Asserting that India and Israel share deep cultural ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the fact that it took 70 years for an Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel raises serious questions.
Chants of 'Modi...Modi' and laud applause could be heard as Modi and his Israel counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu arrived at the Tel Aviv Convention Center to interact with the Indian diaspora.
"70 varshon mein pehli baar kisi Bharatiya PM ka aana apne aap mein khushi ka avsar hai, kuch sawal nishaan bhi hai (It took 70 years for an Indian Prime Minister to come to Israel. It is a matter of happiness but it also raises questions," Modi said.
Modi expressed gratitude towards Netayahu for his hospitality and said, "The way Netanyahu has honoured me is a respect for entire India. I will always remember the Indian food that was offered to me."
He said size of a nation does not dictate how much a nation can achieve as long as there is right spirit.
The PM gave many examples of the role played by the Jews in India's progress.
"Jewish community has enriched India with their contribution in various fields... The All India Radio's signature tune was composed by a Jew in India who was the director of AIR in then Bombay," he said.
"Israel has surprised everyone with its new innovations in almost every field be it solar panel, solar window, agro or biotechnology," he added.
Modi said that the motto of his government is to 'reform, perform and transform' and hailed GST implementation as a big step towards transforming India.
Modi spoke about several other initiatives undertaken by his government for the nation's betterment.
Netanyahu, in his address, said that there is a human bridge between India and Israel.
"We are building future between our two democracies, its a partnership made in heaven but happening right now here," he said.
Here are the highlights of Modi's speech:
- Indian cultural centre will be opened in Israel soon.
- Israeli's of Indian origin will not face any hassles to obtain OCI and PIO cards.
- Soon there will be a Delhi, Mumbai Tel Aviv flight.
- India and Israel can walk together shoulder to shoulder in the field of technology.
- India and Israel not only connected historically but also culturally.
- We are making consistent efforts to double farmers' income by 2022.
- Even those who have been a part of cumpulsory army service will be able to get OCI card.
- Have to fulfill dream of own house,water,electricity for poor households in India by 2022.
- Me and PM Netanyahu spoke till 2.30 in the morning, i thank him for hospitality.
- With GST we are aiming towards the economic integration of India.