Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India has shown its capability to the world by hoisting the tricolour on the Moon, and asserted that its science, technology and innovation were creating a wave globally.
Invoking the Greek-India relations dating back thousands of years to the Mauryan empire in the fourth century BCE, Modi urged the Indian diaspora here to "make every effort" to strengthen the ties between the two countries and ensure that Greece becomes a part of India's growth story.
"As the relationship between Greece and India becomes stronger, travel between the two countries will also become easier. Trade and business too will be smoother," the prime minister said, addressing the Indian community here.
Modi was on a day-long visit to Greece during which the two sides decided to double their trade by 2030 and expand cooperation in the areas of defence and security, infrastructure, agriculture, education and new and emerging technologies.
Referring to the successful soft-landing of the Chandrayaan-3 mission on the Moon, he said India has demonstrated its potential to the world and was getting congratulatory messages from across the globe.
"India is now working in newer ways to achieve new targets," the prime minister said, listing out the achievements of the country in the past nine years.
"Going by the slogan of 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusudhan', India is now strengthening all of its sectors," he said.
Putting the achievements in the context of the Moon, Modi said India has laid 25 lakh kilometres of optical fibre in the past nine years which was equivalent to six times the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
"In the past nine years, India has built village roads equivalent to the distance between the Earth and the Moon. In the last nine years, 25,000 km of railway lines have been added to the rail network which is equivalent to the rail networks of Italy, South Africa, Ukraine and Poland put together," the prime minister said.
Modi said top global bodies such as the World Bank and the IMF were praising the Indian economy and leading companies were vying with each other to invest in India.
"Today, the world is moving towards a new world order. With its increasing capabilities, India's role in the world is also undergoing a rapid change," he said, adding that when the economy grows faster, the country rises out of poverty rapidly.
Modi said that in just five years, 13.5 crore people were lifted out of poverty, the income of every family was on the rise and the people of India are earning more than before which has led to more investments.
"Today, India is working on a scale which seemed unimaginable 10-15 years back," he said.
Modi also said that India will host the G20 Summit in a few days from now. "As the G20 president, the theme decided by India reflects global harmony. The theme is 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' - One Earth, One Family, One Future. It indicates that the world has a common, interconnected future. Hence, our decisions and interests should also be aligned," the prime minister said.
He recalled that the relationship between Greece and India dates back several centuries.
"These relations are of civilisation and culture. Greece and the Maurya empire had friendly relations. Samrat Ashoka also had amicable relations with Greece. When a huge part of the world didn't even know about democracy, our countries had democratic institutions. Both civilisations have learnt a lot from each other,” he said.
The prime minister said he was an elected representative from Kashi, which like Athens, has been a city that has had continuous human settlement for thousands of years.
Modi also recalled that the city of his birth, Vadnagar, has a history like Athens.
"Remnants of a 1,000-year-old civilisation have been found there too," he said.
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