PM Narendra Modi addressing the community reception held at the Qudos Bank Arena at Sydney Olympic Park on Tuesday (Image courtesy: MEA)
Tens of thousands of people packed the Qudos Bank Arena at Sydney Olympic Park on Tuesday to listen to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a community reception which was also attended by Australian PM Anthony Albanese and several top officials.
Members of the Indian diaspora started arriving in Sydney from all corners of Australia long before PM Modi touched down at Sydney International Airport on Monday evening.
Special chartered flights – which Australian Indians labeled as ‘Modi Airways’ – were organised from cities like Melbourne.
Australian Indians on 'Modi Airways' all set to arrive in Sydney. pic.twitter.com/SbSbJ2J6ew
— Australian Hindu Media (@austhindu) May 22, 2023
“It’s like an early Christmas and Diwali for us Indian diaspora in Australia,” local media quoted Sachin Dahiya, who organised the flight, as saying. He added that the charter was sold out in just two days.\
Gathered in large numbers, the community gave a rousing reception to PM Modi who is visiting Australia for the first time since 2014.
JUST IN: India's PM Narendra Modi has arrived at Sydney Olympic Park.
He's just been greeted by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at Qudos Bank Arena, where he'll soon address a crowd of more than 20,000 fans. #9News
MORE: https://t.co/qE8feuXCGk pic.twitter.com/KBjdEb2fuS
— 9News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) May 23, 2023
As they made their way to the venue, both leaders were welcomed with Vedic chants by priests and also traditional greetings.
VIDEO: PM Sh @narendramodi receives a traditional welcome at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney
PM Modi to address the members of the Indian diaspora at a community event shortly. pic.twitter.com/VEDIVzCEKf
— Dr Jitendra Singh (@DrJitendraSingh) May 23, 2023
Addressing the massive gathering just before PM Modi, Albanese just couldn’t hide is excitement.
“The last time I saw someone on this stage was Bruce Springsteen and he did not get the welcome that Prime Minister Modi has got. Prime Minister Modi is the boss,” said the Australian PM.
#WATCH | 'Last time I saw someone on this stage was Bruce Springsteen and he did not get the welcome that PM @narendramodi has got. PM Modi is the boss', says Australian PM @AlboMP at a community event at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney pic.twitter.com/HVTHo8OOIy
— DD News (@DDNewslive) May 23, 2023
The atmosphere in Sydney got electric as PM Modi walked onto the stage amid chants of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Modi Modi’.
Electrifying atmosphere at the Indian #diaspora community program in #Sydney! An absolute delight to be in attendance and witness the close friendship 🤝 between Prime Ministers @AlboMP and @narendramodi. #dosti @DrSJaishankar @SenatorWong @PMOIndia @HCICanberra @ChrisMinnsMP https://t.co/59Xo4qlGMH
— Barry O’Farrell AO (@AusHCIndia) May 23, 2023
In his speech, Prime Minister Modi stated that the India-Australia relationship may be known by cricket and Masterchef, but is bound by mutual trust and respect.
An absolute delight connecting with the Indian diaspora at the community programme in Sydney! https://t.co/OC4P3VWRhi
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 23, 2023
“Earlier, it was said that India and Australia relation is defined by 3Cs – Commonwealth, cricket and curry. Then it was said that our relationship is defined by ‘democracy, diaspora and dosti. Some people also said that our relationship depends on energy, economy and education. But I believe that the relation between India-Australia is beyond this, it is mutual trust and mutual respect,” he said.
Referring to India as the ‘mother of democracy’, he spotlighted that the country is guided by the principle of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ which is also in line with the ethos of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’.
#WATCH | Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian PM Anthony Albanese greet the members of the Indian diaspora at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. pic.twitter.com/Xyx77mAQGM
— ANI (@ANI) May 23, 2023
PM Modi also said in his address that the country is a “bright spot” in the global economy.
“IMF considers India the bright spot of global economy. According to World Bank, if there’s any country which is withstanding global headwinds, it’s India. India has made record exports even in the most challenging times”.
Prime Minister told the packed venue that India has made great strides in the last nine years, opening around 500 million bank accounts for the poor people and transforming the entire eco-system of public delivery.
Recognising the diaspora’s role as a bridge between India and Australia, the two leaders also laid the foundation stone of ‘Little India’ Gateway to be built in Harris Park in Sydney’s Parramatta which is inhabited by a large Indian community.
PM @NarendraModi and the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese renamed a Sydney suburb as 'Little India' during a special community event. pic.twitter.com/YYOBzeCSBA
— Priti Gandhi – प्रीति गांधी (@MrsGandhi) May 23, 2023
Councillor Sameer Pandey, who is Parramatta’s first Lord Mayor of Indian origin, said that the city was a fitting location for PM Modi’s community event.
“We are honoured that he (PM Modi) chose to visit the City of Parramatta which is home to one of the largest populations of Indian and South-East Asian people in Australia and took the time to meet with Council,” said Pandey.