India is voice for peace, non-violence: Naidu

Paris: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu said India has always been a voice for peace and non-violence and in an inter-dependent world progress can be achieved only through dialogue and understanding.

Naidu, while addressing the Indian diaspora at Unesco in Paris on Friday, said: “Peace is the only pre-requisite for progress. In an inter-dependent world, progress can be achieved only through dialogue and understanding.”

He appreciated the bold reforms agenda of the Indian government and said it is transforming the academic landscape of the country.

“The story of India is an unfolding and a promising one. This is at a time when the rest of the world, including parts of this region, is experiencing a slowdown.

“The introduction of Goods and Service Tax was a major step to have seamless and efficient national market and it would make it easier for businesses to establish and grow in India,” Naidu said.

He invited the members of the Indian diaspora to actively participate in the creation of a new India, asking them to make use of the time and suitable opportunities for investment and innovation in the country.

“It is also an important time to connect actively with your roots,” Naidu said.

He lauded the contributions of the diaspora in the fields of science and technology, industry, agriculture, art, culture, governance and politics.

“Persons of Indian origin and Indians abroad have excelled in many areas of French public life, with many members in the French Parliament as well as in the European Parliament,” Naidu said, adding that Indian luminaries like Bhikaji Cama and J.R.D. Tata, who were significant figures in India’s pre-independence history, had strong links with France.

Naidu also said Rabindranath Tagore’s intellectual influence was known to have touched several French thinkers.

He appreciated the joint efforts of India and France to promote the use of clean energy by way of the International Solar Alliance.

“India-France development partnership brought mutual rewards to both our economies, especially in the field of smart urbanization and transportation,” he said.

Naidu is in Paris to attend the centenary year of the end of World War I and will participate at a global event at Arc d’ Triomphe to pay homage to the martyrs of World War I.

He will also inaugurate the Indian Armed Forces Memorial at Villers Guislain as a tribute to several thousands of Indian soldiers whose gallantry and dedication have earned worldwide recognition.