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Malay India gives rousing reception to PM Modi

Author: Aradhana Takhtani
Publication:  The Times of India
Date: November 23, 2015
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Malay-India-gives-rousing-reception-to-PM-Modi/articleshow/49886594.cms

Murli Selvam does not speak a word of Hindi and barely manages English. Yet, he came to listen to Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a gathering that had the most diverse diaspora ever coming together to felicitate him overseas. At the Malaysian International Exhibition and Convention Centre (MIECC) in KL, Selvam, and many other like him from the Tamil Sangam, broke into roaring chants of 'Modi,' intermittently, while watching best local talent of Malaysia put up a mosaic of cross cultural show.

The prime minister, on his part, with an elaborate welcome in Tamil, followed by 'India resides in every Indian,' in one sweep got the 15,000-strong crowd deeply engaged into his speech. Interestingly, he reaffirmed the ethnic Indians here as 'Malay Indians' and largely devoted his speech to their contributions in building ties with India and upholding the Indian heritage and culture in their day to day lives.

 Unlike the civic receptions in UK, US, Dubai, where the audience comprised of NRIs who have a pan Indian identity, no language barriers and are actively connected with growth story of India, the Malay Indians are aspiring to get enabled. And they see prime minister Modi as one leader who will get them access to better economic prospects.

Kavita Palissimye, a student, for instance, came to hear Modi announce some newer partnerships in the educational and professional field. "I would like to work in India as it is growing rapidly, and work opportunities are increasing," she says.

 On the theme of India offering opportunities, PM Modi mentioned that Malaysia has been one of the strongest partners in trade from the South East Asian region but he was expecting more. In this regard, he revealed he will be asking Malaysian PM Najib to recognize more universities and encourage Malay Indians to not just acquire medicine degrees from India but more.

Citing historical ties with Malaysia, PM Modi profusely thanked the earlier generations of Malay Indians for lending a hand to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's freedom struggle against the British. He paid glowing tributes to the unknown soldiers of Indian descent who fought valiantly in World War II and offered to set up, along with the help of Malaysian government, a war memorial in Perak, in North West of the country.

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