Kochi: Apparently referring to the recent Delhi gangrape incident and outpouring of public protests, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Tuesday said India was "shaken" and "worried", but was determined to fight the menace of the society going wrong.
"India has always believed in the principle of ethical life. Most recently something happened in India. We are shaken and worried. Some of it will be resolved by legal steps," he said at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Kochi.
Addressing a session on 'Engaging Young Overseas India', Khurshid said, "What further is required is a response from us as human beings. It was lacking in the way we responded, we protested..."
Seeking the cooperation of everyone, including media, he said the incident had affected every home, town and institution in the country. Everyone felt hurt and was determined to fight.
"India has done a lot of things to bring women to public space. The country needs to introduce all necessary measures so that women entering public space should not feel it as a place of regret," he said.
His message to the diaspora was take back a message of cautious hope. "We are determined to fight the menace - of the society going wrong," he said.
"We mean to change things. Not everything in India is grim and dark." Never think that India had gone back to an irreversible phase, he said, adding every society should correct its wrong doings and every individual should reform himself.
Much as media carries India's success stories to the world, "It also periodically reports that is not complimentary to us. We understand that. But we are willing to take the rap for going wrong."
Kurshid said there is need to reflect upon how to make Pravasi Bharatiya Divas little more attractive to younger people. "We need to do something to make it exciting for the younger people to come," he added.
Union Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Ajay Maken said there were enormous opportunities for younger overseas Indians in the country due to rapid urbanisation and the increase in the young workforce.
Minister of State for Civil Aviation KC Venugopal said the expectations of young NRIs were manifold and highlighted the need for single window for NRI investors. Mookeshwar hoonee, Minister of Arts and Culture, Mauritius, wanted to know if the young would connect with India where there was red tapism, where people made millions and millions do not have food on the table, where there is more policing and less security on streets.
If the answer is no, it calls for a new mindset and new paradigm shift as Indian cannot let go the opportunities. Ruby Dhalla, who made history in 2000 by getting elected to Canadian Parliament, said there should be zero tolerance for rape and said the young diaspora of Indians wanted to join with others in the country to ensure this.
Dhalla said a global advisory council of young NRIs should be constituted by the Prime minister. NRI entrepreneur Sant Singh Chatwal, Chairman and CEO, Hampshire Hotels and Resorts, said 45 years ago he had left India for greener pastures. But the younger generation was keen on returning to the country.
Former Ambassador, TP Sreenivasan, also the Director General of Kerala International Centre, said there must by a PBD for the youth. Naval Bajaj, President, Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce, Dr Vidya Yeravdekar, Director Symbiosis International University, Pune also spoke.