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'He is the Boss': Australia's 'Rocking' Welcome to PM Modi | Explained

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Last Updated: May 24, 2023, 15:49 IST

New Delhi, India

Sydney: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minster Anthony Albanese being welcomed at the Indian community event. (PTI Photo)

Sydney: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minster Anthony Albanese being welcomed at the Indian community event. (PTI Photo)

Explained: While ties between the countries are strengthening, it was also a sight to witness the excitement displayed upon Modi's visit to Australia

The meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese on Wednesday showed a mature relationship between the two countries. They discussed various issues such as increasing trade, addressing temple vandalism, and dealing with Khalistan elements. This meeting marked the sixth time Albanese has met Modi since taking office in Australia, indicating a strengthening of ties. Both countries view China as a common adversary and emphasized the importance of a “free, open, and prosperous" Indo-Pacific region. They also aimed to expedite talks on a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

PM Modi highlighted that the discussions between the two leaders primarily centered around the CECA, which aims to grant Australia tariff-free entry into the Indian market. Foreign Secretary Vinay M Kwatra informed that the upcoming rounds of CECA negotiations between the trade negotiators from both nations are scheduled to be held consecutively in June and July.

While ties between the countries are strengthening, it was also a sight to witness the excitement displayed upon Modi’s visit to Australia.

His visit generated great interest and captured the community’s attention. People lined the streets with enthusiasm, waving vibrant banners to give him a warm welcome.

‘Rock Star Equivalent’

Upon his arrival in Australia, Prime Minister Modi received a thunderous applause from a massive crowd of 21,000 at the Qudos Bank Arena, one of Sydney’s largest indoor stadiums, as per reports.

He was also greeted with a magnificent welcome in Sydney, where a grand display in the sky showcased the message ‘Welcome Modi.’ It was a spectacular sight that added to the enthusiasm and warmth surrounding his visit.

Standing alongside his Australian counterpart, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who affectionately referred to Modi as his “dear friend," the atmosphere was electric, resembling that of a rock concert. In fact, Albanese drew an interesting comparison, stating that wherever Modi goes, he receives a “rock star reception" akin to the renowned American singer Bruce Springsteen.

“Prime minister Modi is the boss,” Albanese said.

‘Little India’

During a special community event in Sydney, Prime Minister Modi, along with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese, officially renamed a street in Australia as “Little India." The chosen street, Harris Park, situated in Western Sydney, is a lively center for the Indian community. It is known for hosting various cultural festivities and events such as Diwali and Australia Day celebrations. The renaming of the street symbolizes the strong presence and contribution of the Indian community in the area.

Gathering at Indian community programme, in Sydney, Tuesday, May 23, 2023. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was addressing the event. (PTI Photo)

During his address to the Indian diaspora at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena, Prime Minister Modi made several significant announcements. He revealed plans to open a new Indian consulate in Brisbane, which will enhance diplomatic and consular services in that region. Additionally, he unveiled an agreement on the Migration and Mobility partnership, aimed at facilitating the movement of skilled professionals between India and Australia. The prime minister emphasized that this program would simplify the process for Indians to come and work in Australia, promoting greater opportunities for collaboration and exchange between the two countries.

How Australian Media Covered the Visit

As per a report by the Indian Express, The Financial Review featured the headline ‘Namaste Australia: Modi rocks Sydney’ on its front page. The article described the enthusiastic atmosphere as Modi began his speech with “Namaste Australia," accompanied by chants of “Modi, Modi, Modi" from the audience. The report highlighted that Modi received an overwhelmingly positive reception from 20,000 members of the Indian diaspora at a stadium in western Sydney, which typically hosts rock concerts and sporting events.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian PM Anthony Albanese during a meeting, in Sydney, Wednesday, May 24, 2023. (PTI Photo)
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    According to The Financial Review, Modi expressed gratitude towards PM Albanese for his affection towards India during the event. Modi emphasized that mutual trust and mutual respect have become the key foundations of the bilateral relationship. The report mentioned that PM Albanese, while addressing the gathering, acknowledged India’s culture of hero worship and praised Modi for the country’s thriving economy. Albanese referred to Modi as a very astute prime minister, noting his ability to leverage digital media platforms like Facebook and other social media. The report also highlighted that Modi was welcomed at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney with Vedic chants performed by priests and the lively beats of dhols.

    The event featuring Modi was prominently covered by The Australian newspaper, which headlined the article as ‘Swinging into entertainment: Modi as “The Boss" takes center stage with style.’ The headline highlighted Modi’s charismatic presence and likened his performance to that of a distinguished entertainer.

    first published:May 24, 2023, 15:49 IST
    last updated:May 24, 2023, 15:49 IST