“The Indian diaspora event in Sydneywas not only attended by the Australian PM but also by the former PM, MPs from opposition parties, and the ruling party. This is the strength of democracy. All of themtogether participated in this programme of the Indian community,” Modi said, in what was seen by many as a subtle snipe at opposition parties for their decision to stay away from the inauguration of the new Parliament building.
The PM, who was addressing a gathering of BJP supporters at Palam airport on his return from the five-day overseas trip, refrained from referencing the opposition’s protest.
Morrison’s presence at the community reception had struck many. The ex-Aussie PM, who was very warm towards Modi, lost to Albanese in a toughly fought contest, an outcome that had raised concerns whether the change of regime in Canberra would impact bilateral ties which were on the upswing because of the mutual distrust of Beijing and other factors.
World seeing new India because of PM Modi’s leadership: EAM Jaishankar
Modi expressed satisfaction over the non-partisan show of support for better ties with India. “Everyone accorded respect to the Indian representative, and it was not about Modi’s glory but about India’s strength,” he said, adding that world leaders knew that he was merely the voice of Indians. He said he spoke confidently of India and its people’s strengths abroad and the world listened because people here had elected a majority government.
Though speaking after a gruelling tour marked by a punishing schedule, the PM showed little sign of fatigue. Nor did he appear to be fazed by the escalating protests by an opposition galvanised by BJP’s big defeat in Karnataka.
“Challenges are big. But it is in my nature to challenge the challenges,” the PM said, expressing confidence that his government would succeed in meeting these expectations in time. “Global expectations from the country have been rising.”
Modi spoke about the respect accorded to him by the people of Pacific island countries during the visit, and said they were thankful to India for the Covid-19 vaccines sent to them during the pandemic.
Taking a swipe at his critics, the PM said they had questioned him for sending the vaccines. “Remember, it is the land of Buddha, it is the land of Gandhi. We care even for our enemies, we are the people inspired by compassion,” he said.
Modi asserted that the world was keen to listen to India’s story and said Indians should never suffer from a “slave mentality” while speaking about their great culture and traditions and instead speak with courage. He added that the world agreed with him when he said that no attack on any of our country’s pilgrimage sites was acceptable.
Modi had on May 24 raised with Albanese India’s concerns over attacks on temples in Australia.
The PM said, “When I talk about the culture of my country, I look into the eyes of the world. This confidence has come because you have formed a government with an absolute majority. Those who have come here are people who love India, not PM Modi.”
About the release of Thirukkural’s translation during his visit, the PM said, “Tamil is our language. It is the language of every Indian. It is the oldest language in the world. I had the opportunity to release the Tok Pisin translation of the book ‘Thirukkural’ in Papua New Guinea.” Tok Pisin is the language of Papua New Guinea, used by an estimated three-quarters of the country’s 4 million inhabitants.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar said the PM of Papua New Guinea said that for him, Modi was ‘Vishwa Guru’. “Australian PM called PM Modi ‘The Boss’… Today, the world is seeing a new India because of the leadership of PM Modi,” Jaishankar said.
Party president JP Nadda, who was among the leaders present at Palam airport, said, “The way the PM of Papua New Guinea touched your feet, it shows how much respect you have there. People of India feel proud when they see that our PM is being welcomed like this.”
Watch ‘We care even for our enemies’: PM Modi after arrival from 3-nation visit