PM Modi’s first virtual summit begins on a lighter note with Hugs, Khichdi and hologram

Square

The first virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday began on a lighter note with the two leaders discussing kitchen matters.  Morrison had recently tweeted a picture of him holding a tray of samosas and chutney, eliticing response from PM Modi and today he promised to try and cook the Gujarati khichdi.

During their conversation, Morrison also told PM Modi that he would not have missed out on the famed ‘Modi hug’ if he would have been able to travel to India. “I wish I could be there for what has become the famous ‘Modi hug’ and share my samosas. Next time, it will have to be the Gujarati Khichdi. I will try that in the kitchen before next time we meet in person,” he said.

Responding with a hearty laugh, PM Modi said that the khichdi is savoured all over India. “Khichdi is known by different names in different parts of India. People of Gujarat will be very happy to know that the Australian PM knows about ‘Gujarati khichdi’, given that there are so many Gujarati families in Australia as well,” PM Modi added.

Morisson also reminded PM Modi of how he used holograms during his 2014 campaign, saying it could be the new normal in Covid times. “It doesn’t surprise me, this is how (virtually) we’d continue to meet in these circumstances. You are the one who started hologram in your campaigning many years ago, maybe next time we can have a hologram of you here,” he said referring to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections where PM Modi used the hologram technology.

The India-Australia virtual summit was held in a bid to strengthen bilateral ties. During the meeting, PM Modi said that this is the perfect time to strengthen relations between the two countries.

“This is a perfect time to further strengthen relations between India and Australia. There are endless opportunities to strengthen our friendship, it also brings with it challenges to turn this potential into reality, how our relationship becomes a factor of stability for the region. India is committed to strengthening its relations with Australia, it is not only important for our two nations but also for the Indo-Pacific region and the whole world,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during the interaction.

This is the first virtual bilateral summit held by India with any country. Australia held one with Singapore in March. The two leaders last spoke on April 6 where they had discussed Covid-19, including facilitation and support for citizens stranded in each other’s country.