India to open consulate in Brisbane: PM Modi

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Sydney / New Delhi, 23 May: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced that India will soon open a new consulate in Brisbane to fulfil a long-standing demand of the Indian diaspora settled in Australia. He said that the relationship between India and Australia is based on mutual trust and respect.

Modi was speaking at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney while addressing members of the Indian diaspora to a packed stadium. His Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese was also present at the event.

In his address, Prime Minister Modi said, “It is a matter of great pleasure to join the diaspora in a community program.” Recalling his last visit, he said, ?When I came here in 2014, I promised you that you would never again have to wait for 28 years for an Indian Prime Minister. So I am here in Sydney once again. Prime Minister Albanese is also here with me.”

The Prime Minister said that there was a time when the 3Cs used to define the relationship between India and Australia. These three were- Commonwealth, Cricket and Curry. After that, it was 3D, Democracy, Diaspora and Friendship! When it became the 3 E’s, it was about energy, economy and education.

He further said that the truth is that the real depth of the relationship between India and Australia lies beyond these C-D-Es in terms of mutual trust and mutual respect and the real reason behind this is the Indian diaspora.

In his address, the Prime Minister said that irrespective of the geographical distance between India and Australia, the Indian Ocean connects us. Yoga unites us, no matter how different the lifestyles of the two countries are. Cricket is something that has kept us connected for ages. Now tennis and cinema are other connecting bridges.

Prime Minister Modi and his Australian counterpart Albanese changed the name of Harris Park, a suburb of Sydney, to ‘Little India’ during this period. Modi thanked his Australian counterpart for supporting him in unveiling the foundation stone of ‘Little India’, a suburb of Sydney.

In fact, Harris Park is a center in western Sydney where the Indian community celebrates festivals and events such as Diwali and Australia Day.

The Prime Minister spoke of India’s position in the world as a “force for global good”. He said, ?India is always ready to help others whenever there is a disaster.? He praised India as the ‘mother of democracy’ as well as a ‘bright spot’ in the global economy.

Prime Minister Modi said that IMF considers India a bright spot in the global economy. According to the World Bank, if there is any country facing global headwinds, it is India. India has made record exports even in the most challenging times.

He further said that India has made a lot of progress in the last 9 years. We have opened about 50 crore bank accounts for poor people. Not only this, in fact the entire eco-system of public delivery has changed in India. Since 2014, an amount of more than Rs 28 lakh crore has been directly transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. Gem Trinity and DBT have brought a revolution in the country.

Prime Minister Modi said that India ran the world’s fastest vaccination program in the Corona pandemic. Today India is the number one smartphone data consumer in the world.

He further said that we see the nation as a family and also consider the world as a family. When India decides the theme of its G-20 presidency, it says ? One Earth, One Family, One Future. When India sets big goals for solar energy to protect the environment, it says – One Sun, One World, One Grid. When India wishes the global community to be healthy, it says ? One Earth, One Health.

Incessant Modi-Modi slogans, the Prime Minister said India has always been the ‘binding force’ to bring together nations, be it for alliances like the Solar Alliance, for building disaster resilient infrastructure or for leading the Big Cat Alliance.

During the address of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, slogans were raised continuously in the packed stadium. During this, the Australian Prime Minister also looked happy while clapping continuously. The Prime Minister was accorded a traditional welcome before the program began. After his address, Prime Minister Modi interacted with the audience along with his counterpart Anthony Albanese, took selfies and also gave autographs.