Listening to the plea of Indian Israelis and in a bid to establish stronger ties with the country, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an exception and granted OCI cards to people of Indian origin, while also making some other important announcements.
On his recent visit to Israel, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi announced that the Indian Diaspora in the Jewish nation will now be eligible for the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards, despite their services to the Israeli military.
The ruling comes as an exception to the order, Modi’s NDA government had strongly backed last year, which barred the issuance of OCI cards to Indians who have a background of serving the Israeli army.
Serving the military is a compulsion in Israel.
The announcement was made during an interaction with the Israeli citizens of Indian origin with country’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu seated in the audience of about 4000, both of those with whom Modi seeks to establish stronger ties.
“I have heard the complaints about not getting OCI cards for the Indian community here. But if the relations have heart-to-heart connection, they do not depend on documents, ”said Modi.
The decision comes as a relief to Jews of Indian origin who had been hoping for such an action since a long time.
“The Jewish community has enriched India with their contribution in various fields. Israel has shown that more than size, it is the spirit that matters. Our ties with Israel are about mutual trust and friendship,” Indian media quoted Modi from Tel Aviv.
Besides benefiting about 80,000 Indian origin Jews, the action is to bring the two countries together. Modi also announced of direct Mumbai-Tel Aviv flights in his address.
On the other hand during the same session, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Modi and I have decided to take our partnership to new heights. We love you. I want Indians to come to Israel on a curry trail, just like Israelis go to India on a hummus trail.”
Modi also took the opportunity to project an improved Indian economy and Indian defence. “The Israeli companies can come and try their fortune,” he said. He further added, “we have introduced 100 pc FDI in key sectors, which will help our economy. With GST, we are aiming towards the economic integration of India. The aim of my government is reform, perform and transform,” Modi concluded.