Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today said that Indian diaspora is a very important component of India’s aspiration to be an inclusive, equitable and prosperous nation.
He was addressing the members of the Indian diaspora of Azerbaijan in Baku today.
Referring to the transformative changes, both economic and social, that are taking place in India as a result of concerted efforts by the government and the strong will of the people of India, the Vice President said that Indian ‘Diaspora’ formed the 4th ‘D’ in the quartet of ‘D’s that was propelling India forward, the first three being Democracy, Demand and Demographic Dividend.
Vice President Naidu reiterated that members of the Indian diaspora have a momentous role to play in the evolution, growth and future of the nation. “Through your connections with the local population here, you are well placed to identify opportunities, which will promote linkages between our two countries, not only limited to economic tie-ups, but also to better understanding and appreciation of our culture and heritage in Azerbaijan”, he told the Indian Community.
Referring to the historical civilizational linkages, strong cultural affinities and shared values of respect for diversities of other cultures that bound India and Azerbaijan together since time immemorial, the Vice President called for further deepening of ties between the two nations.
Speaking of the steady growth in bilateral trade, the Vice President stressed upon the need to further enhance economic engagement between the two countries. “I can see many opportunities for Indian companies to engage with their counterparts in the field such as Information and Communications Technology, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, agriculture and food processing to name a few”, he added.
Vice President Naidu said that India and Azerbaijan have always been strong collaborators in the field of culture. He thanked Azerbaijan for their active participation in celebrating the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary. He also expressed his appreciation to the Government of Azerbaijan for releasing a postal stamp to mark this historic occasion.
He said that the Government of India would continue to actively engage with Azerbaijan in the field of culture, to promote appreciation of each other’s cultures and to enhance people to people contacts.
The Vice President complimented the vibrant Indian community for contributing positively to the social and economic progress of Azerbaijan and for making a strong impression within the local business community through their hard work and entrepreneurial spirit. He also complimented them for their collective efforts in promoting Indian culture and heritage.
The Vice President said that Government of India considered it a priority to better connect and reach out to our overseas community and added that India had taken many steps to provide better services to our diaspora, including providing 24-hour access and assistance to those in need. “There is a conscious effort to engage actively with our community around the world through digital platforms and social media, and these initiatives have borne positive fruits”, he said.
He urged the members of the Indian community to act as a living bridge between India and Azerbaijan.
Quoting the slogan of Ministry of External Affairs : ‘Videsh mein aapka dost, Bharatiya Dootavaas’, the Vice President expressed hope that the Indian Embassy in Baku will be the first port of call for the members of the diaspora not only when they encounter a difficulty but also when they need guidance, assistance or even moral support in any of their endeavours, or simply when they wish to feel closer to their country of birth.
Apprising the community about the recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir, the Vice President explained in detail the rationale behind the abrogation of Article 370. “It is a step to extend to the people of the state all the benefits being enjoyed by the other Indian citizens. It is a step that was supported by an overwhelming majority in Parliament. It is a step towards development”. Citing some distortions in certain sections of the media, he urged the diaspora to understand the issue in correct perspective.
Underscoring India’s broad liberal vision of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or that the whole world is one family, he mentioned India’s efforts to maintain cordial relations with all countries, including all its immediate neighbours. However, any attempt to disrupt peace and interference with our country’s internal matters will not be tolerated. “Peace”, he said, “is a pre-requisite for progress and we cannot allow anyone to derail the journey towards peace and prosperity”.
The Vice President also conveyed his warm Diwali wishes to the members of the diaspora.