As Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned 70 on Thursday, wishes from home and abroad poured in for him.
Extending his greetings, Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli tweeted: “Warm greetings to Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji on the auspicious occasion of your birthday. I wish you good health and happiness.
“We will continue working closely together to further strengthen relations between our two countries.”
In his message to Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin said: “I look forward to continue constructive dialogue with you and work closely together on topical issues of the bilateral and international agenda.”
Meanwhile, President Ram Nath Kovind also took to Twitter to wish Modi and said: “Happy Birthday to Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji. You have set an example of Indian life values and democratic tradition.
“I pray to God that he always keeps you healthy and happy and the nation continues to receive your invaluable services.”
While extending his wishes, Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted: “Wishing a Happy Birthday to the most popular leader of the country who is always committed towards the service of the nation and devoted towards welfare of poor.”
In a tweet, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said: “Greetings and warm wishes to PM Shri Narendra Modi Ji on his birthday. India has benefited tremendously from his astute leadership, firm conviction and decisive action. He has been working assiduously towards empowering the poor and marginalised. Praying for his good health and long life.”
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi too wished the Prime Minister on his birthday.
In a letter written in Hindu, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu wished the Prime Minister and congratulated him “on your hard work in taking the country to new heights”.
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Thursday greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his 70th birthday and expressed his gratitude for the warm and considerate hospitality to his people living in exile.
In a letter to Modi, the Dalai Lama extended his greetings to the PM and prayed for his continued good health.
“This has been an exceptionally tough year,” he wrote, “for people and nations across the world due to the ongoing threat of the coronavirus. It is my earnest hope that the international community working together will be able to contain its spread before long and that suitable vaccines will be developed soon.
“In India, the central and state authorities are doing whatever they can to alleviate the difficulties public face. I would like to convey my deep appreciation of the appropriate measures you have taken to meet the enormous challenges that this crisis has brought about.”
“In addition to threats to their health — mental as well as physical — people all over the world are confronted by a loss of livelihood, while the education of their children has been interrupted,” the spiritual leader wrote.
“These circumstances have brought about anxiety and a deep sense of unease, especially among many ordinary people.
“People frequently ask me how to cope with the array of challenges before them. I suggest looking at each problem from different angles in a realistic way. I keep in mind the advice of the eighth century Indian scholar Shantideva, who recommended examining whether the problem we face could be solved.
“If there is a solution, what we must do is work to put it into effect; if there is not, continuing to worry about it is a waste of time,” the Buddhist monk said.
“I am convinced that in uncertain times like these, the age-old Indian practice of non-violent conduct — ‘ahimsa’, backed by a compassionate motivation –‘karuna’, expressed as a warm-hearted concern for others, is not only relevant, but also necessary if we are to move forward in a calm and collected way.”
The Nobel Peace Laureate concluded with the observation that Tibetans have long regarded India as the Arya Bhumi.
“For the last 61 years, it has also been home to us, the Tibetan community in exile. May I once more take this opportunity to express our deep gratitude to the government and people of India for the warm and considerate hospitality we have received,” he added.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrote a letter to Modi, addressing him as “Narendra”, according to the Prime Minister’s Office. “For your political work, I wish you continued success,” Merkel wrote. “On a personal note, I wish you all the very best in the future – particularly, in these unusual times, health, happiness and fulfillment,” she said. “Together over the past few years we have succeeded in consolidating even further the traditionally good relations between Indian and Germany.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson took to Twitter to wish Modi. “Very best wishes to my friend Narendra Modi on his 70th birthday,” he said. “I hope to see you soon.”
Finnish Prime Minister Marin Sanna also extended birthday greetings to Modi. She said there is an opportunity to deepen India-Finland ties.
“We have the opportunity now to turn the good spirits and broad array of deliverables from it into action,” Sanna said. “To this end, Finland supports concrete cooperation between India and the European Union in many sectors, such as sustainable development, including the circular economy, free trade and human rights.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison wished Modi in Hindi and shared a picture with him. “My dear friend Narendra Modi, I wish you a very happy birthday,” he tweeted. “I am confident that the ties between India and Australia will reach new heights in the coming years. We will meet soon.”
Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering also sent wishes to Modi. “The people and government of Bhutan convey prayers for your success and well being on Your Excellency’s 70th birth anniversary,” he tweeted. “Under your leadership, we are confident that India will continue to achieve even greater transformation.”