Johannesburg: Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a rousing welcome by the Indian exapt community in South Africa on Friday.
Addressing a 15,000 strong crowd at 'The Dome', Modi said, “It is a pleasure for me to be here in South Africa. You all have come here to meet me from various places; some even from Botswana. I am honored and greatly touched.”
“Thank you for welcoming me with such warmth and affection. Your love and affection makes my visit to this great country all the more special,” he added.
“I bring to you the warm wishes of 1.25 billion Indians. We may be in different time zones, our ancestors may have been separated in history, our nationality may be different, our support may be for different cricket teams. But our common heritage makes sure we remain connected in hearts and minds,” PM Modi said.
“Centuries ago our ancestors traveled to South Africa and faced hardship and poverty yet they endured and kept going. Under decades of apartheid they not only preserved their tradition, culture and language, they also gave them wings to flourish.”
Referring to Mahatma Gandhi's work in South Africa, Modi said, “It is here that Mahatma Gandhi conceptualised his politics. This is the birthplace of satyagraha. South Africa transformed Mohandas to a Mahatma.”
The Prime Minister said South Africa is a sacred land. It is the land of Mandela and "karmabhumi" of Mahatma Gandhi.
“In staying true to Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, you've cared for others. In so doing you've echoed SA ethos of Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu (a person is a person because of people),” Modi said.
“Your desire to connect with the land of your forefathers may be an emotion urge, but you don't need to limit to that. India, today is a land of opportunity for those who want to connect and collaborate, produce and engineer...India is a land of opportunity for those who want to innovate and create, trade and investment.”
“India registered a healthy growth rate of 7.4% this year. We are a bright spot in global economy,” the PM added.
“Iss liye mai keh raha hoon, aap ek baar aake dekhiye to sahi (That's why I am saying, come (to India) and see,” he said.
“India's dynamism today isn't mere words. With rare resilience, renewed resurgence, superb speed and spectacular scale, India's rise can be defined as H.O.P.E: H – Harmony, O – Optimism, P – Potential, E – Energy,” the Prime Minister said.
“...And the credit for this doesn't go to Modi, it goes to 1.25 billion people of India and to the fact that they placed their faith in my government and gave mandate to govern. They opted for action over word, positive or negative, sense of purpose over a feeling of drift.”