Goa the western coastal state of India remained the capital of Portuguese India until 1961 before a 450-year Portuguese regime came to an end in India. Quite dramatically, 55 years since then, Portugal now has an Indian-origin Prime Minister, Antonio Costa.
While India is aiming to revisit Portugal’s noteworthy liaison with Goa, Costa with his roots in the erstwhile Portuguese capital has accepted the invitation to visit India and grace the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention as the Chief Guest. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has shown their gratitude following the acceptance of the invitation by the Portuguese Prime Minister. A ministry release reveals Costa’s participation in the inaugural sessions of the PBD Convention on January 8 and is deemed as a stepping stone towards a mutually beneficial Indo-Portugal association.
With quite a deep seated network in Portugal that was initiated way back in Kerala in 1505, the presence of thriving Indians in Portugal is not a limited list of examples. Consequently, a strong presence of the Indian diaspora in this south European country remained an obvious mine of opportunity. However, serious work engaging the Indians settled in Portugal and harnessing the mature relationship into something substantial and sustainable was still awaited.
Costa’s seat at the top political position in Portugal is also another addition to the list of successful Indian leaders across the globe. The former mayor of Lisbon, Costa, was named as the new Prime Minister by the Portugal President Anibal Cavaco Silva following the October 4 election, this year.
Suriname Vice President – Indian as well
Moreover, the Vice President of Suriname, Michael Ashwin Satyandre Adhin is going to be the Special Guest at the Youth Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD). Member of the National Democratic Party in Suriname, Adhin has been chairing the post of the Vice President since August 12, 2015. The Suriname Vice President is set to address the young overseas Indian delegates at the inaugural session of the Youth PBD, along with Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel, the MEA revealed in a press statement.
Over a period of three days from January 7-9, the PBD Convention now in its 14th edition in Bengaluru plans to felicitate a host of Indian-origin personalities who has made it significantly big overseas. Conceptualised as a celebration to mark the homecoming of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa on January 9, 1915 – this event has remained as a unique platform for the overseas Indian community to network and engage with the Indian Government on several issues.
As a customary practice of the event, the upcoming edition will also honour the overseas Indians with the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award in recognition to their contribution in various fields both in India and abroad. PBD 2017 will be extensively focussing on the theme “Redefining engagement with the Indian Diaspora” and pledges to provide a platform for connecting with the Diaspora. With the aim of address issues of concern to the Indian Diaspora and seek their insights and suggestions along with strengthening the engagement with the young Diaspora and reconnect them with their roots, PBD 2017 is all set to witness a revised format.