On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 2, inaugurated the “Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra” in the national capital New Delhi. Talking about the importance of the connect with the Indian diaspora, he said that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had coined the term ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas’ and the legacy has been continued. PM Modi said that the inauguration day is very significant as Gandhiji who “had left India but the call of the nation brought him back” was born on this day. Also, the ‘Pravasi Bharatiya Divas’ is celebrated on January 9, which was the day when Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from South Africa. He stressed on the fact that people should consider the power of the diaspora even more than the quantity. Modi said, “Let us view our diaspora not only in terms of ‘Sankhya’ but let us see it as ‘Shakti’. The new centre will be dedicated to the goodwill and welfare of Indians living abroad.
Modi, at the inauguration ceremony, also talked about the problems regarding brain drain, and said that it can be converted to brain gain with proper efforts. He also said that the world was now more keen than ever to engage with India and it is still growing. He said that “In such times ‘fear of unknown’ can be an obstacle. Our diaspora can help overcome this.” He also talked about the importance of Yoga and said, “Through Yoga, can we overcome diabetes? Or control diabetes. Had spoken about it during the 2016 Yoga Day also.” Talking about the territorial relations tensions in recent times, the Prime Minister said, “India has never coveted territory, never attacked another country yet thousands of Indians gave their lives in the 1st World War.” He also talked about the efforts by the external affairs ministry and said, “In past two years you have seen how Government has rescued people from conflict regions, not only Indians but also foreigners.”