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India, Australia bond goes beyond cricket, Modi says in Sydney as Indian diaspora cheer; see PICS

Our friendship is very deep off the field as well. Last year when Shane Warne died, hundreds of Indians were also mourning, the Indian prime minister said.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi addresses the Indian community at Qudos Bank Arena, in Sydney on Tuesday, May 23, 2023. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday (23) said while addressing the Indian diaspora at a rally at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney that the bond between Australia and India goes beyond cricket, which has historically connected the two nations. His Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese was also present on the occasion.

As the 20,000-strong audience cheered, he cited cooking television show ‘Masterchef’, yoga, tennis, films and a culturally diverse Indian community as examples of the strengthening bond between the two nations. The prime minister also said India is on course to become a developed nation in 25 years and that a new Indian consulate will be opened in Brisbane.

Indian PM Narendra Modi in Sydney
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi (R) with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese shake hands while attending an Indian cultural event on May 23, 2023 at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

“Cricket is something which has kept us connected for ages…and now tennis and movies form other connecting bridges. There was a time when 3Cs used to define relations between India and Australia, these three were Commonwealth, Cricket and Curry. After that, it was 3Ds.. Democracy, Diaspora and Dosti. When it became 3Es, it was all about Energy, Economy and Education. But the truth is that actual depth of the relation between India and Australia transcend these C, D, E,” Modi said, adding that the strongest and biggest foundations of the two nations’ ties are mutual trust and respect which is not limited to diplomatic relations, but because of every Indian person residing in Australia.

India, Australia bond goes beyond cricket, Modi says in Sydney as Indian diaspora cheer; see PICS
Dancers perform in traditional Indian costume as Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese attend a cultural event on May 23, 2023 at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

“Our friendship is very deep off the field as well. Last year when Shane Warne died, hundreds of Indians were also mourning. We felt like we have lost someone very close to us,” Modi said.

Recalling his 2014 visit which took place just months after he became the prime minister for the first time, Modi said he had then promised the people that they wouldn’t have to wait for 28 years for an Indian prime minister to visit.

“Here I am with you again,” he said.

India, Australia bond goes beyond cricket, Modi says in Sydney as Indian diaspora cheer; see PICS
Dancers perform in traditional Indian costume as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese attend a cultural event on May 23, 2023 at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

The Indian prime minister also cited top global economic bodies to assert that the South Asian economy is growing steadily.

He said the International Monetary Fund considers India the bright spot of the global economy while according to the World Bank, if there is a country which is withstanding global headwinds, it is India. Modi said India has registered record exports even in the most challenging times and at a time when the banking system is in trouble in many countries, the strength of the Indian banking system is being praised all over.

Modi said in his address that India is the fastest-growing large economy in the world and that it rolled out fastest vaccination campaign during the Covid-19 pandemic. He also said that the country is No.1 with respect to smartphone data consumers, adoption of fintech and production of milk.

Modi in Sydney
Audience cheer as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese attend a cultural event on May 23, 2023 at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

The leader also said that India is No.2 when it comes to internet users; manufacturing of mobile phones; production of rice, wheat, sugarcane, fruits and vegetables. India also has the third-largest startup ecosystem and automobile and civil aviation market in the world, he said.

Albanese said Modi gets a “rock star reception” wherever he goes, as he welcomed his “dear friend”. He also compared him to American singer Bruce Springsteen.

Modi in Sydney
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi (L) and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese wave as they leave from an event with members of the local Indian community at the Qudos Arena in Sydney on May 23, 2023. (Photo by DAVID GRAY/AFP via Getty Images)

“The last time I saw someone on this stage was Bruce Springsteen, and he did not get the welcome that Prime Minister Modi has got. Prime Minister Modi is the boss,” the Australian prime minister said.

A chartered Qantas flight rebranded “Modi Airways” brought in supporters of the Indian prime minister from Melbourne, while “Modi Express” were being chartered from Queensland, Australia’s ABC News reported.

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