Address by Governor during his interaction with Young Parliamentarians and leaders from Bangladesh
Maharashtra Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao during his interaction with Young Parliamentarians and leaders from Bangladesh at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai at 1730 hrs on Friday, 15th March 2019
Shri Nahim Razzak, Hon’ble Member of Parliament from Bangladesh, all honorable young Parliamentarians and Political leaders from Bangladesh, Shri Mohammed Lutfor Rahman, Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Mumbai, Shri Dhaval Desai, Vice President, Observer Research Foundation, officials and friends,
Earlier in the day today, there was an incident of firing in a mosque at Christchurch in New Zealand. It has been reported that one gunman killed scores of innocent people visiting the holy mosque. I was relieved to note that the entire Bangladesh Cricket team, which has gone to Christchurch to play a Test match against New Zealand is safe. I condemn the killing of innocent people in strongest possible words.
At the outset, I extend a warm welcome to each one of you to the State of Maharashtra and to the capital city of Mumbai.
I have been a Parliamentarian myself and have served as Minister in the national government led by late Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
I am therefore delighted to meet young Parliamentarians and leaders from Bangladesh today.
The city of Mumbai, as you all know, is the commercial capital of India. Mumbai is also home to the biggest film industry in the world, Bollywood.
It may interest you to note that Mumbai is also home to some of our greatest cricketers – Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma and many others.
Today, I am pleased to acknowledge the presence of Shri Naimur Rahman, the first Test Captain of the Bangladesh Cricket Team and now an MP.
This visit by Parliamentarians and political leaders from Bangladesh is an excellent initiative to bring our people close to each other, and I thank the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and the Observer Research Foundation for arranging and facilitating this visit.
As our lands, rivers, seas, culture and civilization are linked, so are the destinies of our both countries intertwined. Therefore, you are the hopes and aspirations of both Bangladesh and India’s youth.
India stands committed to strengthen this relationship on the basis of friendship, trust and understanding for the mutual benefit of our people and collective prosperity of the entire region. Our ties are time tested, forged in the Liberation War of Bangladesh.
We recognize fully that a strong, prosperous and progressive Bangladesh is in India’s fundamental national interest. Our challenges are shared, and they are identical: our common enemy is poverty, under-development and disease. And our challenge is to find the best ways of jointly harnessing our resources and capacities to defeat these enemies.
Every year, 21st February is celebrated as the International Mother Language Day. This day is a gift of Bangladesh to the world. It reminds us of the sacrifices made by the people of Bangladesh in preserving and protecting their sweet language. It also reminds us of the need to preserve and protect our mother – tongues, many of which are increasingly under threat, because of the growing influence of dominant languages.
India is emerging as the youngest nation in the world. By 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years. Like India, Bangladesh is emerging as a young nation in the world.
The young generation brings with it, fresh ideas, that have the potential to empower and enrich our people; and transform our societies.
Allow me to mention that the State of Maharashtra is one of the most progressive and industrially advanced States in the country. The State’s contribution to India’s GDP at current prices stands at 14.89 per cent. The area of Maharashtra is more than 300,000 square kilometers which is more than double the area of Bangladesh !! The State is a leader in automobile, pharmaceuticals and many other sectors. In recent years, Maharashtra has become a hub of IT and IT-enabled service industry. Exports from the State include Gem & Jewellery, petrochemicals, readymade garments, cotton yarn, agro-based products, engineering items, plastics and plastic items, etc.
Maharashtra is the first state in the country to declare its Fintech Policy and we are striving hard to make Mumbai the Global Fintech capital.
Maharashtra is also a leader in fruit production and sugarcane. The State is a leading producer of Alphonso mangoes, oranges, grapes, pomegranates, bananas and strawberries. Direct air connectivity between Mumbai and the capitals of several countries of the world, have reduced the time gap substantially.
As Governor, I also happen to be the Chancellor of 20 state-funded universities, where nearly 3 million students are pursuing higher and professional education. Within Maharashtra, Pune is a hub of education where thousands of students from various countries are pursuing education. It would be really nice if Universities in Bangladesh could forge partnerships with Universities in Maharashtra for student -, faculty-, and cultural exchanges. I assure you of my fullest cooperation in this regard.
Bangladesh has been a model performer in the last decade, generating economic growth of 6% and improving in all human development indices. Your success in improving the standard of living of your citizens has been truly remarkable.
Under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi and Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh Smt Sheikh Hasina, the bilateral relations between our great nations have achieved new heights.
India has been a victim of state-sponsored terrorism for several years. This city of Mumbai has often been targeted by terrorist organisations. In this regard, we recognize and appreciate the commitment shown by Bangladesh towards combating terrorism.
With young parliamentarians and political leaders taking keen interest in promoting bilateral relations with India, I see great prospect for the friendship between India and Bangladesh.
I wish you every success in realizing the dream of a Sonar Bangla. I wish you pleasant stay in Mumbai and memorable visit to Maharashtra.