Thu, Dec 8, 2016 | updated 03:38 AM IST

History of people to people ties builds modern day partnership: PM Modi

Updated: Jul 09, 2016 20:50 IST

Durban (South Africa), July 9 (ANI): Asserting that in the inter-dependent world, India's growth story is one of the brightest spots, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the history of the people to people ties provides a strong foundation to build a modern day partnership with South Africa.

"The sufferings of early generations of Indians under the apartheid and colonial rule are well known. The history of our people to people ties provides a strong foundation to build our modern day partnership. In our inter-dependent world, India's growth story is one of the brightest spots," Prime Minister Modi said while speaking at the civic reception jointly hosted by the High Commissioner and the Mayor of Durban.

Thanking the Mayor, the visiting Prime Minister said one of the hallmarks of the 'beautiful nation' was its vibrant diversity.

"It is indeed a great pleasure to be in Kwazulu Natal. You have not just honoured me but have also recognised 1.25 billion of my countrymen. I say it because it was here in 1860 that the first Indians landed in South Africa. On 16 November 1860, the ship TRURO touched the shores of port Natal with 342 Indians. I learn that the first four to get down that ship were Davarum, his wife and two small daughters. Today over a century and a half later, Durban is the largest Indian city outside India. It is home to the largest population of people of Indian origin in South Africa," he added.

Pointing out that India has nurtured strong historical links, deep bonds of culture, flourishing economic engagements and strong sporting contacts, Modi said Durban/South Africa is the land of Zulu warriors and the land to which Albert Luthuli belonged.

The Prime Minister also applauded the extraordinary diversity of Durban, saying, "By protecting it you help advance Mandela's dream of a Rainbow Nation."

Prime Minister Modi said India is undergoing an economic transformation. Terming South Africa one of the leading economies of the continent, he asserted that economic partnership between the two countries is substantial.

Shifting his focus to cricket, the Prime Minister Modi said the sport has been an important part of India-South Africa relations.

"Being in South Africa and especially in Durban, If I don't talk about cricket it would be a no ball! The passion and love for this game runs wide and deep in our societies. And, cricket has been an important part of our relations," he added.

Speaking of his visit to Phoenix, Prime Minister Modi said the concerns of his fellow South Africans were foremost in Gandhi's mind.

The Prime Minister concluded his speech by saying while the challenges in the twenty first century may have changed, the developmental concerns of both India and South Africa are common. (ANI)