Addressing a massive rally of over 20,000 enthusiastic attendees at one of Sydney's largest sporting arenas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized the deepening bond between India and Australia, extending beyond the realm of cricket. The rally served as a platform for PM Modi to showcase various cultural connections and shared interests that have contributed to the strengthening relationship between the two nations.
With thunderous applause echoing through the arena, PM Modi drew attention to diverse aspects that have fostered the India-Australia bond. He mentioned popular television show 'Masterchef,' yoga, tennis, movies, and the culturally vibrant Indian community as examples of the growing affinity between the two nations. The Prime Minister stated that while cricket has historically connected the countries, the true depth of the relationship transcends such identifiers.
In his address, PM Modi recounted the evolution of the India-Australia relationship through different phases, highlighting the three Cs of Commonwealth, Cricket, and Curry, followed by the three Ds of Democracy, Diaspora, and Dosti (friendship). The relationship then expanded to encompass the three Es of Energy, Economy, and Education. However, he stressed that the bedrock of this bond lies in mutual trust and respect, extending beyond diplomatic ties and encompassing every Indian living in Australia.
PM Modi emphasized the profound off-field friendship between the two nations, reminiscing about the collective mourning that occurred among hundreds of Indians when legendary cricketer Shane Warne passed away. This incident exemplified the depth of the emotional connection between the Indian and Australian communities.
The Prime Minister also seized the opportunity to highlight India's remarkable progress and resilience. Citing renowned global economic bodies, he asserted India's steady economic growth and its ability to withstand global headwinds. The IMF recognized India as the "Bright Spot" of the global economy, while the World Bank acknowledged India's exemplary performance even during challenging times. PM Modi underscored India's record-breaking exports and praised the strength of the Indian banking system.
Focusing on India's achievements, PM Modi proudly declared that India is currently the fastest-growing large economy globally. He also commended India's swift rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, asserting its position as the global leader in this regard. Additionally, he highlighted India's prominence in areas such as smartphone data consumption, fintech adoption, milk production, internet users, mobile phone manufacturing, agriculture, and the startup ecosystem.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, in his welcoming address, hailed PM Modi as a "rock star" who receives a resounding reception wherever he goes. Comparing him to renowned American singer Bruce Springsteen, Mr. Albanese acknowledged PM Modi's popularity and referred to him as "the boss."
PM Modi's visit to Australia followed his participation in the G7 summit in Hiroshima, where he engaged in bilateral meetings with world leaders, including US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. The bilateral meeting between PM Modi and PM Albanese scheduled for Wednesday will focus on crucial areas such as trade and investment, renewable energy, and defense and security cooperation.
The Prime Minister's visit, marked by the enthusiastic participation of Indian diaspora members, showcased the unwavering friendship and growing collaboration between India and Australia. It reinforced the belief that the relationship between the two countries extends far beyond the boundaries of sports and entertainment, resting upon a foundation of mutual trust, respect, and shared aspirations for a prosperous future.