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Honourable Prime Minister of Bhutan, Honourable Prime Minister of Macedonia, Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim,

Honourable Ministers and dignitaries from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Fiji, Iran, Israel, Japan, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, UAE and United Kingdom 

Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen!

On behalf of the people of India and on my personal behalf, I welcome you all to this Summit.  In January, 2013,  while concluding the sixth Summit, I had extended an invitation for today’s event.  Your response has been outstanding. I am glad to be here to welcome you. On this occasion, I express my gratitude to the old partners of this event - both countries and organisations. These include Japan and Canada. Without their support, this event could not have come this far.

I also welcome warmly and thank new partners like USA, UK, Netherlands, Australia, Singapore and South Africa for joining this event.

I particularly thank the Secretary General of the United Nations and the President of the World Bank  for their presence. It shows their commitment towards progress and prosperity in emerging economies.

Your partnership has enhanced  the enterprising spirit of 60 million Gujaratis  It has boosted the morale of 1.2 billion Indians. This event is perhaps the biggest gathering on earth where, a budding entrepreneur has the opportunity to see  the President of the World Bank. And where a young farmer, dreaming to set up a food processing unit,  can listen to the views of the UN Secretary General  on issues like food security.  That is why,  during one of the previous events,  I had called it ‘Davos in Action’. 

Friends! India has always believed that the whole world is one family  (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam).  Few have seen this in practice  I am informed that more than hundred countries  are participating in this event.

We are here as a family  not only in terms of space,  but also because we recognise that:  

  • Someone’s dream is dependent on someone’s direction;
  • Someone’s success is related to someone’s support;
  • Someone’s curiosity is linked to someone’s care;

This is what a family does. The ultimate objective is welfare of all  Loka Samastah Sukhinau Bhavantu. 

I am sure all of us,  from the Secretary General of UN  to the President of the World Bank, from leaders of the strongest economies  to delegations of small countries,  from CEOs of Fortune 500 companies  to start-up entrepreneurs,  all want the planet earth to become a better place to live.

Thus,  our meeting here is not just -

  • A meeting of hands  but also of hearts;
  • It is not only a meeting of ideas,  but also of aspirations

 As a host to this family gathering, As a curator of thousands of dreams floating here,

I welcome you all once again  

I hope your stay here is comfortable. I trust you will enjoy our hospitality. This is the time of Kite Festival in Gujarat. This festival  gives us the message of high spirits.  Do participate in it.

Friends! After becoming Prime Minister, I have travelled  to the remotest parts of India  and also to various parts of the world.  I have been to the UN, BRICS, ASEAN, East Asian Summit, G-20 and SAARC summits. Some common worries have been expressed everywhere. The biggest concern is about the global economy. We all have to find ways  for its stability and recovery. We also have to work  for sustainable and inclusive growth.

We,  in India,  believe that problems present us  with opportunities to become stronger,  disciplined and innovative.

My Government is trying to generate confidence.  We have prepared a team  to secure a robust future.  We believe that  changes start with a change in mindset.

Friends! It is a matter of great pride that today,  there is tremendous interest in India. Countries are coming forward to work with us. This has,  of course,  generated expectations from us.

India’s present  as well as its rich past  is being recognised I thank the UN Secretary General  for giving a formal international stature to Yoga. A record number of 177 countries supported the Indian proposal. Yoga is both a science  and an art  for improving human life. In today’s world,  it teaches us to remain stable  even in adverse situations.

Friends,  the 2009 edition of this event  created vibrancy when the state of the global economy was depressing. The summits of 2011 and 2013  succeeded in strengthening investor confidence.

It is only because of persistence with positivity  that this event of Gujarat Government  has become an event for the entire country.  This platform has been enlarged  so that other states too  can take advantage.  Today,  many other states have adopted this approach  The Government of India is committed to support  such initiatives by any state government.

Friends!  We will have to change the way we have been approaching problems.  Recession is often seen  just in the context of business and Industry.

Have we ever thought of recession as being the result of low per capita income in countries  where a majority of the global population lives?

Have we ever thought of its solution  in terms of enhancing  the common man’s employability, income and purchasing power?  This is the biggest task at hand in India.  Mahatma Gandhi rightly talked about the last man.  And Gandhiji’s message  can show us the way  It is therefore appropriate that this summit is taking place  in Mahatma Mandir.

To me,  the best outcome of this event  should be inclusiveness and involvement of communities  needing care and development.

Thus, this event stands for-

  • Inclusiveness of small with big;
  • Inclusiveness of poor with rich;
  • Inclusiveness of gut feelings with mature thoughts

I assure this global platform  that India wants to work with the global leadership. Be they issues of poverty or ecology. We want to contribute to welfare of the global community. We are aware that  with one sixth of the world’s population,  our activities will have a global impact.  We are ready to learn  and make this impact positive.

However,  India has to be seen from a different angle  It is not just a country of today. It is also an old civilisation. It is not just a country of a few cities. It is a country of thousands of towns and several hundred thousand villages. It is a country of diverse communities  Therefore,  India has its own solutions  for many pressing problems.

  • Our philosophy is a philosophy of conservation;
  • Our culture teaches us nurturing of nature;
  • Our way of life is that of harnessing

Such thoughts and practices  have existed in India for centuries.  Thus,  whatever we will do,  it will be aligned with our culture,  ethos  and beliefs.  Because, we know,  this is what will work in India.

Friends!  Our last national elections  marked a turning point in Indian democracy. They indicated the high aspirations of our people. This was amply reflected in the record voter participation and a clear verdict in favour of one political party  after a gap of 30 years.

My government is committed to changing and improving the economic and social condition of India  including the quality of life.

In a short span of seven months,  we have been able to change  the atmosphere of despair and uncertainty. Since the first day, my government is actively working to revive the economy. My government is committed  to create a policy environment  that is predictable, transparent and fair.

Friends!  We are on the path of transformation. To start this process,  we are making efforts  to change the work culture. We have to strengthen our institutions  and systems of delivery. To drive this change forcefully, we have recently re-constituted our Planning Commission  Now, it is known as NITI Ayog.

We want to promote  co-operative federalism in the country  At the same time, we want a competitive element among the states  to create and attract whatever is needed there.  I call this new form of federalism  Co-operative and Competitive Federalism.

You may be aware that  our economic growth had slowed down  during the last few years  Now,  my Government is putting all efforts  to ensure faster and yet inclusive growth. The initial results are encouraging.

On the economic front,  during the first two quarters,  we registered a growth rate  which was one percent higher than the previous year.  The IMF has observed that  India will be the 2nd fastest growing economy in the coming years.

According to the latest forecast of the OECD,  India would be the only country among world's top economies  which would increase its pace of growth this year  HSBC's latest report has identified India  as the world's largest growing exporter,  which is set to move  from being the fourteenth  to the fifth largest exporter in the world  by 2030.

On the political front also,  people of various states have supported us  in the recent Assembly elections.

This gives us the confidence that  we are moving in right direction.  Let me tell you a little about  what we are doing  and where we want to reach.

Friends! We are not merely making commitments and announcements.  We are also backing them up  with concrete action  at the level of policy and practice. For example,  I announced a Financial Inclusion programme. In four months,  we have opened  more than 100 million bank accounts.

We are planning to build smart cities  equipped with world-class amenities. For this purpose, we have further liberalized the FDI policy in construction sector.

I announced that a modern rail system including high speed rails  will be set up  Immediately, we opened up railways for 100% FDI. I announced that defence production in the country would be encouraged. The next step was to open the defence sector  for FDI up to 49%.  We have taken similar steps in many other areas. These include bringing 49% FDI in insurance.  It also includes  liberalization of FDI norms for manufacturing of medical devices.

Simultaneously, on the administrative front, we are actively working to provide policy driven governance. We have taken far reaching decisions  to ensure supply of key natural resources. This includes coal, iron ore and other minerals. We have also amended legal provisions  to facilitate availability of land. This has been done  to enable development in remote areas  while ensuring better returns to the farming community.

We are trying to complete  the circle of economic reforms speedily.  We are also keen to see that  our policies are predictable. We are clear that our tax regime should be stable. In the last few months,  we have taken several decisions in this direction.

We have put focus  on building Infrastructure through public and private Investments. This will include  national roads,  national grids of gas, electricity and water. It also includes rural infrastructure,  24x7 electric supply,  farm irrigation  and cleaning of rivers.

In order to execute the infrastructure plan,  a fast track PPP mechanism is being put in place.

We are undertaking  the Sagarmala project  to ensure port led development.  Existing ports are being modernized.   New world class ports will be developed  along India's coast.  Ports will be better connected to the hinterland  through road and rail  Inland and coastal waterways  will be developed  as major transport routes.  Low cost airports are being planned  to improve regional connectivity,  especially to tier-two towns  and places of economic and tourist importance.

We are also keen  to move towards the next generation infrastructure   Just as we need highways, we need I-ways too  Under the Digital India Initiative, IT will be used to drive Government processes  to improve service delivery and program implementation, and also to provide broadband connectivity to villages.

To upgrade manufacturing Infrastructure,  we are setting up world-class investment and industrial regions  along the dedicated freight corridors and industrial corridors Government of India is working towards single window clearance  at the Federal and State levels.

Four months back, we launched Make In India initiative  to encourage the growth of manufacturing in the country. We are working hard  to make India a global manufacturing hub. We are promoting,  in particular,  labour intensive manufacturing.

I have launched these initiatives  in a campaign mode  so that they force us in the Government to make faster corrections. They challenge us to do away with the red tape  and become pro-active  With this purpose, our applications and processes are being aggressively put online.

Ease of doing business in India  is a prime concern for you and us.  I assure you that  we are working very seriously on these issues  We want to make them:

  • Not only easier than earlier;
  • Not only easier than the rest;
  • But, we want to make them the easiest

Friends!  Many of you might be interested to know -  Why India?  India has three things to its credit -  Democracy,  Demography  and Demand.  This is what you are looking for.

And I am sure,  you will not find all of them together  at any other destination  India offers you the potential of low cost manufacturing.  India has low cost and high quality manpower 65% of our population  is below 35 years of age. We are trying to further harness these strengths  through better management and good governance.

In the recently launched Mars Orbiter Mission, everything was made indigenously  In fact,  most mission components were made  in very small factories.

Friends!  We have large number of hands to work. And, we have even larger number of dreams  to be realised. Therefore,  employment opportunities are being enhanced  by promoting manufacturing,  agro-based industries,  tourism as well as services  We have undertaken labour reforms  to encourage enterprise  and to create a bigger job market  for our youth.

I have always said that  development process should benefit  the common man  as well as the business sector.

Therefore,  my Government has established  a new Ministry for skill development  to enhance our human resource potential. For this,  we are placing equal emphasis on knowledge, technology,  innovation  and research and development.  This includes the use of ICT  for improving governance and resource management. I understand this because. I use modern tools of communication myself.

Friends!  Today,  India is a land of opportunities. We have to build  fast track roads and railways. We have to energise homes and factories  on a continuous basis. We have to build infrastructure for cities  where almost half of our population lives. We have to take the taste of modern amenities to every village. We have to propel our growth  through value addition in our natural resources  and agri-produce. We have to provide services to our people  which are of global standards.  At the same time,  the whole world is looking for certain services. If our human resource can be equipped with skills and technology, we may serve the world in many areas.

Thus,  there are immense possibilities  for global investors in India  The process of development we are taking up  is not incremental  We are planning to take a quantum leap. It is not limited to one sector  or region, it is truly unlimited. And we want to do things  in a cleaner and greener way. We are open to ideas, investments  and innovations.

Friends!

  • We have made commitments to our people
  • We have made commitments to ourselves
  • We have made commitments for India’s great future
  • We have to write our new destiny
  • And we have to write it in a very short time

We know that to do this,  we need an enabling policy framework  We are working constantly to improve it further. However,  I can say with confidence  that even today,  the strength of Indian democracy  and independence of our judicial system provide a level playing field  for long lasting business.

 I would conclude  by saying that-

  • We are dreaming big;
  • And our dreams are numerous;
  • Our dreams can become  the seeds of your growth;
  • Our aspirations can propel your ambitions

Friends!  on behalf of the Government,  let me give an assurance  We assure you that  we will be available to hold your hands  whenever you need us. You will find us standing with you in your journey  If you walk one step; we will walk two steps for you.

At the end,  I urge you to see  and realise  for yourself that -

  • India is changing fast;
  • India is growing fast ;
  • India is moving faster than expected;
  • India is learning even faster;
  • India is ready than ever before

Let us join hands! Let us work together  for progress,  prosperity and peace

Thank you

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Maha-Shivratri symbolizes a union of divinity with a purpose, of overcoming darkness and injustice: PM Modi
Yoga is ancient, yet modern; it is constant, yet evolving: PM Narendra Modi
By practicing Yoga, a spirit of oneness is created – oneness of the mind, body and the intellect: PM
Our mind should always be open to new thoughts and ideas from all sides: PM Narendra Modi
The progress of humanity is incomplete without the empowerment of women: Shri Modi
The burden of stress takes a heavy toll and one of the sharpest weapons to overcome stress is Yoga: Shri Modi
Yoga is a passport to health assurance. More than being a cure to ailments, it is a means to wellness: PM Modi
Yoga makes the individual a better person in thought, action, knowledge and devotion: Prime Minister
Yoga has the potential to herald in a new Yuga of peace, compassion, brotherhood and all-round progress of the human race: PM

My loving greetings to all.

It is my honour to be here, in this august gathering.

That too, on the auspicious occasion of Maha-Shivratri.

There are many festivals, but this one is pre-fixed with "Maha."

Indeed, there are many Devs, but only one Maha-Dev.

There are many Mantras, but the Mantra which is identified with Lord Shiva, is called Maha-Mrityunjayi Mantra.

Such is the glory of Lord Shiva.

Maha-Shivratri symbolizes a union of divinity with a purpose, of overcoming darkness and injustice.

It inspires us to be courageous and fight for good.

It marks the shift of seasons, from the cold to the lively spring and brightness.

Maha-Shivratri celebrations go on for the entire night. This symbolizes a spirit of vigilance- that we have to protect nature and mould our activities in sync with our ecological surroundings.

My home state, Gujarat is the land of Somnath. The call of the people and the longing for service took me to Kashi, the land of Vishwanath.

From Somnath to Vishwanath, from Kedarnath to Rameshwaram and from Kashi to Coimbatore where we have gathered, Lord Shiva is everywhere.

Like crores of Indians across the length and breadth of the nation, I too feel delighted to be a part of celebrations of Maha-Shivratri.

And we are merely drops in the ocean.

Through centuries, there have lived countless devotees, in every age and time.

They came from different places.

Their language may have been different but their longing for the divine is always the same.

This longing throbs in the core of every human heart. Their poetry, their music, their love has soaked the very earth.

Standing here before this 112-feet face of Adiyogi and the Yogeshwar Linga, we are experiencing a colossal presence enveloping everyone in this space.

 

In the times to come, the place where we have gathered is going to be a source of inspiration for all, a place to immerse one’s self and discover truth.

ये स्‍थान सबको शिवमय होने के लिए प्रेरित करता रहेगा। It will remind us of the inclusive spirit of Lord Shiva.

Today, Yoga has come a long way.

There are various definitions, types, schools of Yoga and ways to practice Yoga that have emerged.

This is the beauty of Yoga- it is ancient, yet modern, it is constant, yet evolving.

The essence of Yoga has not changed. 

And I say this because it is of utmost importance to preserve this essence.

Otherwise, we may just have to discover a new Yoga to re-discover the soul and essence of Yoga.

Yoga is the catalytic agent, ushering the transformation from Jiva to Shiva.

हमारे यहां कहा गया है – यत्र जीव: तत्र शिव:

जीव से शिव की यात्रा, यही तो योग है।

By practicing Yoga, a spirit of oneness is created – oneness of the mind, body and the intellect.

Oneness with our families, with the society we live in, with fellow humans, with all the birds, animals and trees with whom we share our beautiful planet…this is Yoga.

Yoga is the journey from ‘me’ to ‘we.’

व्‍यक्ति से समस्‍ती तक ये यात्रा है। मैं से हम तक की यह अनुभूति, अहम से वयम तक का यह भाव-विस्‍तार, यही तो योग है।

India is a land of unparalleled diversity. India’s diversity can be seen, heard, felt, touched and tasted.

The diversity has been India’s greatest strength and has also brought India together.

Think of Lord Shiva and the picture that comes to mind is that of his majestic presence at Mount Kailash, in the mighty Himalayas. Think of Goddess Parvati and you remember the beautiful Kanyakumari, which is surrounded by the vast oceans. The union of Shiva and Parvati is a union of the Himalayas with the oceans.

Shiv and Parvati… this is by itself a message of oneness.

And look at how this message of oneness further manifests itself:

Around the neck of Lord Shiva, there is a snake. The ‘Vahan’ of Lord Ganesh is the mouse. We are well aware of the frosty relations between a snake and a mouse. Yet, they live together.

Similarly, the ‘Vahan’ of Kartikeya is the peacock. Peacocks and snakes are supposed to harbor great enmity. Even then, they live together.

The family of Lord Shiva is diverse yet the spirit of harmony and unity is vibrant.

Diversity is not a cause of conflict for us. We accept it and embrace it whole heartedly.

It is a speciality of our culture that wherever there is a God or Goddess, there is either an animal, a bird or a tree that is associated with him or her.

That animal, bird or tree is also worshipped with the same spirit as the God or Goddess. There cannot be a better means to inculcate a spirit of reverence for nature. Nature equals to God, this has been firmly established by our ancestors, showing their foresight.

Our scriptures say: एकमसत, विप्रा: बहुधा वदन्ति

Truth is one, sages call it by different names.

We have been living these virtues since our childhood and that is why compassion, kindness, brotherhood and harmony are naturally a part of us. 

These are values we have seen our ancestors live and die for.

These are virtues that have kept the Indian civilization alive for centuries.

Our mind should always be open to new thoughts and ideas from all sides. Unfortunately, there are a select few, who in order to hide their own ignorance, take a very rigid view and destroy any scope of welcoming new thoughts and experiences.

Rejecting an idea just because it is ancient can be potentially harmful. It is essential to analyse it, understand it and try to take it to the new generation in a manner in which they understand best.

The progress of humanity is incomplete without the empowerment of women. The issue is no longer women development but it is women-led development.

I am proud of the fact that in our culture the role of women is central.

Our culture has so many Goddesses who are worshipped.

India is home to many women saints, who led the movements for social reform be it in the north, south, east or west.

They shattered stereotypes, broke barriers and became trendsetters.

You would be interested to know, that in India we say –नारी तू नारायणी, नारी तू नारायणी - woman is a manifestation of the divine.

लेकिन पुरुष के लिए क्‍या कहते हैं, for man we say नर तू करनी करे तो नारायण हो जाए- if a man does good deeds, he will attain divinity.

Do you see the difference- the divine status of the woman is unconditional Women unconditional नारी तू नारायणी whereas for men, it is conditional. He can earn it after good deeds.

That is also why perhaps Sadhguru insists that one takes the oath of being a mother to the world. A mother is someone who is unconditionally inclusive.

The changing lifestyles of the 21st century have brought their own set of challenges.

Lifestyle related ailments, stress related diseases are becoming more and more common. The communicable ailments can be controlled but what about the non-communicable ones?

It gives me immense sadness, one that I cannot describe in words, when I read about people taking to substance abuse and alcohol because they are not at peace with themselves.

Today, the whole world wants peace, not just peace from wars and conflict but peace of the mind.

The burden of stress takes a heavy toll and one of the sharpest weapons to overcome stress is Yoga.

There is ample evidence that practicing yoga helps combat stress and chronic conditions. If the body is a temple of the mind, yoga creates a beautiful temple.

That is why I call Yoga a passport to health assurance. More than being a cure to ailments, it is a means to wellness.

Yoga is about Rog Mukti (freedom from diseases) as well as Bhog Mukti (desisting from worldly greed).

Yoga makes the individual a better person in thought, action, knowledge and devotion.

It would be very unfair to see Yoga only as a set of exercises that keeps the body fit.

You may see people twist and turn their bodies in many sorts of fashion. But they are not all yogis.

Yoga is far beyond physical exercises.

Through Yoga, we will create a new Yuga – a Yuga of togetherness and harmony. 

When India mooted the idea of the International Yoga Day at the United Nations, it was received with open arms.

The world celebrated both the Yoga Days, 21st June 2015 and 2016 with greatfervour.

Be it Korea or Canada, Sweden or South Africa- in every part of the world the rays of the sun were welcomed by Yogis, engaged in the practice of Yoga.

The coming together of so many nations to mark the International Day of Yoga illustrates the real essence of Yoga- togetherness.

Yoga has the potential to herald in a new Yuga (a new era)- a Yuga of peace, compassion, brotherhood and all-round progress of the human race.

One truly remarkable thing that Sadhguru has done is he has made yogis out of ordinary, common people. People who stay with their families and work in the world, but who are living at the peaks within themselves – undergoing intense and wonderful experiences on a daily basis. Wherever one is, in whatever situation one is placed, one can be a yogi.

I see so many radiant and joyous faces here. I see people working with utmost love and care, paying attention to the smallest of details. I see people full of energy and enthusiasm to offer themselves to a greater cause.

Adiyogi will inspire many generations to take up yoga. My gratitude to Sadhguru for bringing this to us.

Thank you. Thank you very much. प्रणाम, वाणकम