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‘H.O.P.E’ describes India’s success, says PM Narendra Modi to Durban

There are around 1.2 million people of Indian origin in South Africa, most of whose ancestors were brought here as indentured labour

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  • ‘Hope’, where H stands for harmony, O for optimism, P for potential and E for energy; describes India’s success story, said Modi
  • There are around 1.2 million people of Indian origin in South Africa, most of whose ancestors were brought here as indentured labour
  • India registered a healthy growth rate of 7.4 percent this year, 2016, he said it was the bright spot in the global economy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Friday, July 8, called South Africa the birthplace of satyagraha and said it was in South Africa that Mahatma Gandhi conceptualized his politics.

“India’s rise is a story of rare resilience, renewed resurgence, superb speed and spectacular scale,” Modi said in his trademark Indian diaspora rally at the Ticketpro Dome, the entertainment hub of Johannesburg.

“Today, India’s success story can be defined in just four letters, ‘hope’, where H stands for harmony, O for optimism, P for potential and E for energy,” he said to the cheers of over 11,000 people.

“The credit for this does not go to Modi but to the 1.25 billion people of India.”

Modi started his speech with a mixture of English and Hindi.

“When I see all of you, I am reminded of your ancestors and their struggles and bravery,” he said.

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“Under decades of apartheid isolation, they not only preserved culture, tradition, and language, they also gave them new wings to flourish,” he stated.

“The beauty of Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati, Urdu and Telugu continues to enrich the fabric of South African society.”

There are around 1.2 million people of Indian origin in South Africa, most of whose ancestors were brought here as indentured labour.

This apart, there are also estimates of 15,000 to 20,000 Indian nationals and professionals who are new immigrants.

“The colours of Holi, the sparkle of Diwali, tastes of Pongal, and festivities of Eid are not just the rainbow of Indian traditional cultural resources,” Modi said wearing a Madiba shirt, an Indonesian batik shirt that was a favourite with late anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.

He reminded the crowd that after international sanctions were lifted on cricket in South Africa on July 10, 1991, India was the first country that the South African team toured.

Modi urged the people to join in India’s growth story.

“India is a land of opportunity for those who want to innovate and create, trade and invest,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Image Source: vpaksh.com
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Image Source: vpaksh.com

“Come, see the transformation that is taking place in India.”

Stating that India registered a healthy growth rate of 7.4 percent this year, 2016, he said it was the bright spot in the global economy.

The Prime Minister said India and South Africa have similar aspirations and challenges.

“India and South Africa are strategic partners. We should build a partnership that spans the entirety of human endeavour,” he said.

According to Modi, this partnership can scale new heights in diverse fields “from agriculture to health care, from culture to commerce, from industry to institution building, from investment to information technology, from mining to manufacturing from sports to science and technology, and from defence to development”.

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“As South Africa works for economic prosperity, safety and security, it will find in India a trusted and reliable partner,” he stated.

The Prime Minister concluded by saying that the Indian community in South Africa was a window to India’s heritage.

“Your achievements, your contributions, and your success make us all proud,” he said.

India and South Africa signed four agreements on Friday following bilateral discussions led by Modi and South African President Jacob Zuma in Pretoria.

Following the diaspora rally, the Prime Minister left for Durban where his engagements were scheduled for Saturday, July 9.

Modi arrived in South Africa from Mozambique on Thursday night, July 7, on the second leg of his four-nation tour of Africa.

This is his first visit to mainland Africa and is also the first prime ministerial visit from India to South Africa since then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in 2013 for the G20 summit in Durban.

Prime Minister Modi is set to visit Tanzania and Kenya after the South African visit. (IANS)

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President Ram Nath Kovind Pays His Condolences to Former UN Chief Kofi Annan

Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the UN in 2001 "for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world".

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India condoles former UN chief Kofi Annan's death.
India condoles former UN chief Kofi Annan's death. Flickr

India on Saturday condoled the death of former UN Secretary General and Nobel laureate Kofi Annan with President Ram Nath Kovind expressing his condolences to the former Ghanaian diplomat’s family and the UN community as a whole.

“Sorry to learn of the passing of former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan,” Kovind said on the Rashtrapati Bhavan Twitter handle.

“My condolences to his family and to the UN community,” he stated.

Annan, 80, died on Saturday in Switzerland after a short illness, with his wife and three children by his side.

“It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that the former Secretary General of the UN and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness,” his family said.

Kofi Annan
Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat, serving two terms from 1997 to 2006. Flickr

Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat, serving two terms from 1997 to 2006. He later served as the UN special envoy for Syria, leading efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

He also led a UN commission to investigate the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar.

The Myanmar government led by Aung San Suu Kyi supported Annan’s recommendations on the crisis in the country’s Rakhine State.

Also Read: New AI Model to Identify the Risk of Heart Disease in Indians

Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the UN in 2001 “for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world”.

His tenure as the UN chief coincided with the Iraq war and the HIV/Aids pandemic. (IANS)