Noting the rise of India’s soft power globally, Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth on Tuesday underlined that ‘if India is unique, Indianness is universal’.
Jugnauth, who is the chief guest at the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas here, said at the occasion that it is India’s tireless efforts that could turn a millennial practice like yoga into a modern worldness practice.
“The adoption by the United Nations (UN) of initiating the International Yoga Day is a landmark and recognition of the soft power India yields,” he said.
Lauding the contribution of the Indian diaspora worldwide, Jugnauth underlined that the community can help India grow and India can help grow the countries where the diaspora is located through the development opportunities initiated for them to work with each other.
“An educated and self-reliant diaspora can be an aspect in bringing new perspectives, investments and ability to connect home countries with India, an information network that bridges the market and societies and sources of investment and expertise are amongst the role the diaspora could play,” he elaborated.
Calling for the establishment of diaspora knowledge networks, Jugnauth underlined that the diaspora connect can be a powerful instrument in the face of increasing challenges of multilateralism, which can ultimately contribute to the transformation and the role both India and Mauritius can play.
Lauding initiatives taken by the Indian government such as Skill India, Digital India, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Startup India and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the Mauritius Prime Minister said that such programmes represent the vision of a modern and prosperous India.
Heaping praises on India’s commitment to fight climate change, Jugnauth said that the International Solar Alliance (ISA) demonstrated India’s contribution and commitment to responsible energy use and sustainability.
“I announced the setting up of AYUSH hospital in Mauritius. We are actively working with Indian authorities and others on a road map for national holistic health and wellness. This is one example where two countries are engaged in a project for mutual benefit,” Jugnauth stressed, underlining the warm and cordial relations between India and Mauritius.
Thanking India for supporting Mauritius in some of its development projects underway in the island nation, Jugnauth said: “Mauritius will see the emergence of a new mass transit system, new Supreme Court premises and a modern ENT hospital”.
Praising the Narendra Modi-led government for its decision to relax Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card rules, Jugnauth further said that Mauritian citizens have filed the applications and hundreds of them are in possession with the cards.
He went on to say that Mauritius, as a multi-religious and diverse country like India, wants to develop itself as an upper middle country with smoothly running democratic institutions, respecting human rights and rule of law and ensuring holistic development.
First started on January 9, 2003, the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas marks the contribution of the overseas Indian community towards the development of India. The three-day long event, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today will go on till January 23.
The Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas is held every two years on January 9. This is the first time that the event is not being organised on that day so that the participants could visit the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj and attend the Republic Day parade in New Delhi.
The theme for this year’s Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas is ‘Role of Indian diaspora in building new India’.
Over 4,000 NRI delegates representing around 85 countries are participating in the three-day convention.