Indian diaspora must help build a great India: Pratibha PatilOctober 27th, 2009 - 11:24 am ICT by IANS
By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, Oct 27 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil has urged the Indian diaspora around the world to help overcome the challenges presented by a resurgent India and help build a “great and dynamic” nation.
“You know the challenges that a resurgent India presents,” she told prominent members of the Indian diaspora at a reception hosted in her honour Monday night.
Pointing out that the Indian diaspora across the world number some 25 million and those in Britain more than 1.5 million, she said: “We seek to interact directly and substantially with them”.
“We must work in our individual ways to contribute to the objective of building a great and dynamic India which will be one of the mainstays of emerging global order,” Patil told an audience of some 400 Indian-origin guests.
She lauded the diaspora in Britain, saying that although they formed two percent of population, they contributed 4-5 percent to Britain’s Gross Domestic Product.
“Your hard work and industrious attitude have won you appreciation both in country of adoption and country or origin,” she said.
The guests included Nobel-winning scientist Venkataraman Ramakrishnan, industrialists Swraj Paul, Srichand Hinduja, Raj Kumar Bagri, Nat Puri, Ghulam Noon and Kiran Bilimoria, politicians Navneet Dholakia (Liberal Democrat), Sailesh Vara (Conservative Party), Paramjit Dhanda (Labour) and Lord Adam Patel, leading academics and representatives from the worlds of business, medicine, charity and the arts.
Patil said it was fitting that the first engagement in her three-day state visit to Britain was the reception with members of the Indian diaspora.
She praised the contributions of people of Indian origin to the development of post-War Britain.
“When we hear the prime minister of Great Britain… mention the excellent treatment he personally received from an Indian-origin doctor in the National Health Service, we feel proud of all of you,” she said.
Patil said the Indian diaspora was an important bridge between the two countries, pointing out that the architects of modern India — Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhai Patel and B.R. Ambedkar — had all been educated in Britain.
Education had now been identified as a major field of collaboration between India and Britain, she added.
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