Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Visit to The Hague, Netherlands
What is in a name, Shakespeare might argue, however, one name – Narendra Modi – is not just a household name for Indians. It now has made its place in the list of powerful Global Leaders. The name’s impact was quite evident in the small city of Den Haag, when the Indian PM decided to make an impromptu visit.
Upon the arrival of the PM at the venue, the continuous loud cheers and applaud by a crowd of 3000 people, did not allow him to start his speech, but when he managed to find that small window to start, he opened his speech with “KAA HAAL BA?” (How are you?). And the crowd cheered even louder.
Netherlands: Joint press statement of PM Modi and Dutch PM Mark Rutte
Signing of MoUs between India and Netherlands
PM Modi meets Dutch company CEOs
Netherlands has the second largest population of Indian origin in Europe out which 200,000 are Surinami Indians. Suriname, a small country located in South America, was a Dutch ruled colony. What the world does not know is that the place is inhabited by a majority Indo-Surinamese who are people of Indian ancestry. Their ancestors were from modern day Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and were recruited as contract workers in 1873 to be sent to Suriname, a Dutch Colony of that time.
In his speech, PM greatly appreciated the Surinamese to have maintained their Indian traditions for the 5th generation and not having forgotten their Indian roots. He said that whatever be the colour of the passport, the colour of our blood is the same and we have the same roots, same ancestors and we come from the same land. His words greatly resonated with the Suriname crowd both emotionally and mentally.
I am an Indian living in The Netherlands who took pride in the rich cultural heritage and the people of my country, but never in the country’s politics and the politicians. Somehow, the image of these individuals had been tarred in my mind for reasons I best not discuss here. But listening to our PM live in that cheering crowd I was getting goosebumps. The more he spoke about his government’s achievements, the more I swelled with pride. Three years in to office and so many achievements to talk about and the promise of achieving even more is something unheard of from an Indian government official, especially the PM. Listening to his speech in Hindi, in a foreign language speaking nation, I could not agree with him more when he said that we are not giving our language the due that it deserves.
The visit and the speech was not only an evening out for the Indian diaspora in The Netherlands, but a reminder of confidence in the people living away from home by the highest government official of our country, that no matter how far we live, we are never too far from our homeland.
PM Narendra Modi interacts with Indian community in The Hague, Netherlands
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi with H.M King Willem-Alexander and H.M Queen Maxima of the Netherlands
MEA briefing on PM Modi’s visit to the Netherlands
Mark Rutte gifted cycle to PM Modi
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