The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, attended the Friends of India event, which featured performances of Indian art forms (classical and folk dances) by Russian artists. The event showcased the popularity of Indian cultural traditions in Russia and its importance of Inter-cultural understanding. The programme commenced with a Shloka recital and a creative rendering of VandeMataram, followed by continuing sequence of brief Kuchipudi, Kathak and DandiyaRaas. The programme then had all artistes coming on stage for a musical enactment of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s poem “GeetNayaGataHoon.”
Speaking on the occasion the Prime Minister complimented the performers, and especially appreciated the performance of Sati Kazanova, whom he described as a Russian citizen hailing from a Muslim family; a pop singer who could chant Vedic mantras so well.
The Prime Minister said that it is a matter of pride that so many people in Russia express their fondness for India’s cultural heritage.
The Prime Minister greeted people on Eid-ul-Milad and Christmas, and added that tomorrow was also the birthday of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The Prime Minister said that a great effort has been made consistently in Russia to appreciate Indian culture. He noted that International Yoga Day was celebrated in over 200 places in Russia.
The Prime Minister spoke about the old trade and scholarly ties between the two countries, and said Russia has stood by India through thick and thin. He said Russia helped us when we faced war, and the Indian jawans were victorious.
He said this was a relationship of strength, but the strength was the strength of friendship. Even in international fora, he added, Russia had always supported India.
The Prime Minister motivated Indian students studying in Russia, to encourage Russians to visit India for tourism.
He said today India is being praised globally for its economic performance. The world was looking at India with hope, and investors were confident of investing in the country. He said this investment would build world class infrastructure in India and also generate jobs for students. He said the world now looked at India not just as a market, but as a potential manufacturing hub.
The Prime Minister described his visit to Russia as immensely successful, and said his talks with President Putin had been extremely successful.