Namaskar, Kalispera, Sat Sri Akal, Jai Gurudev, Say "DhanGurudev",

When there's an atmosphere of celebration, a festive spirit, one wishes to quickly be among their family members. I too have come amongst my family members. It's the month of Sawan, in a way considered Lord Shiva's month, and our country has achieved a new milestone in this holy month. India has become the first nation in the world to land on the South Pole which is the dark zone of the Moon. India has unfurled the Tricolour on the Moon, showcasing India's capabilities to the entire world. Congratulatory messages are pouring in from all over the world. People are sending their good wishes, and I firmly believe that people must be congratulating you as well, aren't they? You're receiving many congratulations too, right? Every Indian is receiving it. The entire social media is filled with congratulatory messages.When success is so significant, the enthusiasm for that success remains constant. Your face is also telling me that you may live anywhere in the world, but India beats in your heart. India beats in your heart, India beats in your heart, India beats in your heart. Today, I am here in Greece amidst all of you, and once again, I extend hearty congratulations to everyone for the magnificent success of Chandrayaan.

Friends,

We've been hearing since childhood that the Moon is referred to as "Chanda Mama" in our country. What's said? Chanda Mama! You might have seen that some people were sharing pictures regarding Chandrayaan. They depicted that our Mother Earth has sent Chandrayaan to her brother Moon, as a Rakhi (a traditional bracelet) and see how beautifully the Moon has respected the dignity of that Rakhi, how it has honoured it. The festival of Rakhi is also approaching in just a few days. I also extend my best wishes to all of you for RakshaBandhan in advance.

My family members,

I have travelled to many countries around the world, but coming to Greece, to Athens, holds a very special place for me. First, Athens has a history that spans thousands of years. Second, I am a Member of Parliament from Kashi, one of the oldest living cities in the world. Third, there's another aspect that very few might know – the place where I was born is Vadnagarin Gujarat, which is also a vibrant city much like Athens. There too, remnants of a civilization thousands of years old have been found. Hence, coming to Athens is filled with a unique sentiment for me.And you have seen that the government of Greece has also honoured me with the highest civilian award of Greece. You all deserve this honour; 1.4 billion Indians deserve this honour. I dedicate this honour to all the children of Mother India.

Friends,

Today, I also want to express my condolences to the people of Greece. When the wildfires broke out in the forests here, a very significant challenge emerged. Many people in Greece lost their lives due to this tragic disaster. India stands with the people of Greece in this moment of crisis.

Friends,

The relationship between Greece and India spans centuries. These ties are rooted in culture and civilization. Greek historians have provided elaborate descriptions of Indian civilization. There has been a friendly relationship between Greece and the Maurya Empire. Emperor Ashoka also maintained strong relations with Greece. At a time when discussions on democracy were not widespread in a significant part of the world, both our civilizations had democratic systems. Whether it's in the fields of astronomy, mathematics, arts, or trade, both our civilizations have learned much from each other and taught each other much as well.

My family members,

Every civilization and culture carries a unique identity. The identity of Indian civilization has been about connecting the world. Our gurus have strengthened this sentiment the most. What was the purpose of Guru Nanak DevJi's world travels, known to us as his "Udasis" (journeys)? The purpose of these journeys was aimed at uniting humanity, bettering human welfare. Guru Nanak DevJi undertook journeys to various places in Greece. The essence of Guru Nanak DevJi's teachings is encapsulated in "Nanak NaamChardi Kala, TereBhaneSarbat Da Bhala" – May everyone prosper and be blessed through your grace.This aspiration for the well-being of all persisted then and India is progressing with these values. You've witnessed how India maintained its supply chain of medicines during the Corona pandemic. It didn't allow disruptions. The "Made in India" COVID vaccines saved the lives of millions across the globe. During the pandemic, our gurdwaras (Sikh temples) served langar (community meals), temples provided food, and Sikh youth became beacons of humanity. As a nation, as a society, these actions reflect the essence of our Indian values.

Friends,

Today, the world is moving towards a new world order. Alongside India's growing capabilities, its role in the global arena is also rapidly evolving. I have come here after participating in the BRICS summit in South Africa. In a few days, the G-20 summit is scheduled to take place in India. As the host of the G-20 summit, the theme that India has chosen embodies the spirit of global brotherhood. This theme is "VasudhaivaKutumbakam," "One Earth, One Family, One Future," signifying that the future of the entire world is shared and interconnected. Therefore, our decisions and responsibilities are aligned in that direction as well.

Friends,

We Indians have a unique characteristic, wherever we live, we blend and mix like sugar in milk, like sugar dissolving in water. You are adding sweetness to the economy, particularly to the rural economy, in Greece. You are making great efforts in boosting Greece's development. Similarly, in India, your extended family members are actively engaged in the nation's progress. Your family members have made India the number one producer of milk in the world. Your family members have achieved second place in the production of rice, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, and vegetables on a global scale.Today, India is operating on a scale that was unimaginable 10-15 years ago. India is the country which is the world's number one consumer of smartphone data, India is the country which ranks second in terms of internet users, India is the country which is the world's second-largest mobile phone manufacturer, India is the country which has the third-largest start-up ecosystem globally, India is the country which boasts the third-largest auto market, and India is the country which stands as the third-largest civil aviation market in the world.

Friends,

Today, organizations like the IMF and World Bank never tire of praising India's strong economy. Big multinational companies around the world are eagerly looking to invest in India. Currently, India stands as the world's fifth-largest economic power, and every important expert is predicting that India will be in the top three economies globally within the coming years.

Friends,

When the economy grows rapidly, a country quickly emerges from poverty. Injust five years, over 13.5 crorecitizens have moved above the poverty line in India. As India's economy expands, the income of every Indian and every family is increasing, leading people to both earn and invest more. A decade ago, Indians had invested around eight lakh crorerupees in mutual funds. Today, Indians have invested nearly 40 lakh crorerupees in mutual funds. This transformation has happened because every Indian is teeming with self-confidence and India as a nation exudes self-assurance.

Friends,

Today's India is making its mark on the world stage with its science, technology, and innovations. Since 2014, India has laid down 25 lakh kilometres of optical fiber, this figure will seem a bit big. Twenty-five lakh kilometres of optical fiber has been laid, and this 25 lakh kilometres of optical fiber means that it is 6 times more than the distance between the Earth and the Moon.India is the country in the world which has achieved a remarkable feat by delivering 5G services to over 700 districts in record time. And this 5G technology is not borrowed and imported, but entirely "Made in India."Digital transactions have become common in every village and alley across India. From Amritsar to Aizawl, even small purchases of ten rupees can be made effortlessly through digital payments. If you've recently travelled to India, you might have experienced this firsthand. Have you? Doesn’t it happen? There is no need for physical currency in pockets as mobile phones suffice for transactions.

Friends,

Today, the pace and scale with which India is progressing would stir the hearts of every Indian, including yours. You will be proud to know that today the world's tallest rail bridge is in India. The world's highest motorable road is also in India. The largest cricket stadium in the world is in India today. The tallest statue in the world is also in India. The world's largest solar wind park is under construction in India. Speaking of the Moon, which is a hot topic these days, let me give you another example related to the Moon. In the last 9 years, India has constructed as many roads in its villages, and I am talking about only roads in villages, that, combined, could cover a distance between the Earth and the Moon. These many village roads have been built in 9 years.The length of railway lines laid by India in the last 9 years is more than 25 thousand kilometres. When I say 25 thousand kms, it may sound like just a figure. You should understand that India has laid more railway lines in the last 9 years surpassing the network of railway lines in countries like Italy, South Africa, Ukraine, Poland and Britain. The level of investment India is putting into its infrastructure today is unprecedented.

Friends,

Today, India is moving forward with the mantra of Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, and Jai Anusandhan, making every sector stronger. Here in Greece, many of our friends have come from Punjab and most of whom are involved in agricultural activities. In India, we have launched a scheme for farmers, wherein the government directly transfers money to their bank accounts for agricultural expenses. Under the PM KisanSammanNidhi scheme, more than 2.5 lakh crore rupees have been transferred directly to the bank accounts of farmers. Just a few days ago, I made an announcement from the Red Fort, and I want to emphasize it once again here, that India is launching a major campaign to train the sisters from our villages as drone pilots. Imagine our village daughters becoming drone pilots and aiding modern farming. With the help of drones, they will be able to spray pesticides in the fields and deliver essential supplies from one place to another.

Friends,

In India, we have provided more than 20 crore soil health cards to farmers. Now they know what kind of fertilizers their fields require, how much fertilizer is needed, and which crops are suitable for their land. Due to this, they are now achieving higher yields in limited spaces. Our farming brothers and sisters are also shifting towards natural farming on a large scale in India. The government has launched another scheme that has greatly benefited the farmers. This is the "One District, One Product" scheme. As you are aware, each district has its own unique specialty. For example, Kodagu in Karnataka is known for coffee, Amritsar for pickles and preserves, Bhilwara for maize products, Fatehgarh Sahib, Hoshiarpur, and Gurdaspur for jaggery, Nizamabad for turmeric. By focusing on one special product from each district, we are increasing its export. This is the present-day India that is working with new methods for new goals.

Friends,

Greece is the place where the Olympics originated. The passion for sports is continuously growing among the youth of India as well. Athletes from our small towns and cities in India are excelling in events ranging from the Olympics to the University Games. When Neeraj Chopra won a medal at the Olympics, it filled everyone with pride. Just a few days ago, Indian youngsters performed exceptionally well at the World University Games. In the history of this competition, since its inception, India has brought back more medals this time than the total medals won in all previous editions combined.

Friends,

You are witnessing in Greece how they preserve their culture and ancient heritage. Today's India is also celebrating its heritage while integrating it with development. The world's largest museum, YugeYugeenBharat, is being constructed in Delhi. Did you hear that right? Recently, I had the privilege of attending the ground-breaking ceremony of the SantRavidasSmarak in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh. This area, inspired by the teachings of SantRavidas, is being built with soil gathered from more than 50,000 villages and clay sourced from over 300 rivers. Imagine the magnitude of this campaign.SantRavidas was born in Kashi. I was fortunate to witness the expansion of various facilities at his birthplace in Kashi. In the past nine years, we have also worked diligently to improve connectivity to holy sites of our Gurus. There was a time when people from distant places used binoculars to see Kartarpur Sahib. Our government has made the journey to Kartarpur Sahib easier. On the occasion of the 550th PrakashParv of Guru Nanak DevJi, the 400th PrakashParv of Guru TegBahadurJi, and the 350th PrakashParv of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, our government worked wholeheartedly to celebrate these auspicious occasions globally. We now observe ‘Veer Bal Divas’ on 26th December every year in memory of the Sahabzadas in India.

Friends,

The ‘AmritKaal’ of physical, digital, and cultural connectivity has begun in India. I have full confidence that just as people from all over the world, including India, come to Greece to see its heritage, similarly, people from Europe, especially Greece, will come to India more and more. You will also witness those days during your tenure. But just as I've shared with you about India here, similarly, you will also need to share the story of India with your Greek friends. Will you tell them? Did you forget? This too is a significant service to Mother India.

Friends,

There is much more to explore in India beyond historical sites for your Greek friends. The people here are wildlife enthusiasts and are deeply committed to environmental conservation. If you see area wise, India holds over 8% of the world's biodiversity despite having less than 2.5% of the world's land area. India is home to over 75% of the world's tiger population. The highest number of tigers, Asiatic elephants, and one-horned rhinoceros are found in India. India is the only country in the world where Asiatic lions are found. Today, India has over 100 community reserves, and more than 400 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

My family members,

Today's India never leaves the side of any child of Mother India. In any corner of the world, when any Indian faces difficult times, it never abandons its people, it can't leave them alone. And that's why I say that you are my family members. You have seen that when there was conflict in Ukraine, we safely evacuated thousands of our children. When violence erupted in Afghanistan, India brought its citizens back safely, including a significant number of our Sikh brothers and sisters. Not just that, we also brought Guru Granth Sahib's ‘swaroop’ (religious scripture) with utmost respect from Afghanistan to India.The Indian missions spread across the world are now not just associated with government offices but are becoming like an extension of your own homes. Even here in Greece, the Indian Mission is committed to serving you 24/7. As the bond between India and Greece grows stronger, visiting each other's countries and engaging in business and trade will become simpler and more convenient. We all must make every effort to strengthen the ties between our two nations.

Friends,

Your presence here in such large numbers brings a sense of satisfaction to every Indian's heart. Once again, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the hardworking colleagues here. I express my gratitude for showering me with so much love, and together let us say with full strength and both hands raised "Bharat Mata ki -- Jai ". It should reach all the way to India – Bharat Mata ki-- Jai, Bharat Mata ki-- Jai, Bharat Mata ki-- Jai, Vande-- Mataram, Vande-- Mataram, Vande-- Mataram, Vande-- Mataram, Vande-- Mataram. Thank you very much.

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PM Modi's interview to DD News
May 25, 2024

In an interview to DD News, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke in depth about the Lok Sabha Elections 2024. He said that all his energy is directed towards a Viksit Bharat. He added that India's unprecedented growth and development over the last decade is also to empower the deprived.