards Holistic Healthcare has increased worldwide in the recent years. This is also a great opportunity for you to become an Ambassador of traditional Indian medicine.

Friends, by the way, this is also a coincidence that few days ago, I had the opportunity to seek blessings of Mother Janaki at Janakpur in Nepal. And now I am herein Indonesia where the Ramkathagot a new environment and a new ground. It is a specialty of Indonesia in itself that the artists staging Ramayana here are Muslim.

Today, just a while back, President Widodo and I saw an exhibition of kites. I was very happy to see that stories and traditions like Ramayana and Mahabharata still enjoy a special place in Indonesia's regular life.This is a very big example of how faith and culture are cultivated and nurtured well together.

Friends, both our countries achieved freedom in the last century, since then we have been collaborating with each other at the global and regional level. Our relations have further intensified over the past four years. Today the relationship between India and Indonesia is at a new height. Whether it is diplomatic, strategic or economic cooperation, India and Indonesia are together meeting the challenges and utilizing the opportunities.

Today, India and Indonesia have decided to take their strategic partnership to a different level altogether. President Widodo and I have moved a step further and have given it the status of 'Comprehensive Strategic Partnership'.

Joint exercises are being organized between our armies. There is also a growing synergy between us on the issues related to security.

Today Indonesia is India's largest trading partner in the ASEAN countries. Today our trade has reached more than $ 18 billion.

Friends, there is another basis of strong relations between India and Indonesia, our people i.e. all of you.

We have a very large population that is under 35 years of age. Over the past four years our government in India has tried to give the right direction and encouragement to their energy. That is why, the speed of working of my government is fast and scale is very vast. In line with the hopes and aspirations of the people of the country, we have emphasized the need for good governance and Minimum Government, Maximum Governance.

We are moving forward with the mantra of Citizen-First. The government is taking large administrative, financial and legal steps by going to the grass root levels. Corruption Free, Citizen-Centric and Development Friendly Ecosystem is the biggest priorityfor our government. For passports, now India does not have to wait for months or weeks, passports are delivered to the people’s home within a day or two.

People from 163 countries, including Indonesia, have been granted e-Visa facility. The number of tourists coming to India on e-Visa has increased by almost 150 percent. In the past years, more than 1400 old and archaic laws have been abolished in India. Goods and Service Tax - GST has given India a better tax compliance and a better revenue system.

Friends, we are working on the unique combination of ease of living for residents and modern infrastructure for the country. We are building a system in India that is not only transparent but is sensitive also.
  • The speed of conversion of railway lines to broad gauge has doubled.
  • Electrification of railway lines is being done at thrice the speed.
  • Roads in the villages and National Highways are being constructed at double the speed.
  • The speed at which the power transmission line were laid earlier, the same work is now being done at twice the speed.
  • In comparison to just 59 Gram Panchayats earlier, now we have connected more than 1, lakh 10 thousand Gram Panchayats with the optical fiber.
  • From just 28 government schemes earlier now people are getting money for more than 400 schemes directly in their bank accounts.
  • Even the LED bulbs that used to be sold earlier at 350 rupees, that too is now available at 40-50 rupees.
Earlier, there were only 2 mobile manufacturing companies in India, now their number has increased to 120. Manufacturing of mobiles in India has also reduced the import expenses to half.

A large number of new engineering colleges, management colleges and medical colleges are now being opened in India. In the last two and a half years, more than 9000 start-ups have been registered in India. The world's second largest start-up ecosystem is created in India.

Today, the strength of India's passport has increased. India has become a part of the world's powerful systems. India is one of the countries that have led the International Solar Alliance to make more and more use of solar energy in the interest of human welfare.

Our government is working to prepare India in line with the requirements, aspirations and expectations of 21st century. Today India is moving forward with the resolution of a New India. We have to make a New India by 2022, when Independent India will be 75 years old.

Friends, here in Indonesia you all steadfastly believe in helping each other during bad times and also in the mantra of Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam. I have been told that thousands of Indian tourists that were stranded due to the recent volcano eruption in Bali have not only been saved by the people of Bali and Surabaya, but they also made arrangements to send them back to their homes.

I heartily admire you for this humanitarian work and I also thank you for this.

This protection of human values has been an integral part of India's heritage. We are living it with the same glory in India as well. Whether there is an earthquake in Nepal or a flood disaster in Sri Lanka, India is now being identified as the first responder in the times of crisis.90,000 Indians stranded in the crisis have been safely brought back during the NDA government.

Friends, India and Indonesia don’t have just similar sounding names. This synergy is not just of rhyme, but of rhythm also. This is a synergy of our culture, our traditions, our beliefsand that of our system. It is a synergy ofpeople to people contact and of democracy.

Brothers and sisters, India and Indonesia are tied together by cultural linkages. We have very old ties. But today we all have a question as to whether it will remain a topic of archaeology? We will have to work together for our future generations, as to how can wefurther increaseour people to people contacts and how we can make it more strong and alive.

Many among you would have never been to India. Many among you would not have visited home since many years.It is my request that you should visit India once with your friends. You will be able to witness the transformation that is happening in India.

I would like to inform you that arrangements are being made for Indonesian citizens to get a free 30 day India travel visa.

A big opportunity is waiting for you in the next few months. Next year in January, festival of Kumbh is going to be held in Prayag in Uttar Pradesh.This fair of faith will be a new experience for you. Here you will witness the enormous spirituality of your countryalong with a glimpse of a new India also.

I invite you to connect with the new opportunities emerging in the New India. Come and benefit fromthe changed environmentand also contribute to change it further.

You have given me so much honor and respect here, once again I thank you,the Government of Indonesia and the administration here for this welcome.

TerimaKaasihKaaliyaanTalah Bar-ada di sini. (Thank you all so much for coming here.)

Salamat Ramadan!

 

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