Prime Minister Narendra Modi said to an Indian crowd of thousands in Thailand today that the people of India had given him a mandate that had empowered him to do for the next five years things that were believed to be impossible so far. The prime minister is on a three-day visit to Thailand.
Modi said a government received such a repeat mandate after six decades. “This happened because of India’s achievements in the last five years. But it also means that India’s aspirations have increased. People ask for more work that works. Those who do not work keep counting their days. So now we are working to achieve those goals which once seemed impossible. You are all aware that India has done the work of getting rid of a very big reason that sowed the seeds of terror and isolation,” he said in reference to the virtual abrogation of Article 370.
The prime minister addressed thousands of people of the Indian community at the Nimibatra Stadium in Bangkok on the first day of the visit, telling them they had painted Thailand in their colours. “Many people have come here from the eastern part of India. Today, the festival of Chhath is being celebrated in India,” Modi said, endearing to the people who hail from Bihar, Purvanchal and Jharkhand.
Referring to the India-Thailand relations, the prime minister said, “Our relations are not due to governments. Every incident in history has deepened our relationship. Is transported to new heights. Our relationship is from the heart. Belong to spirituality. Our association is thousands of years old. The southeast and west coasts of India are connected with the sea along with South East Asia thousands of years ago. Our sailors have travelled thousands of miles to build bridges of culture and prosperity, they are still existing today.”
Bearing in mind the fact that the legacy of Lord Rama extends through south-east Asia, Modi said, “Lord Rama’s dignity and Buddha’s compassion are our common heritage. Thailand has deep faith towards Garuda. We are also connected to each other through language. Wherever Indians live, there is Indianness in them. When Indians are praised, I feel proud. This image of the Indian community all over the world is a matter of great pride for every Indian. For this, all your brothers are spread across the world. I feel happy about this, wherever Indians live in the world, they stay in touch with India.”
Addressing the people, the prime minister said, “Today 130 crore Indians are engaged in the construction of a New India. Today people will be able to see the changes in India clearly. The result of this is that in this election, people once again elected me. This time the highest 60 million people cast their votes. This is the biggest event of democracy. People are surprised how big elections are held. For the first time women voters are voting equal to men.”
While dealing with Article 370, Modi said, “When the intention was right, its echo is heard all over the world.” On hearing this, the audience gave him a standing ovation, shouting “Modi-Modi”. The prime minister said, “This is an honour for all MPs and Parliament of India.”
Remembering Thiruvalluvar, Prime Minister Modi said, “The saintly person who earns money by his own hard work invests it in the well-being of others. India takes inspiration from this.”
Modi said that the 550th Prakash Parva of Guru Nanak Devji will be celebrated with great pomp. Prior to the occasion, Modi released a coin.
“Our government will give fellowships to 1,000 youth from ASEAN countries for research. For the last five years, the government has always supported Indians settled around the world. Therefore, the OCI card should be made more flexible. Our embassy is for 24-hour service to you. We are working more in this direction.”
“Sawasdee, PM Modi” programme was organised at the stadium to welcome the prime minister. “Sawasdee” is Thai for “hello” (it also means “good-bye”). Many other cultural programs were organised on this occasion.
Prior to his address, the prime minister met school children present in the stadium. Modi greeted hundreds of people who had come to welcome him.
While in Thailand, Modi will participate in the conference of ASEAN countries. Meanwhile, sources say India may sign the RCEP agreement. The Congress is opposed to the signing of the RCEP agreement.