Brisbane Diary: India-US-Australia connection

The Sydney Allphones Arena has a seating capacity of 16,664. But the organisers received 27,000 registrations.

Written by P Vaidyanathan Iyer | Brisbane | Updated: November 16, 2014 2:33:18 am
PRIM MINISTER Narendra Modi with French President Francois Hollande at the bilateral meeting in Brisbane on Saturday. (Source: PTI) PRIM MINISTER Narendra Modi with French President Francois Hollande at the bilateral meeting in Brisbane on Saturday. (Source: PTI)

Born in the US in 1876, Walter Burley Griffin designed the Austrlian capital Canberra. And he spent his last 15 months in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who plans to have many ‘smart cities’ in India, discovered this after learning more about Canberra, an entirely planned city built in 1908, and designed by Griffin, an architect and landscape artist. Griffin originally came from Chicago, and also designed the University of Lucknow besides other marquee buildings. Modi struck a chord with US President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott by sharing this fascinating story of how the society was open even 100 years ago. His final resting place is at the Lucknow Christian Cemetery.

Modi show at Allphones Arena

The Sydney Allphones Arena has a seating capacity of 16,664. But the organisers received 27,000 registrations. The job has been left to various community organisations to distribute the tickets, that are said to be free. According to sources, the budget of the event tops $600,000, which the local organisers said, has been voluntarily funded by many without any contributions by the political party or the Indian government. A la Madison Square, Modi’s hour-long address to the diaspora will be preceded by cultural events. The highlight, said Balesh Dhankar, Overseas Friends of BJP, will be a cultural programme that will ‘reveal’ that Indians migrated 5,300 years ago to be the Aboriginals in Australia. This will deepen our ties further, he added.

The bilaterals continue

On Day 2 at Brisbane, the prime minister had bilateral meetings with French President Francois Hollande and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. It was their first meeting with the Indian Prime Minister, but both invited him over to their countries. While there were no specific talks with Hollande on the Rafale deal, Modi assured Harper that he will pursue the proposal on India-Canada Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement and that he was committed to bring about tangible progress. For Harper, this is an important item since it was part of his agenda during the election campaign.

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