Beyond Commonwealth, Cricket and Curry
In one of his most memorable speeches abroad as the country’s Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi lauded the “trust and respect” between India and Australia as he spoke before thousands of supporters at a rally on May 23 in Western Sydney.
Mr Modi received a rockstar welcome at the Sydney Olympic Park rally that night, with 20,000 people in attendance.
Inside the venue, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Mr Modi unveiled a “Little India” plaque to be installed at Harris Park, a hub of Indian culture in the city’s west.
Mr Modi said the strong relationship between the two nations was not just the result of diplomacy — or the shared love of “cricket and curry”.
“The real reason for this, the real force, is you, each and every Indian who lives in Australia,” he said.
Mr Albanese said Australia’s million-strong Indian community had “brought our country the benefits and riches of such a beautiful and diverse culture”.
“I’m proud that you have made Australia your home. That you see your life and your future here. You make our nation and our shared communities better. You make Australia stronger.”
Before that, Mr Modi met with several celebrities and influencers, such as pop star Guy Sebastian. “I was humbled to be able to discuss many things, including my mother’s Indian heritage, how proud I am of my own Indian heritage, as well as the arts and my music,” Mr Sebastian said.
So much so that onn Tuesday, hundreds of Modi supporters arrived in Sydney on a charter flight from Melbourne, dubbed “Modi Airways”. It was $249 for the one-way flight. The fans then boarded buses bound for Sydney Olympic Park.
The Indian diaspora, consisting of students, researchers, professionals and business persons, participated in the event with great enthusiasm. A number of Ministers, Members of Parliament and other dignitaries from Australia also participated in the event.
Here are the top 8 most memorable lines from his address that resonated with the audience.
1. In his address, PM Modi highlighted the various aspects that have been used to define the relationship between India and Australia in the past. “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.
2. “Our lifestyles may be different but now yoga also connects us. We have been connected due to cricket for a long. But now tennis and films are also connecting us. We might prepare food in different manners but Masterchef is connecting us now,” he said.
3. The Prime Minister said that despite vastly different lifestyles, both India and Australia have found mutual areas of interest to deepen their significant bond. “Mutual trust and mutual respect have not developed only due to the diplomatic relations of India-Australia. The real reason, the real power is – all of you Indians who live in Australia,” he said.
4. In a lighthearted moment, PM Modi mentioned hearing about the deliciousness of Chatkazz’s ‘Chaat’ and ‘Jalebi’ from Jaipur Sweets in Harris Park. He playfully expressed his desire for everyone to take his friend, Australian PM Albanese, to experience the culinary delights of that place. “I’ve heard that Chatkazz ‘Chaat’ and ‘Jalebi’ from Jaipur Sweets at Harris Park are very delicious. I want you all to take my friend Australian PM Albanese to that place,” PM Modi said.
5. PM Modi reassured that India is a shining beacon in the global economy, as affirmed by international organizations. He mentioned that today the IMF considers India a bright spot in the global economy. “The World Bank believes that if anyone is challenging global headwinds, it is India. Banking systems in several countries are in trouble today but on the other hand, the strength of India’s banks are being appreciated everywhere,” he said.
6. “Our friendship is very deep off the field as well. Last year when Shane Warner died, hundreds of Indians were also mourning. We felt like we have lost someone very close to us,” PM Modi added.
7. The PM also said that amid the once-in-a-100-years crisis, India made record exports last year. Today, our Forex reserve is scaling new heights. “Examples of how India is working for global good lies in our digital stake. You are well aware of India’s FinTech revolution,” he said.
8. Acknowledging the abundance of talent in India, PM Modi stated that the country possesses abundant capability and resources. India has emerged as the largest and most youthful talent hub in the world.