"Being born in India in the 21st century is like winning lottery of history." This is how British High Commissioner James Bevan explained the immense potential for growth in diverse sectors in India as well as its growing stature in the world today.
Delivering a talk at the Jamia Millia Islamia here, Bevan listed India's economic advantage, education system, cultural plurality and said the country is filled with "reasons to be cheerful and optimistic". "If you want to do something really big, India has the money, the people and the resources to do it.
India's youthful population is a huge economic advantage, provided its millions of young people can be given the right education and good jobs," he said. He was delivering a talk on "Reasons to be Cheerful: Why Now is the Best Time to be Young". "So you can be optimistic because you live at the beginning of the 21st Century.
You won the lottery of history. And I would argue that as young Indians today, you have also won the lottery of geography. Why? Because India possesses advantages many other countries don't," the UK envoy said. Bevan said in Indian context "unity in diversity" is not just a slogan but a fact which "I see every day in my travels, and a huge unseen force for creativity and prosperity."
On the visa issue, Bevan clarified that there are no limitations to British visa for Indians if they meet the basic qualifications. "We have not limited the visa provided you meet the basic qualifications. At the moment we have sufficient skilled labour in our country and by allowing more skilled workers we don't want to deprive or risk them of job opportunity," he said during interaction with students of the university.
The envoy also criticised the recent attack on an elderly Sikh man in UK and asserted that UK has stringent laws to deal with such acts. "Racial discrimination is evil. We have stringent laws against that and we take such attacks seriously," said the envoy adding, "The recent incidence was very rare and police took action rapidly." SM Sajid, the Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, who chaired the talk said that one should focus more on the positive aspects and bother less about the things that are missing.
"There is so much of negativity around us, we tend to focus on the things that are missing and not think about what we have. Seeing a light at the end of the tunnel should motivate us to move ahead of the darkness instead of losing hope and staying in dark," said the Vice Chancellor.