नया उत्साह नए कदम
NEW VIGOUR: NEW STEPS
When Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi landed at the Macdonald-Cartier International Airport in Ottawa on 14th April 2015, it marked the beginning of a very special and historic visit. Canada's PM Mr. Stephen Harper said that this was the first standalone bilateral visit by the Indian Prime Minister in forty-two long years.
At the airport, he was warmly received by the Defense Minister of Canada, the International Trade Minister and the Indian High Commissioner to Canada.
In what has become characteristic of the Prime Minister’s visits across India and the world, there was immense enthusiasm among people, especially youngsters who gathered in large numbers to welcome the Prime Minister.
Writing for ‘The Globe and Mail’ Newspaper, Shri Modi affirmed, “I have come to build a strategic partnership with Canada in pursuit of India’s economic transformation and a more peaceful, secure and stable future for our two countries.” He also highlighted the strong potential for India-Canada ties in various fields.
A close strategic partnership between India and Canada is natural. We are two major democracies and pluralist societies. Our citizens enjoy individual rights and liberty; diverse cultures, religions and languages flourish in our two nations.
The pessimism of the past has turned into optimism about the future. India has become the fastest-growing major economy in the world. Multilateral institutions, credit rating agencies, independent experts and, above all, investors are unanimous in their vote of confidence in India.
India and Canada must strengthen their co-operation and seek a comprehensive global response to terrorism. We must also prepare ourselves for the challenges in the cyberworld and outer space.
During this visit, our two countries will resume commercial co-operation in civil nuclear energy after decades. This will be a defining symbol of our mutual trust and understanding, and of our willingness to look beyond the boundaries of the past to the opportunities of the future.
During his recent visit to Canada, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Stephen Harper developed a very strong personal friendship. PM Harper was among the first to welcome PM Modi when he landed in Canada. It was on March 28th, 2015, that PM Narendra Modi announced his visit to Canada.
PM of Canada, Stephen Harper also expressed his delight on Shri Modi’s visit, conveying his thoughts on Twitter to which PM Modi also replied back.
From Ottawa to Toronto to Vancouver, PM Stephen Harper travelled with PM Modi. He received him warmly at the Ceremonial reception. Taking to twitter, the Canadian PM, highlighted every step taken to strengthen partnership with India.
Pleased to welcome PM Modi in Toronto, PM Harper shared a glimpse of the hearty welcome on twitter. The Canadian counterpart expressed his delight when PM Modi gifted him a painting of Guru Nanak Dev.
PM Harper also gave a hearty welcome to PM Modi at the Ricoh Coliseum where a huge Indian gathering awaited cheerfully. He joined PM Modi at the Air India Memorial paying respects to the people who lost their lives in the tragic accident.
In Vancouver too, the friendship between both the leaders noted a new dimension. PM Modi and PM Harper visited the Gurudwara Khalsa Diwan and Lakshmi Narayan Temple and offered prayers. The Canadian PM captured a few moments from the visit and shared it on the twitter world.
As PM Modi was set to leave for India, Prime Minister Stephen Harper thanked him on behalf of entire Canada for having paid a visit that brought India and Canada closer. The PM praised PM Harper for being a wonderful host and described him as a dear friend.
Speaking to the media during a Joint Press Conference in Ottawa, PM Narendra Modi highlighted the strong potential of India-Canada ties and expressed optimism that ties between the two Nations will flourish in the times to come.
Shri Modi highlighted the fact that both India and Canada are flourishing democracies with shared values and both countries are known for celebrating their diversity.
The Prime Minister’s commitment towards a skilled India is very well known. The Government of India has left no stone unturned to fulfil their dream of a skilled India. In this context, thirteen agreements were signed in the field of skill development, from which the youth of India will greatly benefit.
A new era in the field of bilateral nuclear co-operation began when an agreement on the procurement of uranium for civilian nuclear power plants was signed between India and Canada.
This agreement will also help India’s in their clean energy initiatives.
The Uranium supply contract with Canada is extremely significant. Canada was the original supplier of Uranium as also heavy water pressurized nuclear reactors to India in mid 50s. The nuclear
programme of India and Canada had many commonalities as India’s early nuclear programme was supported by infusion of Canadian technology. As both India and Canada specialize in utilization of natural Uranium and pressurized heavy water technology, India has inherent advantages in nuclear co-operation with Canada. Signing of an MoU for assured supply of Uranium for 5 years is thus a major contribution to India’s energy security. India and Canada also agreed to cooperate in safety and regulatory aspects of nuclear energy.
Both PM Modi and PM Harper were unequivocal in their condemnation of all forms of terror and this commitment was firmly reflected in the joint press meet. India and Canada agreed to deepen cooperation to counter terrorism and extremism. The two nations also agreed to enhance co-operation in the defence sector and on cyber security.
Canada assured not to allow any activity on its soil impinging on India’s security. Prime Minister Modi strongly took up the issue of undesirable activities by a miniscule of Indian Diaspora that militated against India’s security interests. The Prime Minister also underlined the issue during his meetings with the provincial leadership of Ontario and British Columbia. Cutting across the party lines, the political leaders underlined that in the emerging dispensation they attached high value to their relationship with India and assured that they will take all possible steps to ensure that anti-humanity elements are not able to get any traction in Canada.
PM Modi announced that India has liberalized the visa policy for Canada. The issuing of Electronic Visa Authorisation for tourist visa for Canadian nationals was announced. Canadian nationals will also be eligible for ten-year visas now.
Our relationship had drifted in the past. In recent years, Prime Minister Harper's vision and leadership changed the course of our relations.
I seek Canada's cooperation and investment in every area of India's national development priority,- Energy and Infrastructure, Manufacturing and Skills, Smart Cities and agro-industry, and Research and Education.
Ours is a natural partnership of shared values. It is an economic partnership of immense mutual benefit. It is a strategic partnership that can help address many of our shared global challenges.
I am confident that this visit will be a springboard for a new strategic partnership between our two democracies.
The Prime Minister’s Canada visit brought about an orbital shift with both countries deciding to work closely in political, economic, security and other domains. Unfreezing of the relationship, with a bipartisan acceptance, was one of the major achievements of the Prime Minister’s visit. The Indo-Canadian Joint Statement covered the extent to which PM Modi’s Canada visit was able to transform India Canada ties. It included the ground covered in several issues ranging from Energy, Civil Nuclear Co-operation, Education, Skill Development, Agriculture, Defence, Security, Science, Technology, Space, People to people ties and global issues.
“The two leaders welcomed the continuing diversification, growth and deepening of bilateral relations in recent years, rooted in shared values of democracy, pluralism, tolerance, human rights and rule of law, and based on expanding economic engagement and long-standing people-to-people ties.”
“Prime Minister Harper commended Prime Minister Modi for his forward-looking vision of energising the Indian economy and welcomed the policy measures and specific initiatives taken to improve the ease of doing business in India. They also appreciated the role played by the bilateral business community in both countries in promoting commercial partnerships between India and Canada.”
“The Prime Ministers reaffirmed the need to elevate two-way trade and investment linkages to their full potential. They agreed to pursue specific measures to diversify and deepen bilateral trade and investment cooperation to increase the two way flow of goods and services.”
“The Prime Ministers underscored the considerable potential for mutually-beneficial civil nuclear cooperation.”
“The Prime Ministers noted the significant opportunities available to expand bilateral trade and investment in energy and resources as well as related technologies and services.”
“While recognising the significant scope and wide ranging potential for cooperation in this field between governments and the private sector, the Prime Ministers agreed to further collaboration in areas such as energy efficiency and innovation, oil and gas development, exchange of regulatory best practices, renewable energy, and nuclear energy.”
“The Prime Ministers identified education as one of the key areas of priority for bilateral engagement and agreed to focus on greater student, faculty and people-to-people exchanges. They affirmed that cooperation in education should focus on building the quality of human resources in both countries.”
“The Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of intensifying and facilitating bilateral collaboration in the area of agriculture and agrifood, including continued collaboration in fertilisers, as well as in the fields of cold chain management, animal development, dryland farming, food processing technologies and agricultural sustainability.”
“The Prime Ministers agreed that terrorism, extremism and radicalisation present security challenges to the peace, stability and prosperity of the two countries and humanity as a whole.”
“The Prime Ministers agreed to intensify bilateral engagement and exchange perspectives on emerging threats to national security, including in the cyber domain.”
“The Prime Ministers appreciated the ongoing bilateral cooperation in science, technology and innovation and its role in improving the lives of their citizens. They noted several successful Indo-Canadian research and development projects and their benefits to the larger society.”
“The two Prime Ministers recognised the central and dynamic role of people to people ties in the Canada-India partnership, noting and appreciating in particular the growing community of more than one million Canadians of Indian origin and their contributions to both societies.”
“In this the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, as global partners the Prime Ministers affirmed the desirability of reforming the United Nations to strengthen its ability to address contemporary global challenges more effectively through concrete outcomes.”
If you thought PM Modi’s Canada visit was only about diplomatic meetings etc think again! In a rare instance, PM Narendra Modi and PM Stephen Harper boarded AI001 from the Canadian capital of Ottawa to Toronto on 15th April 2015. It does not happen very often that the host and the guest fly together. This gesture is special and indicative of the warm ties between India and Canada and the personal friendship between the two Prime Ministers.
On the evening of 15th March (wee hours of 16th March in India) all roads lead to the Ricoh Coliseum, where PM Narendra Modi addressed the Indian Community in the presence of Canada PM Stephen Harper and other top lawmakers of Canada.
In a speech filled with aspiration and reflecting the pace of development in India in the last ten month, the Prime Minister touched upon several issues:
The Prime Minister remarked that ten months ago only the Government had changed in India but now ‘Jan Mann’ (public attitude) has changed. He added that it is this change in ‘Jan Mann’ that is driving the positive change in India over the last ten months.
He gave the example of how it was the poor who were at the forefront of contributing money to their Jan Dhan Yojana accounts even when it was not mandatory to do so. This illustrates a change in mindset and at the same time a renewed trust in the Government.
Similarly, over four lakh people gave up their LPG subsidies, which gave additional resources to the government coffers along with giving an impetus to ending black marketeering and corruption.
The Prime Minister also attributed the growing awareness and efforts made towards a Swachh Bharat as indicative of the change in ‘Jan Man.’ He lauded the efforts of two youngsters,
one of whom is from the Northeast, who led a large team in cleaning the Ghats of Varanasi.
Time and again the Prime Minister stressed on the vitality of development vis-à-vis any other agenda and this was once again the focus of his speech in Toronto. He listed out some of the steps being taken by the Government that will increase the pace and extend of progress in India.
Shri Modi spoke at length about the importance of his visit to Canada, the first standalone bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister in 42 years. He said that India and Canada together can create a strong partnership that would benefit both the Nations and the entire World at large. He reminded the people about the potential this partnership has and how it remains the need of the hour to make it even stronger.
Skill development for India’s youth was a major part of the Prime Minister’s speech in Toronto. He spoke about the need to enhance skill development initiatives and avowed that India’s youth must be job creators and not job seekers.
An integral part of the Indian Community Programme was the cultural extravaganza. The audience was treated to Bollywood music and dance. Famous singer Sukhwinder Singh enthralled the audience with his famous renditions including ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya.’
There were also traditional Indian dances during the programme. The cultural programme was special because of the wide range of people who attended it. Top Canadian lawmakers, officials, businessmen, eminent Indo-Canadians and people from India and Canada made this event a resounding success, one that will always be remembered.
Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Canadian PM Stephen Harper considered him to be a statesman in the world today, an admirer and a great friend of Canada. PM Harper said that it was a real pleasure to have spent time with PM Modi during his historic visit to Canada. He was glad to have hosted PM Modi in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. The Canadian Prime Minister appreciated PM Narendra Modi’s vision, character and capabilities. Prime Minister Harper said that both the nations were inheritors of similar institutions, traditions, values and shared the passionate commitment to democracy. He expressed joy about the growing India-Canada relationship and desired to strengthen partnership in the times to come.
There is a new atmosphere of trust in India. Ten months ago only the Government changed, now I can say ‘Jan Mann’ has changed.
The respect I am getting here is not respect for Narendra Modi, it is for and due to the 125 crore people of India.
India+ Canada, can you imagine the strength this partnership has!
During times of crisis we never see the colour of anyone’s passport. We do everything possible to help people in distress.
From my experience so far I can tell you that India has the strength, what is needed is opportunity, and we are working to create those opportunities for our people.
The Prime Minister today gifted the Canadian Prime Minister a miniature painting titled Guru Nanak Dev. Painted inthe traditional Indian miniature style, this composition shows Guru Nanak Dev with his two disciples Bhai Mardana and Bhai Bala, sitting beside him. The background of pristine landscape adds to the tranquility around the painting encased in intricately painted borders.
Painted on handmade paper with mineral colours, the work has been done by a Jaipur-based artist, Virendra Bannu, who is a seventh generation artist in his family and has been taking forward the legacy of his family in specialized miniature art form. After receiving his degrees in painting, Bannu has been training students from around the world in miniature art techniques using traditional methods and materials, which he continues to use for his own paintings. He has been honoured by the Rajasthan government, and his work has been part of many national and international shows.
During this visit, Canada returned to India a heritage piece, “The Parrot Lady”, a sandstone sculpture from Khajuraho. This is a sculpture that dates back to the 12th century. This is a very special gift from Canada and PM Harper that the people of India will cherish.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, and the Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Stephen Harper, today visited the Gurudwara Khalsa Diwan in Vancouver. “Karambhoomi par fal ke liye shram sabko karna padta hai, Rabb sirf lakeerein deta hai, rang humko bharna padta hai,” the Prime Minister quoted, saying that we should fill life with colours of humanity, and serve mankind. PrimeMinister Modi and Canadian Prime Minister Harper also visited the Komagata Maru Museum.
In his remarks at the Lakshmi Narayan Temple, the Prime Minister thanked the Canadian Prime Minister and the people of Canada for the warm welcome and hospitality they had accorded him. He said the Supreme Court of India had described Hinduism as a way of life. He exhorted the gathering to live life scientifically, in balance with nature, and with compassion. He said the United Nations had recently adopted June 21st as the International Day of Yoga with 177 countries co-sponsoring India’s resolution. He said Yoga had great potential to help the world overcome the stress of modern life, and urged people to spread this message.
The attack of Air India Flight 182 remains a dark moment in the history of both India and Canada. During this visit both Prime Ministers Modi and Harper went to the Air India Memorial and paid homage to all those who lost their lives in the terrorist attack. They also met the families of those who lost their lives.