Indian Home Minister Hails Diaspora in Russia as ‘Cultural Ambassadors’

Physical distance between the diaspora and India could be large, but there can never be “emotional distance,” Rajnath Singh said.


Terrorism and radicalization are the two biggest threats facing the world and India, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said during an address to members of the Indian diaspora in Moscow on Nov. 28.

Singh said that his visit had led to concrete outcomes to strengthen cooperation between India and Russia in the field of security, counter-terrorism, counter-radicalization, anti-drug trafficking, counterfeit currency, information sharing and on training specialists in these fields.

Praising the work done by Indians in Russia, Singh hailed them as “cultural ambassadors” of India. He said that while physical distance between them and India could be large, there can never be an “emotional distance.”

He told the diaspora that the government of India is making efforts to control terrorism and “neutralizing the infiltrating terrorists as well as about the determination of the Indian Armed Forces in responding to various provocations,” according to a statement released by the Press Information Bureau.

The senior BJP politician also informed the Indian community in Russia that government initiatives, such as the Jan Dhan Yojana, Make in India, and Aadhar are taking India on fast-track economic progress.

India is on its way to becoming one of the leading economic powers of the world, he said.

He also spoke about the concept of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” — seeing the world as one family — which forms the basis for India to become a benevolent power in future. From development of infrastructure to bringing in manufacturing into India, the government has in the past three years contributed immensely, earning the goodwill of the people of India, he said.

He also said that Russia was “one of the most credible friends of India.”

Meanwhile, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived at Sochi in Russia on Nov. 29 to represent India in the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) Council Heads of Government meeting on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

About 14,000 Indians and 1,400 Afghan nationals of Indian origin live in the Russian Federation, according to the Indian embassy website. There are around 300 registered Indian companies in Russia. Tea, coffee, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, rice, spices, leather footwear, granite, and garments are the main products being imported by these companies from India. A few Indian companies have set up joint ventures in Russia in mineral and food processing as well as pharmaceuticals.

As many as 4,500 Indian students are enrolled in medical and technical institutions in the Russian Federation. About 90 per cent of them are there for medical education.

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