In Qatar, Venkaiah Naidu stresses on India’s inclusivity


As diplomatic turmoil continues over BJP leader’s comments on Prophet Muhammad, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu spoke about India’s belief in constitutional “inclusion” and “care” for marginalised people, while visiting Qatar.

As diplomatic turmoil continues over BJP leader’s comments on Prophet Muhammad, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu spoke about India’s belief in constitutional “inclusion” and “care” for marginalised people, while visiting Qatar.

‘Inclusion’ is the firm foundation underlying the Indian constitutional architecture and it finds an echo in the philosophy of the Modi government which believes in ” sabka sath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas and sabka prayas” (together with all, development for all, the trust of all and effort of all), Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has said.

His remarks at a community reception in Doha, Qatar on Monday came against the backdrop of protests in India and condemnation by several Muslim countries of the controversial remarks of two BJP members against Prophet Mohammad.

Qatar was the first country to officially take up the issue with New Delhi.

According to the text of his speech issued by the Vice President Secretariat, Mr. Naidu also said, “Underlying our constitutional architecture is the firm foundation of ‘inclusion’, of leaving no one behind.”

The vice president added the government cares for everyone, especially those marginalised and who need support.

“It is highlighted by the free distribution of food grains under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana to over 80 crore people to ensure that no poor household went to bed without (food) during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the Ayushman Bharat that ensures healthcare by providing health insurance to over 50 crore people,” he said.

The 7.80 lakh strong Indian community in Qatar is a living bridge between the two countries, the vice president said.

“Some of you have stayed here for over 40 years. You would have noted how well India-Qatar ties have progressed since Prime Minister Narendrabhai Modi activated the Look West policy. He has taken a personal interest in actively engaging with the Qatari leadership,” he asserted.

Despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the two countries recorded the highest-ever bilateral trade of over USD 15 billion last year.

India, Mr. Naidu pointed out, was Qatar’s third-largest trading partner. Since March 2020, Qatar’s foreign direct investment in India has increased five folds. Over 50 wholly-owned Indian companies in Qatar are in diverse fields such as infrastructure, information technology, and energy and the 15,000 jointly owned companies are adding momentum to the India-Qatar economic partnership.

“We are building a comprehensive energy partnership. Cooperation between India and Qatar is strengthening in defence, security, healthcare and education. Yesterday, we agreed to establish an Indian Chair at Qatar University and to pursue cooperation in the fields of sports and culture. We also launched a start-up bridge between India and Qatar to link the innovative ecosystems of the two countries,” Mr. Naidu told the gathering.

India and Qatar will soon mark the 50th anniversary of establishing full diplomatic relations, he said.



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