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Politics
We want to create India you’re dreaming of: Narendra Modi
18-11-2014

SYDNEY: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday assured a visa-on-arrival facility for Australian tourists and announced a two-month deadline for the long-pending merger of OCI and PIO status to woo the Indian diaspora from whom he sought support for his ambitious Clean India campaign.

Addressing a frenzied crowd of around 20,000 in the packed Allphones Arena here, Modi took a dig at the previous governments saying while they were happy to make laws he was ‘happier to remove’ them.

“Let’s open the windows, let fresh air come in,” Modi said referring to his government’s efforts to weed out obsolete laws.

Touched by the grand reception, Modi said he was honoured and humbled and will never forget this day. “I know that behind this affection lies expectations. Yes. We want to create the India you are dreaming of.”

“This welcome, this respect, this enthusiasm I dedicate it to the people of India,” said Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Australia in 28 years.

Modi announced that his government was working on to facilitate visa-on-arrival for Australian tourists and said the PIO (Persons of Indian Origin) and OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) status will be merge ahead of the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas to be held from January 7 in Ahmedabad.

Modi had announced merger of PIO and OCI during his visit to the US in September but had not given a timeline then. The Prime Minister also referred to economic reforms unveiled by his government and said India has become an attractive destination for investment.

 

He also said FDI in Railways has been hiked to 100 per cent and hoped that Australian companies will invest in creating rail infrastructure in the country.

The Prime Minister called upon Indians across the world to convert the atmosphere of hope and optimism into a reality of meeting the expectations and aspirations of people in India.

Modi said on the basis of his experience of the last six months, he could see no reason why the aspirations of millions of Indians could not be fulfilled.

He referred to Swami Vivekananda’s dream of seeing Mother India as a ‘Vishva Guru’ once again, and said he believed that dream would be a reality. “Do you share the dream”, he asked the cheering crowd.

Crowd of supporters during Narendra Modi's address to the Indian community at Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia on Monday. The Prime Minister said that he feels a greater sense of responsibility as he is the first Prime Minister born in independent India.

“We did not have the fortune to fight for the country’s independence. We could not die for India. But we can live for India. So we will live and struggle for India. Today 125 crore Indians share that dream,” he said.

“It took 28 years for an Indian PM to make the few hours journey to Australia. Now you will not have to wait 28 years,” the Prime Minister said. He also highlighted the values of democracy and the love for cricket that India and Australia share.