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Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
16-May-2015 18:52 IST
English rendering of Text of PM’s address at the Indian Community Reception in Shanghai

Bharat Mata Ki Jai

Bharat Mata Ki Jai!

Namaste! Today’s event will come up as a big surprise to all Indians residing in India and abroad. Such huge number of people in China……… times are changing, times are changing so fast. Can anyone think what the world is witnessing, so many Indians living together with love and affection in China.

It is 16th of May today. Exactly an year back on 16th May 2014, this time difference of 2.5 hours had bothered you very much. You got up very early, at a time when Indians were fast asleep; you had started asking if the results have come? The sun was yet to rise in India but you were anxious; you wished that the sun rose early and you could get the news fast. Wasn’t it so? You knew about 2.5 hour time difference, still you got ready early morning to know the election results in India, isn’t it so? When there was a delay in getting the news, you were anxious, weren’t you?

People in certain parts of the world did not sleep at all at night, especially the conditions and the perspective in which the elections were held. One year back on 16th May only one chorus could be heard all over “bad days are over brother”, bad days are over”.

You are living in foreign countries, how were your days? Are you from India? Oh he is an Indian, let’s go. Wasn’t this the attitude? Did this happen or not? Was anybody ready to acknowledge you? Was anybody ready to listen to you? Was anybody ready to look at you? Within a year you have gained the confidence to look into people’s eye and talk to them. The world now looks at you with respect, isn’t it so? Are you yourself proud of India’s progress or not?.

Dear brothers and sisters, public is the representative of God. People are another form of God. It has a third eye. It has a unique collective intellect which looks beyond the immediate personal interests and takes steps with the idea of “Sarv Jan Hitay, Sav Jan Sukhay” (For the Happiness of All, for the Welfare of All). The people of India demonstrated a collective power, they demonstrated a collective will power and they demonstrated a collective determination. 125 crore Indians became determined to change their fortunes. And so by going to the polling booth and pressing the button they made such a huge decision.

But could anyone imagine? The propaganda that was done against me in the polls, what was that like? Who knows Modi? Who knows him outside Gujarat? It is ok that he is successful in Gujarat … but who knows him outside Gujarat. This is what they said and all of them said this. And whenever the topic of foreign affairs would come they would say…… “Oh he does not have an understanding of foreign matters, what will he do?” You must have heard these discussions, haven’t you? But I realize my criticisms were true. They were right and saying the truth because I did not travel much beyond Gujarat and neither I had any recognition. And there was no question of an image outside India. Their criticism was right, but the doubts were not.

There are many such incidents in the world where India demonstrated its intelligence. Otherwise, seeing my bio-data will anyone say I am the Prime Minister, would anyone make me the Prime Minister? If I want shares from your company, would you give me? No way, he is a tea vendor. How can a person selling tea in railway coaches become the Prime Minister? No one would approve of me seeing my bio-data. But this is the power of the people of India, it is the power of Constitution of India, it is the blessings of Babasaheb Ambedkar and the determination of crores of Indians that if a poor mother’s son who is dedicated to society sets out with a solemn resolve, the people will definitely bless him.

Today, on 16th May after a year, I bow my head in front of the crores of people and pay them my respect. And today once again, I reiterate what I said in Ahmedabad, what I said from the banks of the Sabarmati Ashram; though politicians are expert in forgetting their promises. They try that the people should forget. But neither have I forgotten nor will I let the people forget. Because these promises gives us the inspiration to work. It gives us the power to dedicate our lives. I had said that time that I will not spare any effort as the country has bestowed a responsibility on me. Did I say this or not? Have I taken even a single days leave? Did I go on vacation? Am I taking rest? Whatever time God has given in day and night, am I am working with honesty utilizing all my strength? Am I doing it or not?

The second thing I said was, I am new, I do not have experience but I will make all efforts to learn. Am I doing it or not? Am I make efforts to learn or not? Am I even learning from my critics or not? Am I trying to learn from whatever good is happening in the world or not? Like a student I accept every good thing with an open mind and try to implement it in the country.

The third thing I said was, I may make mistakes out of inexperience but will certainly not do intentionally.

And today on 16th May, far away from India when I am talking from the Chinese soil, I can satisfactorily say that in the entire past year no one has accused us of an intentional wrong doing or doing something wrong for personal interest. Today, I can see a mini-India in Shanghai. Every corner of India is present here. Today on 16th May, that is after one year of completion of governance, while coming on to the stage I possibly did not envisage to have an entire mini India with representatives from all the states. Today I have come here to seek your blessings, bless me that we may be successful in every task that we undertake for India’s development. I seek your blessings because it is my conviction - the public is the representative of God. Hence I seek your blessings. Bless me that I make no such mistake that may harm my nation. Raise both your hands to bless me. Raise both hands to bless me. Your blessings are my biggest strength.

Dear brothers and sisters, this is my final programme in China. I toured China for three days and just after this event, I will leave for Mongolia. You will enjoy your Sunday, I will work in Mongolia. Can one imagine that on a Sunday the Mongolian Parliament calls its session for an Indian…… times are changing my friends, times are changing.

Even in Chinese history, I believe that this journey will be seen as a milestone. Experts on world relations are observing this visit very minutely. And I too completely understand its significance. It must be a first of its kind that the President of China has gone out of Beijing to welcome the leader of another country. I thank the Chinese President from my heart and express my gratitude for welcoming the Indian delegation not just in Beijing but in Shiang as well.
My countrymen, this welcome was not for Narendra Modi or the delegation that accompanied me. It was a welcome to the 125 crore Indians. And those who know and understand it are amazed with this respectful attitude of China towards India, and realize that this in itself is the beginning of a strong foundation, which will further strengthen India-China ties in the coming days.

The Indo Chinese friendship is beyond the dimensions of who gained what – it cannot be assessed on that single scale. China and India together make for a third of the world population, one third of world population. On one end is the entire world and on the other just both of us.  Did we ever realize this power? We ourselves forgot, we thought we are a poor nation….so leave it. But the times have changed my friends. Therefore both India and China together can not only solve their own problems; they can also help the world get rid of many difficulties.

Some 10, 15 or 20 years back, no one could ever acknowledge the developing countries on the world map. The term “Developing Country” was used to indicate backward countries, it was demeaning. So the term developing countries came into existence. Though the term “Developing Country” was used, it basically implied backward and impoverished.

But today we see new and changed attitude on the world map and times have changed. The entire world is witnessing that the developing countries especially India and China have the potential to give the world a new zeal, enthusiasm and speed. India has to undertake this responsibility and I assure you friends that India is gearing up for it. We have a lot to give to the world.

Terrorism today is the biggest enemy of humanity. Each day, innocent people are being killed, people are vying for each other’s blood and there is no corner of the earth which has been left untainted with blood. Who will soothe the wounds of the injured, the bullet ridden population of the world. Who will inspire faith in such times of crisis? Only those people can come to rescue whose ancestors have given the values of “Vasudaiv Kutumbkam”. The entire world is a family, all of us are brothers, languages can be different, somebody’s size of eyes may be same, or someone else’s nose size may be same or someone’s colour of skin may be same, somebody might have same hair style but essentially we are all a family. Thousands of years back our ancestors considered the entire world as one family, the power of this thought is in our veins, in our DNA. And so, the world expects that we introduce the world to our values, hold hands and lead the world out of crises. I can say that India is gearing up for that role.

The entire world is currently dealing with yet another crisis. All around, people are discussing climate change, Global Warming, Natural crisis. This situation has been created by noone else but mankind. If man has created this situation then it is he who can show the way out. For this you have to be nature loving. Centuries back when nature was not under any threat, the trees and plants were not under threat, the air was not thick with Carbon dioxide, the water was not dirty, everything was nice, even at that time our visionary sages taught us to love nature. As kids, when we would step down from the bed, our mother’s would say “Ask pardon from mother earth for you are about to step on it”. I don’t think there would be anyone out here whose mother has not taught this. Today those who are discussing global warming, knows about my feeling for earth that it is our mother earth. We have been taught that it is our responsibility to protect mother earth in the same manner as we would do for our own mother. Not just the earth, we were taught that the entire universe is a family.  In childhood, our mother would teach, this moon is your uncle, didn’t she? The Sun is your grandfather; it is a little hot tempered. The country from where the imagination to consider the entire universe as family emerged, can’t that place show the world a way out of Global Warming and teach something about loving the nature. We are the ones who said that exploitation of nature is a crime; we are allowed to milk the nature, not exploit it. We cannot take beyond a point.

We are the proud owners of a brilliant philosophy which can help the world get rid of its problems. We are the bearers of a rich cultural legacy; we have forgotten that. Once we realize our potential and work in that direction with all our might we will become capable of bringing the world together.

India today is moving towards a new role and the world is accepting that role. In the last one year I have met heads of states of more than 50 important countries. If you are criticized for working less, it is understandable. If someone is lazy and does not work, one can understand his criticism but I have such misfortune that I am even criticized for working more. “Why does Modi visit so many countries? Why did he meet so many people?” If to work more, to put more efforts is a crime then for my 125 crore Indians, I am ready to commit this crime. It is my pledge that every single moment of my time, and every particle of my body is just meant for the 125 crore Indians.

Also I need time to nurture what I have sown in the past one year, do I require time or not? What would the people say had I done this job in the fifth year? “Oh they are not going to get another term, who knows what will happen after the elections, how will it be, who would trust them”.  The world trusts me more because it is the first year of my governance which has come to power with complete majority. For the past 30 years, India did not have a government with full majority. As a result of that the World could not trust India. Those who are thinking why I did so much work in an year, I will say that though it may physically appear to be one year’s work, I was actually trying to cover up the work for the past 30 years.

Just see today, how the attitude in China has changed. Generally a protocol is followed in administration. But when a nation introduces its young generation to a leader, then it carries a different meaning. When a country introduces the leader to its politicians, its industrialists, it has a value, but if they introduce their youth to someone, it means that nation understands where to invest capital in the future, this capital investment is not related to pounds and dollars, in this investment they are preparing their young generation to develop their perception of India. And hence in my tour of 3 days, my interaction with students of two universities I take it to be my biggest achievement, where I was allowed to meet the young generation. I had a chance to converse with the Chinese young generation and if the Chinese youth understands India, then there can be nothing like it. There will be no stopping then. I went to Shian, during my tour, not many might be aware of it. Let me tell you, there is no time limit for me. You have a holiday tomorrow, but I don’t.

See, the Shian programme that was scheduled, it had a special uniqueness. All of us, in our childhood has read that a Chinese traveler by the name Huang Tsang Came to India. He came from China to explore India and was a famous philosopher. He has written many accounts. I am born in Vadnagar Village of Mehsana District. Huang Tsang has mentioned about my village in his travel accounts. He had spent some time there. We generally believe that Buddha was majorly confined to eastern parts, the areas of Bihar and those close to it. But Huang Tsang mentions that Buddha had an equal influence on the western part as well. He mentioned that, in Vadnagar - which is my birth place, there existed a huge educational institute for teaching and training of Bodh Bhikshus. There was a hostel for thousands of students. He wrote that he had seen all those places as he lived there for a long time. When I became the Chief Minister, a thought struck me that if Huang Tsang has mentioned this then why not dig and see. So I asked the government to do excavation. Who gets his own premises dug but that’s the way I am. And surprisingly all those things could be found in my village, those hostels and all other things which Huang Tsang had mentioned.

When I won the election and the Chinese President called me up, he gave reference of this thing. He kept all the details about the kind of a person I am. He described me about my birthplace over the phone. I was shoked and amazed at he same time. Later when he came to India he had the wish to go to my village. But that could not materialize as it is some 80-90 kms away from Ahmadabad and there was lack of time. Then he said “Do you know”. I said “what”. He said, “Huang Tsang when he lived in India, stayed in your village and from there when he returned he came to my village in Shian”. A huge Buddha temple is erected at Shian and yesterday he took me there. He showed me the book written by Huang Tsang and he took out that section where the name of my village was mentioned in Chinese language, which was followed by a description of my village.

The heads of two states sharing such affinity, such closeness, such brotherhood! This is plus one to what is traditionally discussed in world relations. And many will need time to understand this. I believe that India and China have a special responsibility towards the welfare of the humanity. Both India and China in order to fulfill this responsibility will need to prepare their own people and work hand in hand with each other.

You are staying here now. But before you arrived to China what kind of notions did you have about it? What were you thinking? You must be wondering as to what they eat and what they drink. Hasn’t the perception changed after coming here? And I believe that you can perform this task as a service. There is a lot of curiosity among Chinese people regarding India. But neither Narendra Modi, the embassy nor the ambassador here can work to change this anxiousness, this curiosity into reality. Someone who can do this job best are the citizens of the country, you can do this. It is your responsibility to present to the Chinese people the true picture of India, to introduce them to our strengths and to our rich cultural heritage.

The world stands very surprised, through IT skills our 20-22 year olds have played a very significant role in giving India a unique image all over the world. The world was surprised to see India’s talent. The whole world was shocked to see this talent in India. And now when Mars mission was successful, the world is attracted towards our talented youth. But it is the need of the hour that we understand China as much as possible, and the Chinese people understand both India and Indians as much as they can. More Indians live in China as compared to number of Chinese people that live in India. Hence the responsibility of Indian Citizens is even more. We have an ancient heritage connecting both the Nations, we cannot stay separated, the more there is people to people contact, more strengthened will be our relationships. The administration and governance interacts at a different level whereas the people to people contact occurs at another level and it has its own powers. I understand its power and we have to connect more and understand each other better.

 “Today, tourism is the biggest buzz. A common man also visits three - four countries. India has a lot of potential in tourism. Worldwide tourism business is worth 3 trillion, and it is not a small amount. As Indian citizens, all of you who are working here, are common people working as professionals, we are not big industrialists. But we can have good lives for ourselves and give good education to our children. But we can’t go back to India and put a plant of some 200-500-1000 crores because we too are a product of the same background. Does that mean that there are no more avenues to serve the nation? No it isn’t so. Just send 5 Chinese citizens for India tour every year. Tell them, “Come to my village, I will show you what an Indian marriage is like”.

You can just imagine the Indian population itself can send so many Chinese tourists to India. One Huang Tsang came 1400 years back and connects India and China in the Asian subcontinent. Your numbers run in thousands and you can send lakhs of people, you can work a miracle. It will not only enhance India’s tourism but it will give the Chinese a new perspective to understand India, they will garner new experiences. Let’s bring in as many as we can……. Because if we are not proud of our own heritage, our own power then no one else will see us in good light. If a mother keeps scolding her kid day in and out in front of everyone, will other kids in the society accept him. Will they accept him? A mother who keeps scolding her child day and night, his friends too will not accept him. The world will start accepting us only when we start being appreciative of ourselves.

 If we keep cursing our nation, we are like this, we are like that. Come on friends, the country does not run in this manner. Each society has its own shortcomings, problems and difficulties. But they move ahead only when the people have that kind of pride to move ahead, and we have that pride, the pride is in 125 crore Indians. Staying in China you might be making efforts to learn Chinese language, because this century belongs to Asia. It is the 21st Century. There is no dispute about this in the world that 21st Century belongs to Asia. So if it is Asia’s century, the languages that will be in use will be of this sub continent, and we can play our respective roles through those languages, and we can treasure this new power.

You see, within a year be it world bank, IMF  or any other rating agency in the world, all are unanimously voicing that India will have a growth Rate of more than 7%. The whole world is saying that India is a country with the fastest growth rate. And this is not being told by me but by International agencies whose every word is powerful. It is the same place where until one year back people would say “We are doomed, nothing good can happen, God only save us”. We must have done something wrong in our past lives to be born in India”. And for that very same country, the world is saying that if there is any country that is clocking highest growth rate, it’s India.

How did China change in 30 years? It did not change overnight; it has taken them 30 years. For 30 years they recorded the highest growth rate in the world. As a result of that growth, China has been able to reach new heights. India also needs to accelerate this growth rate. India needs to take economic activities forward. India has to progress in technology, in Research and Analysis and once we march towards this new age only then we will be able to give a lot more to the world. We are moving forward with this faith.

Though we have dreams but our feet are firmly grounded. Initially people were very surprised as to why Modi has initiated the Clean India movement? Why is he running a cleanliness campaign? This Prime Minister discusses about toilet from the Red Fort on 15th August. Many were surprised but I believe that I needed to begin form there. I do not think it’s a menial job. I want that my 125 crore country men, owners of rich cultural heritage, with a potential of 65% population under the age of 35 years, should they not be able to stand proud with their heads held high? Why should they stop and why should they bow down. And so my brothers and sisters be it the social life, economic life, educational life or world relations, we have to move ahead with the pledge of taking this nation forward. And today, it is a unique event in Chinese history. I am witness to a scene where I can see only heads as far as the eyes can see.

You have organized such a big programme. Greetings to you all, friends. This huge population will not only send a message across China but all over the world, I can give this in writing to you – this is by no means a small event. It’s not just a speech, it’s proof of the changing times. It’s a live example of how times are changing.

I thank you once again ….it’s a matter of great joy that I got to spend some happy moments with you on 16th May 2015. I am extremely thankful to you and hope that next time when you come to India in 2016 which marks the  year of China’s visit to India. 2015 was the year of India’s visit to China. In 2016 China needs to go to India. Bring as many people to India from China. Show them the beauty of India. It is for you to see that India and China work together for world welfare. With this faith I give my respect to you and greet you all. I thank you from the core of my heart. Organizing such a huge event inside China is in itself a step towards a new milestone.

Thank you very much.

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AKT/AK/SH/HS