About Us Speeches

Pravasi Bhartiya divas speech

Posted on: January 09, 2019 | Back | Print

Namashkar and good evening to all of you.

I am delighted to have so many members of the Indian community in Korea present with us today for the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas celebrations.  Your very presence on this freezing mid-week evening is a fine indicator of the commitment that you show for retaining and strengthening ties of the community with our motherland and with the Indian Embassy here! We appreciate this. 

Friends, Prabasi Bharatiya Diwas has been celebrated on January 9 every year since 2003 in honour of the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa way back in  1915.  With his return, our nation’s fortunes took a turn and the people of India fought for and won independence.  This epitomises the change and development that a non-resident Indian was able to bring about to India and we have, therefore, chosen this day to acknowledge with respect the achievements and contributions of all Indians abroad. Government of India is confident that our overseas Indians retain strong bonds with India and will, if given the opportunity, contribute towards infusing their ideas and experiences to further India’s development.

The stature of India is increasing the world over.  For this, we have not only the efforts of the Indian leadership and resident Indians to thank but also the efforts of our diaspora.  There are today over 30 million overseas Indians and they have earned a reputation for hard work, discipline and law abiding and peaceful habits.  NRIs and PIOs have carved out a niche for themselves in their adoptive homes, in all possible fields – be it politics, academics, media, culture and arts, education, engineering, banking.  The list is endless. In Korea too, our community is growing and we have many professionals working in IT, shipping, automobiles etc., many researchers in various disciplines and many students enrolled in leading Korean universities.  I regard each and every one of you to be our partner in our effort to enhance the image of India and Indians amongst the people of Korea.  We need to go beyond the general image of India as the land of good food and good music and beautiful monuments and spread awareness of new India, which is all this and more.  In this effort, the role of all of you in the Indian community here is crucial.  With your active involvement, we can minimize the challenges of the Indian diaspora and expand our reach and influence in Korea.

Friends, I am aware that our community here is as diverse as our country is.  Our associations here reflect this diversity and we have several informal associations that have been created on ethnic or regional or professional lines. I have met the office bearers of almost all these Associations to understand their issues and views.  These Associations organise various cultural and social activities every year and this is an excellent platform for us to meet each other, socialise and also support each other.  as well as to showcase the Indian culture and tradition to Korean people. This also enables us to showcase various aspects of India’s rich traditions and culture to the people of Korea.  I urge you to continue your efforts. 

The relationship with India and South Korea is growing at breakneck speed, in keeping with the palli palli culture of the Koreans.  We hope to have more frequent engagement with you and visiting Indian delegations as well as with Korean leaders, similar to the one with the Korean First Lady’s interaction with Indian students last year.  I hope you will respond enthusiastically when such events are scheduled.  Please know that the Embassy is very accessible to you and you can reach out to us at any time.  Please do keep an eye on our website, Facebook page and Twitter handle for information on our activities and also advisories. 

I congratulate all the participants in the Bharat Ko Janiye Quiz – and of course, our prize winners!  Your knowledge of India is commendable.  

I will take this opportunity to inform you that the 15th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be held in Varanasi on January 21-23 this year. For the first time, the date for this event has been changed in deference to the demand of the Indian diaspora to attend the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Mahakumbh at Prayagraj on 24th January and Republic Day Celebrations in New Delhi on January 26. I hope some of you will travel to India on this occasion

Let me end by wishing you and your families a wonderful and fulfilling new year.

Jai Hind.