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Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
13-November-2015 18:48 IST
English Rendering of the Text of PM’s address at Community Reception at Wembley Stadium, London

Namaste, wish you a happy new year and lots of wishes for a happy Bhai Dooj

Namaste, wish you a happy new year and lots of wishes for a happy Bhai Dooj!

Good evening Wembley! A big thank you! Big thank you for being here! This is a historic day for a great partnership and you are the heartbeat between two great nations’, two vibrant democracies, two wonderful people, we are celebrating this very special relationship in this very special venue with friends of India specially Excellency Prime Minister Cameron. I was told that London would be cold but not this much. Your wonderful and warm welcome makes me feel at home. I am grateful to Prime Minister Cameron for his kind words and thank everybody.

I am amongst you here almost after 12 years. A lot has happened in these 12 years. That time I visited in the capacity of the Chief Minister of Gujarat. And today when I am amongst you, the people of the country have granted me a new opportunity and I am trying my level best to fulfill my obligations. I want to assure you my dear countrymen that I am experiencing that well very that for all your dreams, the dreams of all the Indians, India has the potential to fulfill those dreams.

With my experience of the past 18 months I can say that there is no reason for India to remain poor. We have been nurturing poverty for no reason. And I do not understand why but we have started enjoying poverty. India has the potential, 125 crore Indians, 250 crore strong arms, and a country where 800 million, almost 65% population is below 35 years of age, India is brimming with youth. A nation with so many young people cannot be left behind and now there is no stopping the country’s march towards progress.

I am here for the past two days. The government of U.K, Prime Minister Cameron has demonstrated tremendous zeal and warmth in their hospitality and I am grateful from my heart. But this is not the honour for one individual but the honour for the 125 crore Indians. It is an honour for the great democratic values of our country. I have had numerous chances to meet and interact with Prime Minister Cameron in the past, and every time he is so full of praise for the Indian community, it seems he has almost become one with them. His compassion for the Indian community is very evident. I appreciate his love for the Indians and thank him for that. It is his interactions with you that have helped create a respectful attitude towards India, he feels a certain connection which is evident in all his interactions. And can there be any Indian who will not be proud of the fact that today Mahatma Gandhi’s statue is erected in front of the British Parliament. Can there be a matter of greater pride? This soil of London, coming here the Indians strengthened the freedom struggle back home. One of those was Shyam ji Krishna Verma. He passed away in 1930. He was an intellectual, a barrister, and staying here he fought against the British, for the freedom struggle of India. He was evicted from the Bar Association for this move. His license to practice was cancelled. I am grateful to the Prime Minister Cameron for turning back time by 100 years. I was handed the papers indicating the resumption of his bar membership as a mark of honour yesterday, though he is no more.

I came here in 2003 when I was serving in Gujarat. I went to Geneva to receive the ashes of Shyam ji Krishan Verma. Shyam ji Krishan Verma was fighting the battle of Independence from the British soil. He encouraged the likes of brave Madan Lal Dhingra and Veer Savarkar. He passed away in 1930 but it was his wish that his ashes be taken to India only when it was free. But from 1930 to 2003 no one came to claim those ashes. I had the great fortune of taking back the ashes of this great son of the soil and I did it in 2003. I erected a grand memorial in Katch Mandvi in Gujarat which is his birth place. His memorabilia is kept there. I will hand over this membership paper that I have received to the Gujarat Government and that too will be placed in the museum. And hence I am saying that Prime Minister Cameron has turned back time. I am grateful to him.

The path of progress that the country is currently treading, our country stands as a miracle to the world. I have met numerous people post assuming the office of the Prime Minister. They all narrate their problems and say “Mr. Modi, we are such a small country and we have this problem and that, some community does this and someone else does that, then they ask me “how does your country of 125 crores live so peacefully with so much love?” People are surprised that such a country exists in reality where 1500 dialects and numerous food cultures co-exist. If one starts from south and travels north wards, one can witness the varied costumes and that our nation is so full of diversity. This diversity is our specialty, it is our pride and it is our core strength.

Just see our Sikh brothers of Punjab. Numerous tales of courage and sacrifice are associated with them. Many a Sikh sacrificed their lives for the pride of the motherland and it is a specialty of the community that they guard and protect the motherland too. They shed blood to protect the motherland and sweat it out on the fields to feed the teeming millions of the country and they have spared no effort for the same.

Yesterday when I came here, all the esteemed members of the Sikh community came to meet me. We had great conversation. We shared our grief and sorrows. I understand and empathize with their feelings and whatever they undergo. I understand their problems. I want to assure you that I am whole heartedly working on things that bother you. You will see the results in the near future.

The preachings of Kabir and Rahim inspire all of us in India. Today, many ideas are operating in the name of terrorism. Sometimes I feel that if the Sufi tradition had been strengthened, and Islam would have felt its influence and understood the great Sufi tradition, then they would never have thought of wielding guns. All the major faiths of this diverse world exist in India. And they are not just for namesake, each one exists in large numbers. We have numerous seasons, great diversity, our fauna and flora, this diversity is a blessing from God. And you are the true ambassadors of our great country. A person of the Indian community, wherever he goes, carries the values of co-existence with him. You have demonstrated how to exist amidst diversity, how to mingle with others yet keeping the traditions intact, to be surging ahead without hurting others, achieve the aims and scale greater heights. The Indians spread all over the world have demonstrated such value systems and a powerful approach and it is because of these value systems that India today has a positive image. Indians all over the world have demonstrated the great traditions through their behaviour, their character and their conduct and introduced the world to the power that rests with India. And for this, my dear brothers and sisters you deserve heartiest greetings and felicitations.

Dear brothers and sisters, today India holds a position of dignity and pride. You too must have experienced that. The world today looks at India with great expectations. Just the mention of India makes people behave differently now, this you too must have experienced in your interactions with others. Did you notice that the perception of the world is changing? Before the people would meet casually, now they meet with zeal and enthusiasm. Earlier they would shake hands, now they hold hands. This is a huge change and this change is indicative of India’s success.

Today the world reckons India as a power, it is viewing India as a land of immense potential. We are also making efforts to be equal with the others in the world. We are not seeking favors from the world, what we seek is parity. In my experience of the past 18 months, I can say that anyone who deals with India now deals with it us an equal footing. Anyone who wants to associate with us has to do so with a win-win formula. If they want to move ahead then they have to match their steps with us. And I see this as an indicator of a bright future.

The world today is faced with two major crises. The leaders from all over the world, whenever they meet, discuss these problems – the one is terrorism and the other is global warming. Be it terrorism or global warming the onus to save the entire humanity rests with all the nations of the world and with all the people who have faith in humanity and India here can show the right path. The life of Mahatma Gandhi, his teachings , his weapon of non-violence – well if the world tries to understand Gandhi in today’s context then there is no doubt that they will find ways to be liberated from both terrorism and global warming, for Gandhi was a visionary. And so it is India’s responsibility to help in these times of crises for the benefit of the humanity. I assure you that India will continue to fulfill its obligations for the same.

The country today is fast scaling new heights of success. I can say it with conviction that the speed that India has caught up, that speed will make good results visible very soon. Even after 70 years of Independence, there are almost 18,000 such villages in India which do not have access to electricity. Tell me dear brothers and sisters, should I finish this job or not? Should I bring electricity to those 18,000 villages or not? Even after 70 years of Independence my countrymen are forced to live in darkness then should we repent or not. Dear brothers and sisters, I have taken up the pledge and I hope to receive your blessings. I have taken the pledge, told the states that I need assistance, in the coming 1000 days, we will bring electricity in these 18,000 villages.

I got the opportunity to stand below the tricolor and address the nation from the Red Fort for the first time. I had never in my childhood thought that one day , the son of a tea vendor from a poor family will get the opportunity to unfurl India’s flag from the Red Fort. And that day, I had laid the dream of a ‘Clean India’ in front of my countrymen. Many were surprised for it is a platform of talking big, to unveil ambitious schemes, things to say which will make headlines in the newspapers and here was Modi, who was using this platform to talk about cleanliness. Many felt bad but I felt good, that if my motherland is neat and clean, all will feel good or not? Will there be a change in the lives of poor or not. I have started that work, and the first initiative is to build toilets. I want to thank all my brethren living outside India for contributing money and getting toilets constructed in their villages back home.

In our country the girls at the age of 3, 5 or 8 years or by second or third grade drop out from the school. On enquiring we found the reason was the non-availability of toilets in school. Is it acceptable to us that our girls remain uneducated in the 21st century? Isn’t it an injustice to them? Hence I took up the initiative to have a separate toilet for the girl child in every school in India. And I can inform you with great happiness that we have fulfilled this commitment. Shouldn’t this work be done or not? Shouldn’t they have been done earlier?

Brothers and sisters, in our country almost 40% people did not have a bank account. I today’s day and age if a poor person cannot approach the bank for an account, then it is a matter of great shame. So we started a campaign, and in a matter of 100-150 days we opened 19 crore new bank accounts. If we want to change the systems, the country is ready. The nation has made up its mind and as a result of it, changes are becoming visible.

Dear brothers and sisters, it is important that India gets rid of its old problems. But it is not desirable to be free of problems and sit there doing nothing. India has to be freed of its problems and yet has to be modernized. It has to become prosperous and achieve new heights.

Our railway is a very old institution. But the desired progress in it has not been made. The far lung areas still remain disconnected. We no longer need the old train speed, now we need fast moving trains. We want trains with good facilities and so we have opened the railways for 100% foreign direct investment.

For the first time the railways has introduced rupee bond in the London Stock Exchange. When anyone says bond, we are reminded of James Bond! We are very familiar with James Bond in the world of entertainment, further ahead any mention of a Bond reminds us of Brook Bond tea. That is another bond. Rupee Bond and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Well when I talk of FDI for me it has two aspects for me - one is foreign direct investment and the other is Fast Develop India. We want to move ahead balancing both. In comparison to last year, the Foreign Direct Investment has increased by 40%. This is itself an indication that the world is reposing more trust in India. And this increased faith is the force that will lead us forward. We will surge ahead with this power of trust.

Defence sector is another focus area. Even today, we have to depend on the world for our security. We are dependent on the outside world, we have to procure arms and a lot of nation’s wealth gets drained. We have taken the initiative, those brave souls who defend the territories, their very able hands will manufacture defence weapons. Our concern now is how to bring in technology and the expertise to India to build all equipments required for defence - be it submarines, helicopters, airplanes, tanks, small weapons etc. We are hugely emphasizing on this and today, I want to share good news with you that those powers specializing in arms production are already in talks with India and are looking for entry points in the Indian defence sector. I want to tell the world that India become self dependent in defence means the safety of a sixth of the humanity, for we make a sixth of the world population. This itself will foster world safety and gives a new faith. We are working for our benefit and at the same time we are looking to benefit the world.

I had talked about the concern for global warming. India has taken up two responsibilities. We want to make a union of those countries who are blessed with ample sunshine, where the climate is hot and there is abundant light.  We have realized that there are around 102 countries which have the natural benefit of abundant sunshine, they are like the children of the sun. There is the G-7, G-20, ASEAN group for the petroleum producing nations. But these sun blessed countries have never been grouped. We have taken up the initiative of bringing them together. These nations will collectively conduct research in solar energy or renewable energy sector. We will work to see how the sunlight is most effectively used in daily life and the environment is saved. We are looking at a global arrangement and India will lead this initiative. I am in talks with the world leaders and till now I have had a positive response. The first priority meeting will be held in Paris at the end of this month. I will hold a special meeting for all the countries and explain them. India can lead. The Sun God is kind to us and I want to bring the world together on it.

Secondly it is correct that we are specially blessed by the Sun, so we are in a position to lead and bring the world together on this issue.

Second job, it is true that electricity has not yet reached every village in India. There are 18,000 villages which do not even have a pole. Places even having electricity do not have a constant supply of the same for 24 hours. 2019 will mark the 150th Anniversary of the Mahatma. I have two dreams for that occasion. One is cleanliness and the other is to provide 24 hour electricity. We have launched a campaign for solar energy, wind energy and renewable energy. We have started work on 175 gigawatt renewable energy. Whenever we talk of electricity in India we talk in terms of megawatts. We could not think beyond megawatts. First time India has started thinking in terms of gigawatt. Today when I meet world leaders and talk about 175 gigawatt project, they are surprised and often question my conviction. But my dear countrymen, with your blessings I believe that India can become a major solar power nation in the world. We are working in that direction. And then next are the island nations which are struggling between life and death. They have the fears that a rise in sea level will submerge their islands. Where will they go then? We are working to bring happiness in the lives of people residing in these numerous islands on our very own soil.

Today, any institution in the world, be it the World Bank or the IMF or be it any rating agency, all have unanimously voiced the opinion that among the big countries India is the fastest growing economy. It is indeed the fastest growing economy.

In the world there exists an agency, Transparency International, which works to see which countries have less corruption and where the corruption is reducing. We are aware that India has this tainted image of being a corrupt nation. But isn’t there a medicine for termites and should it be treated or not? Every single penny of the citizens should be accounted for or not? Is it meant to fill the coffers of certain individuals? So dear brothers and sisters, we took some difficult steps and as a result of which the institution of Transparency International has improved India’s ranking by 10 positions as the corruption is reducing in India. They have in a way certified it. It is for the first time ever that we are better than China. We were at the last as far as ease of doing business was concerned. We took some measures, made some decisions and now our position is improving rapidly. The good outcomes of these initiatives are visible now.

All I want to say is that we have to create a modern India. There should be Clean India, Skill India, and Digital India. We are making huge efforts to take these initiatives to a new level altogether.

But my dear brothers and sisters never make the mistake of thinking India to be that what you see on television. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that India is what we see on TV. India is beyond the headlines of the newspapers. India is huge.  Beyond the TV screen, the India of 125 crore Indians is very intense, very high, very wonderful – so good that you might have never heard or read about it.

Dear brothers and sisters, there is a place called Alwar in Rajasthan. There resides an individual by the name Imran Khan. This person is dedicated to education. An individual from a small place like Alwar has created around 50 apps and those too which can be of use to the students. And not just that he has dedicated these 50 apps to be used free by the students. My India survives in the Imran Khan of India.

Dear brothers and sisters, Haryana in India has the highly skewed male to female ratio. I launched the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign from Haryana. The impact of it was such that a Sarpanch (Head) of a small village launched a ‘Selfie with Daughter’ campaign. It came to my notice and I realized that selfie with daughter had become a huge interest for those interested in mobiles. Biggest world leaders, senior academicians, scions of the financial world, all had clicked a selfie with daughter and circulated on the mobile. A campaign to restore the pride of our mothers and daughters was launched. This is my India and there are lakhs of Indians who go to tribal areas, live with them, work for their education and health, and some work to save their culture and traditions. There are many devoted people who are doing social service in the most remote locations.

Dear brothers and sisters, it is due to the untiring works of numerous such people and their potential that India is going to move forward. It is my conviction that India will reach new heights of success.

Today when I have come to London, I can see a large number of migrant Indians. I want to tell you many things. It has been brought to my notice that there are certain issues related to OCI.  That procedure will be simplified and you will be free of the problems of the OCI. Similarly we have merged OCI and PIO, but some people are having difficulty in that. I have given orders for the same and that too has been simplified. Still if you face any problem, then an arrangement has been made to address it.

There were problems in Visa provision. So now Electronic Travel Authorization has been started. So you have been spared of that problem as well. Indian government has launched an online platform called MADAD. You can receive your essential documents via MADAD. Arrangements have been made to resolve your problems related to OCI, PIO, Visa etc. through this platform.

An e-migration portal has been created. The person traveling from one place to another required some preliminary information. All such information has been made available on the e-migration portal.

An Indian community Welfare Fund has been created. Indians residing all over the world sometimes face problems. The arrangement for Indian community welfare fund has been made to address this situation. When I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, people from UK who visited me would often catch my hold of my neck. My friend CB Patel was among the visitors. He would lead the offence. I would say I am the Chief Minister what can I do? Now that I am the Prime minister he is asking me “Modi ji, now you are prime minister, now what will you do?” So now I am in London. I visited last in 2003. That time I did something. That time Atal ji was in power. We started the direct London–Ahmedabad flight. I delivered what the people here asked me and Atal ji fulfilled that promise. But what happened afterwards, you know well, how it happened, I don’t want to tell and why it happened, I don’t know who did it. It is pointless giving names now. But my dear brothers and sisters, this fight shall resume from 15th December, the direct London Ahmedabad flight will start.

Brothers and sisters, not many leaders in the world would be as fortunate as me. Your love and blessings in the form of your presence in large numbers here in such a cold has created a world record of sorts.

Here I have a request. Does anyone have a watch with the minute hand? Please take it out. What is the time? Quarter to seven. I want to tell you a secret. How deep are the ties between India and England, what bond they share, the affinity they have. We do not require two watches to know the time in India or England. You just reverse it, you will get the timings for India. Your watch, if you see it upright its UK time and if you see it upside down, its India time. Now if you need to call back home, you need not calculate time backwards by 5.30 hours.  Just invert your watch and you will get the time.

No two countries in the world share this equation. This kind of love between India and England is not even available to our neighbours. Only India and England have been blessed with this fortune. As long as there are the sun and the moon, so long will the relation of India and England last and will be strengthened with time. We will march together for progress.

Brothers and sisters, you gave me lots of love. I am very grateful. I have come back after 12 years. Today itself, you bestowed all the love that you had saved for me in the past 12 years. This love and enthusiasm is indicative of your faith. This zeal and enthusiasm reflects the dreams and aspirations that you nurture deep within. I want to assure you and through you all the Diaspora in the entire world, that whatever be the colour of your passport, we share a bond of a common blood and that will stay forever. The colour of your passport will not decide who you are. For us all of you are ours.  You have the same right on India as Narendra Modi. Let us pledge to associate with our motherland, make some efforts to connect with it and think of using our strength and our time sometime for our motherland. The country is waiting for you my dear friends, it is waiting.

India can assure you that even the poorest of the poor have the urge to put their strength behind your willingness to serve the nation. They will make you realize your dreams. We can provide you an opportunity to fulfill your dreams. And hence, I request my brethren all over the world to come to India and join hands. The country is moving ahead .Let us march together and progress together.

Bharat Mata ki Jai ! Bharat Mata ki Jai ! Bharat Mata ki Jai ! Thank you very much.

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AKT/AK/SH/HS