I am very fortunate that once again I have got the opportunity to meet you. His highness crown prince of Abu Dhabhi visited India in 2016. In 2017, he was the Chief Guest of our extremely important Republic Day function. Perhaps. After several decades, India’s relations with gulf countries have become so deep, so comprehensive, and so vibrant.
Today, our relation with the gulf countries is not just confined to a buyer-seller relationship but it has become a partnership. India takes pride in that more than 3 million Indians living in the gulf countries have become partners in the developmental journey of this region. I express my heartfelt gratitude to the gulf countries, I salute them. They have provided this kind of good environment to more than 30 lakh Indians as if it is their second home outside India.
Indian community also sowed the seeds of their dreams along with the dreams of local people and also with the same commitment by considering this place as their own home. And, in a way, we have been able to experience a very good partnership among the human groups in the gulf countries. In UAE, people were surprised when his highness crown prince took the initiative of constructing a temple in Abu Dhabi when I came here last time. I would like to express my gratitude to his highness crown prince on behalf of all the 1.25 billion Indians. The construction of a temple! And that too in the form of a bridge of goodwill! We have been raised in a tradition in which a temple is a medium for the humanity. And where a holy place is a catholic agent of humanity, where a holy place is an agent of harmony. And I believe that this temple will be unique in terms of architecture, in terms of technology, and in terms messaging in any case. But an opportunity will also be there for making the world community feel the mantra which we have followed for living our lives that is: the whole world is one family. And because of this thing it will also become a medium for acquiring an unique Indian identity.
I would like to tell all those who are related to the construction of the temple that the rulers of this place have shown so much respect for India, have given so much respect to India’s cultural traditions that now it is our responsibility not to leave any loose end, not to commit any mistake.
It will be a compelling responsibility for all those related with the construction of the temple, for all the future devotees that there should not be anything that might hurt the high ideals and principles of humanity even a bit. I have this expectation from all of you.
We have also witnessed those days of despair when it was like: friends, let’s leave it, nothing is going to happen. Friends, let’s pack your belongings and go somewhere else. We have been through those periods of despair, apprehension and confusion.
There was a time when the common man of this country used to ask, if it was possible ? Whether it will happen? Whether it can be done in our country? And by constantly moving forward from that position the country has reached such a position within four years that today the country has not been asking, today the country has not been thinking whether it will happen or not; whether it’s possible or not? Friends, why should we tax our mind! From that kind of feeling, the inner feeling today has reached this stage where people ask: Modi Ji please tell when this thing will happen. There is no complaint rather there is confidence that if it is to happen it will happen now.
In 2014, we were at the 142nd position in the ease of doing business ranking at global level. It means it was bit easier to count if you start counting from the last number. But it would take a lot more time if you start counting from the beginning. No other country in the world has jumped forty-two spots to reach at the hundredth spot in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking in such a short span of time. However, no one should be under the impression that we have reached there to halt there. We want to improve further and we want to bring India at par with global benchmarks as early as possible by doing whatever is necessary be it bringing about the changes in the policy, or be it changing the strategy or be it bringing about the changes in the road map for implementation or be it bringing about the changes in the processes for the resources, we will do whatever is necessary.
Globalisation is that thing in which all the people of this world fulfill their responsibilities by connecting with everyone and by learning from everyone and by taking everyone along, we have to attain those heights that will be useful for the welfare of the last man or the last country in the world and only then can we show that the whole world is one family in the real sense of the word by living the life as per that mantra “ Basudhaiba Kutumbakam”.
The destiny has entrusted India with some responsibilities for the fulfillment of her global role. Today, the world says that the 21st century belongs to Asia. Then it’s not like that it will happen automatically; it’s not like that we will continue to keep our hands like this and it will happen automatically.
We will have to work hard in order to make the 21st century a century of Asia even if there are no immediate gains. We will have to work hard keeping in view our long term interests. Mahatma Gandhi used to talk about Shreya (what must be done) and Priya (what is liked by us). It should be our effort that we should move ahead by taking steps in the direction of those objectives that must be fulfilled. We may or may not like them now but these things will be in our long term interests.
There are some people who can immediately understand the step that we take. For others it is a problem and they take time to understand. If I replace currency then the poor section of the society immediately understands that it’s a solid step in the right direction. However, the one who spent sleepless nights continues to weep even after two years.
For the last seven years it was being debated whether GST law should be implemented or not. It’s been done now. So it’s true that if we move to a new house after living in the earlier house for years we feel very happy during the night that we have constructed a good house, it’s a newly constructed house. However, when we wake up the next morning we go the left side habitually believing that the bathroom was there and we hit the wall. We later realise that it’s a new house and the bathroom is on the right side in this house. Whether everybody has experienced this thing or not? If there are going to be so many problems in one person’s life due to the changes then it’s natural to face hick ups when the system is changed after 70 years and in a country which has a population of 1.25 billion and which has internalised these habits and where two-three generations have spent their lifetime with those habits. Then there will be difficulties when things have to be changed. However, it’s worthwhile to do so.
This is the way which was shown by Mahatma Gandhi. And today GST has been moving ahead by getting acceptance as a system by overcoming its shortcomings in such a short span of time. The country is changing.
I was in Abu Dhabi yesterday and have signed several agreements. Lower Zakum Concession agreement: this is the first ever investment of an Indian company in the upstream sector of middle-east. The brighter aspect of the partnership has begun. I just wanted to say this. But, I have to be in the next programme so I will not take much of your time. You have turned up in such large numbers; you have showered so much love. My eyes do not even reach the other side. I’m extremely grateful to all of you.
I am finishing this visit in Jet speed. I’m going to return after visiting five countries within 70-80 hours. Jordan, Palestine, Abu Dhabi and now I’m in Dubai and from here I will go to Oman. Today evening I am going to have the good luck of meeting the Indian community in very large numbers over there as well. I need to share some of my thoughts with them as well.
Once again, I express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you. And I assure you that whatever dreams you have, whatever dreams your own people have in India, we are going to realise those dreams together and ahead of time. I assure you of this thing. Once again I thank you very much.