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A resurgent India is awaiting overseas Indians, says Sushma Swaraj

A resurgent India is awaiting overseas Indians, says Sushma Swaraj

Sofia (Bulgaria), Feb 17 (UNI) A unique transformation is underway in the country in the economic and political realms, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said here on Sunday and invited the overseas expatriates to join the developmental process in the 'resurgent India'.

"A resurgent India awaits you," Ms Swaraj said addressing the Indian community 'Friends of India' at a reception.

"You have undoubtedly done well here but there are immense opportunities waiting for you in India. India today is a land of opportunity for those who want to connect, innovate, trade and invest. We welcome your participation in India’s transformative journey" she said.

The Minister said India has become the fastest growing big economy in the world while being committed to the principle of "inclusive growth".

"Good governance, transparency, sustainable development and a ‘can do’ attitude have ushered in an era of rapid economic progress," she said.

Investment opportunities in government initiatives like Make in India, Digital India, Swachh Bharat, Clean Ganga Mission and 100 Smart Cities have drawn attention of business community globally.

"Our overseas community is an integral part of India’s transformation and I invite all of you to come and join in these efforts and further our development agenda," Ms Swaraj said.

The External Affairs Minister, who is on a three-nation tour of Bulgaria, Morocco and Spain, also said

that there is a "new vigour" in India's diaspora policy and outreach.

"The welfare of our citizens outside India is a top priority of our Government and me personally. We have taken many steps to connect you better with India. We have simplified the Overseas Citizenship of India policy," Ms Swaraj said.

The Minister told the gathering - NRIs and those settled in Bulgaria - that many of them 'have married locally'.

"I am happy that you have kept India in your hearts and Indian values and traditions alive in your lifestyle. Presence of Bulgarian friends today is especially heart-warming. You are remarkable, for you have embraced Indian culture and ethos out of choice," she said.

Indians and Bulgarians share a close inexplicable bond dating back centuries. Since time immemorial, Indians have believed in living together in harmony. "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakum” has been our motto, Ms Swaraj said.

"The same universal approach and openness is visible in Bulgaria. India and Bulgaria are robust democracies and vibrant, multi-religious, multi-ethnic societies. Pluralism, tolerance and social harmony define our national ethos".

'There are surprising similarities between our Brahmi script and the Bulgarian script Glagolitsa , and between traditional Indian music and Bulgarian music. The Bulgarian Revolutionary Georgi Sava Rakovski, while opposing British colonialism in India, went to the extent of declaring that the forefathers of Bulgarians belonged originally to India,' she said.

'When Rabindranath Tagore visited Bulgaria in 1926, he received a hero’s welcome with queues of people lining up to hear him speak. Several of Gurudev’s works and those of other Indian literary giants such as Premchand have been translated into Bulgarian," she said.

The world-renowned Bulgarian artist Boris Georgiev was fascinated by India and immortalized his visit to India in numerous portraits, including notably of Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba.

Earlier, she met her Bulgarian counterpart and Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria Ekaterina Zaharieva on Saturday and the two leaders discussed a range of bilateral issues including economy, agriculture and health.

Ms Swaraj also offered flowers at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Sofia’s iconic South Park. The statue was created by Bulgarian sculptor Ivan Rusev and funded through local initiatives.


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