Current Affairs

English rendering of PM’s speech at Indian community programme in Bali, Indonesia

Prime Minister’s Office

azadi ka amrit mahotsav

Posted On:

15 NOV 2022 4:40PM by PIB Delhi

Namaste! Vanakkam!

Greetings to everybody! There is an altogether different feeling for every Indian when he comes to Bali, Indonesia. I am also experiencing the same vibrations. The people and the place, with which India has had a relationship for thousands of years and about which one keeps hearing that many generations have come and gone in thousands of years, but the same tradition has continued generation after generation, gives a different feeling of joy.

As I am talking to you while celebrating the traditions of Bali here, about 1500 kilometers away from Bali, there is a festival of Bali Jatra being celebrated on the banks of the Mahanadi River in the Indian city of Cuttack. What is this Bali Jatra? This festival celebrates thousands of years of trade relations between India and Indonesia. When the people of Indonesia will see the photographs of this year’s Bali Jatra on the internet, they will be really proud, happy and filled with enthusiasm. The Jatra faced problems due to the Corona, but now Bali Jatra is being celebrated in Odisha on a very large scale with grandeur, divinity and with participation of lakhs of people after several years. I am told that the people there are running a competition to commemorate Bali Jatra. They plan to float paper boats to create a world record. This means that the people who have gathered today in Odisha are physically there but their mind is in Bali, with you.


During our conversation, we often say ‘It’s a small world’. But if we look at the relations between India and Indonesia, this fits perfectly. The huge waves of the sea have kept the relations between India and Indonesia full of enthusiasm and untiring. Our relations also remain afloat like those waves. There was a time when the philosophy and culture of India reached the Indonesian soil through kingdoms like Kalinga and Medang. And today India and Indonesia are working shoulder to shoulder with each other for development in the 21st century.

Indonesia lovingly accepted the people who came from India and assimilated them in its society. This is why today all of you are contributing to the development and prosperity of Indonesia. Many of our Sindhi families live here. And our Sindhi family brothers and sisters who came from India have contributed a lot not only in the textile and the sports goods sectors, but also in the film and TV industry. There are many people from Gujarat who are involved in gems, diamonds, mines and even farming. Engineers, chartered accountants, professionals from India have become participants of Indonesia’s development. There are so many Tamil speaking artists who are contributing to further enrich the culture and arts here. I remember the Rashtrapati Bhavan of India was reverberating with thunderous applause when India honored Nyoman Nuarta of Indonesia with Padma Shri about 3-4 years ago. There would hardly be any Indian who does not admire his work of art ‘Garuda Wisnu Kencana’. Similarly, I got to know a lot about Wayan Dibia and Agus Indra Udayana from Indonesia when they were awarded the Padma Shri. You are well aware of Agus Indra Udayana ji who is also present here today. He is working hard to take forward the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi in Bali. In one of his interviews, he said that the biggest specialty of India is ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ which is in the veins of every Indian. I liked reading the interview, but I would like to say one more thing that India may have been praised for its affinity, but the affection of the people of Indonesia is no less. When I came to Jakarta last time, I saw and experienced the affection and love of the people of Indonesia. There was so much respect, honour, love, affection and affinity for me. I remember the fun I had flying kites with President Joko Widodo. We both went to fly kites. It was wonderful. I have a lot of experience flying kites on Sankranti in Gujarat and I know that people also fly a lot of kites on Sankranti in Indonesia.

And it is not that the association of India and Indonesia is only during happier times. We are companions in both happiness and sorrow. When a huge earthquake hit Indonesia in 2018, India immediately launched Operation Samudra Maitri. When I came to Jakarta that year I said one thing that there may be a distance of 90 nautical miles between India and Indonesia but in reality we are not 90 nautical miles away, we are 90 nautical miles closer.


There is so much that India and Indonesia together have preserved every moment. This land of Bali is sanctified by the penance of Maharishi Markandeya and Maharishi Agastya. If there are Himalayas in India, then there is Mount Agung in Bali. If there is Ganga in India, then there is Tirta Gangga in Bali. We also worship Lord Ganesh for every auspicious work in India and here also Lord Ganesh is in every house and spreading auspiciousness in public places. There are countless things like the fasting during a full moon, the glory of Ekadashi, the tradition of Sun worship through Trikal Sandhya, the worship of knowledge in the form of Maa Saraswati which keeps us connected. The people of Bali grow up with the stories of the Mahabharata. And I have grown up in Dwarkadhish, the land of Lord Krishna, in Gujarat. My life has been spent there. The kind of faith that the people of Bali have for the Mahabharata, the people of India have the same affinity for the people of Bali. You worship Lord Vishnu and Lord Rama here and we proudly remember the Ramayana tradition of Indonesia when the foundation stone of the grand Ram temple is laid on the birthplace of Lord Rama in India. A few years ago, many artists from Indonesia came to India when we organized the Ramayana festival. They performed in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Lucknow before coming to Ayodhya in their final leg. The closing ceremony took place in Ayodhya and it drew a lot of applause. Newspapers across India were full of praise for their performance.

Brothers and sisters,

There would be hardly any person in Bali who would not wish to visit Ayodhya or Dwarka once in his lifetime. In India too, people are very eager to visit the Prambanan Temples and the grand statue of Garuda Wisnu Kencana. The visit of more than five lakh Indians to Bali in a year before the Corona period is testimony to this.


When there is common heritage, when faith towards humanity is common, then common paths are made for progress. A few months back, India completed 75 years of its independence on August 15. Indonesia’s Independence Day falls on 17th August, two days after India’s Independence Day, but Indonesia had the privilege of becoming independent two years earlier than India. India has a lot to learn from Indonesia and India also has a lot to contribute to Indonesia from its 75 years of development journey. India’s talent, technology, innovation and industries have created their own identity in the world. Today there are innumerable companies in the world whose CEOs are of Indian origin. Today, one out of ten unicorns in the world is from India. Today India is the fastest growing economy in the world. Today India tops the world in digital transactions. Today India is number one in the world in terms of global fintech. Today India is leading the world in outsourcing for ITBPN. Today India tops the world in smartphone data consumption. Today India is leading in the supply of many medicines and in the manufacturing of many vaccines.


There is a big difference between India before 2014 and after 2014. The big difference is not because of Modi. The big difference is in speed and skill. Today India is working at an unprecedented speed and on an unimaginable scale. Now India doesn’t think small. If it builds a statue, it is the biggest in the world. If it builds a stadium, it will be the biggest in the world. India has opened more than 320 million bank accounts since 2014. This means that we have opened as many bank accounts as the total population of America.

India has built free houses for about 30 million poor citizens since 2014. When a person owns a house, he becomes ‘lakhpati’. And when I talk about 30 million houses, what does it mean? It means that we have built houses equivalent to not only every family, but every citizen of Australia. India has built 55,000 kilometers of national highways in the last seven-eight years. I am talking about the scale and it is equal to one and a half rounds of the earth. Today, India is providing free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh to all the people under the Ayushman Bharat scheme. The government bears the expenses of the medical bills up to Rs. 5 lakh. How many people get the benefit of this scheme? The medical facilities up to Rs 5 lakh are available to more people than the total population of the entire European Union. If I calculate the number of free vaccine doses that India administered to its citizens during the Corona period, then it is two-and-a-half times more than the combined population of both America and the European Union. Does not your chest swell with pride when you hear this? Does not your head hold high? Therefore, I say India has changed.


Taking pride in its heritage, enriching its heritage and staying connected to its roots, India has now set out with the goal of making a developed India with the goal of touching the sky. But this goal of India is not only for us. We are not selfish people and we do not have these kinds of values. Today, the world has expectations from India in the 21st century. India considers these expectations as its responsibility and we are determined to move forward for the betterment of the world. Today, when India prepares the road map of ‘Amrit Kaal’ for its development, it also includes the economic and political aspirations of the world.


Today, when India puts forward the vision of a self-reliant India, it also includes the spirit of global welfare. India has given the mantra of ‘One Sun, One World, One Grid’ in the field of renewable energy. India has launched ‘One Earth, One Health’ campaign to strengthen global well-being. India is working as a boon for the island countries while dealing with the challenge of climate change. To deal with the problems of climate change, India has given the solution in the form of ‘Mission LiFE’ to the world. The ‘Mission LiFE’ means lifestyle for environment, i.e., imbibing such a lifestyle by every citizen of the earth which is environment friendly and which meets the challenge of climate change every moment. Today, when the whole world is getting attracted towards environment friendly and holistic healthcare, then India’s Yoga and Ayurveda are gifts for the entire humanity. And friends, when it comes to Ayurveda, I am reminded of another connection between India and Indonesia. When I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, there was an agreement between the Gujarat Ayurvedic University and the Universitas Hindu Indonesia. I am happy that an Ayurveda hospital was also established in this university here after a few years.


‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, i.e., this spirit of India to consider the whole world as one family paves the way for global welfare. India achieved self-sufficiency in essential resources ranging from medicines to vaccines during the Corona period and the whole world got its benefit. India’s potential worked as a protective shield for many countries. We have stood shoulder to shoulder especially with our neighbors and friendly countries like Indonesia. Similarly, today India is emerging as a major global superpower in the field of space and South Asian countries are especially getting its benefits.

India, which was dependent on foreign imports for decades in the field of defence, is increasing its capabilities today. The attraction for BrahMos missile or Tejas fighter plane is continuously increasing in the world. Today India is setting big goals and working hard to achieve them. This mantra of success through determination has become the inspiration of the new India of the 21st century. Today, on this occasion, I also invite you for the next ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Sammelan’. This program takes place on 9th January. This time this event will be held in Indore in Madhya Pradesh and Indore is the city which has been the cleanest city in the country for the last 5-6 times. You must join the Pravasi Bhartiya program in Indore and adjust your dates accordingly. When you come to Indore, there is a kite festival in Ahmedabad after 1-2 days. Is it possible that people from Indonesia do not take part in the kite festival? And when you come, don’t come alone and don’t come only with your family. Bring some Indonesian families along too. I am sure that your cooperation and active contribution in strengthening the relations between India and Indonesia will continue. All of you should continue for the welfare of your ‘Karmabhoomi’ and you should contribute as much as you can. This is the ethos of India. It is also our responsibility. I can see many friends from Bohra society here. And it has been my good fortune that I have had a very close association with Syedna Sahib. I feel very happy when I see my Bohra family during my visit to any part of the world.


You came here in such large numbers, took out time and are full of enthusiasm. I see the same enthusiasm here as there is in the Bali Jatra in Odisha. I thank you very much from the bottom of my heart for your love, affection and devotion towards India. Many best wishes to you!

Thanks, friends.


DISCLAIMER: This is the approximate translation of PM’s speech. Original speech was delivered in Hindi.