"I Dream Of A Big 'I' That's India," Says PM Modi at iCreate: 10 Points

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is spending about seven hours in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state, before leaving for Mumbai

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Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara and PM Narendra Modi at Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat (AFP)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a day in his home state Gujarat, holding an 8-km roadshow to Mahatma Gandhi's ashram in Sabarmati, and attending several other functions. As in Delhi, PM Modi had gone to the Ahmedabad airport this morning to receive the Israeli leader, whom he referred to as his "friend Bibi". Mr Netanhayu was the third international leader he hosted in Gujarat after Japan's Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping. In the evening, the Israeli leader left for Mumbai, where he has a packed day tomorrow.
Here's your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:
  1. Mr Netanyahu said it was an "inspiring visit" to Hriday Kunj, Mahatma Gandhi's home at the Sabarmati ashram. The Israeli Prime Minister and his wife tried their hands at spinning Mahatma Gandhi's charkha or wheel and PM Modi showed them how to fly kites.
  2. PM Modi and Prime Minister Netanyahu inaugurated the iCreate Centre at Deo Dholera Village in Ahmedabad. "We kept a small 'i' in creativity as a big 'I' is a block to creativity. But dream of a big I, that is India. Never stop dreaming and never ever let your dreams die," PM Modi said in his address at iCreate.
  3. The 8-km roadshow to Gandhi Ashram was held amid massive security that included Israeli snipers posted on high-rises. A plan to drive down in an open-top jeep was cancelled due to security reasons, officials said.  The road was lined with around 50 tableaux, on which cultural programmes were held to welcome the leaders.
  4. Mr Netanyahu presented PM Modi with a special gift - the Gal-Mobile water desalination and purification jeep, which was dedicated to the people at a village in Banaskantha during one of the functions. During PM Modi's visit to Israel last July, the two leaders rode the mobile unit on the country's Olga beach; it can purify up to 20,000 litres of sea water per day.
  5. The two leaders also visited a centre of excellence for agriculture established by Israel in Sabarkantha. PM Modi called the Gujarat visit an opportunity "to see the fulfilment of the promise, which our mutual cooperation holds in diverse areas such as agriculture, technology, and innovation".
  6. On Thursday, Mr Netanyahu has a full schedule that includes a power breakfast with the captains of Indian industry at the country's financial capital. The Israeli leader has come accompanied by a 130-member business delegation.
  7. He would also open a memorial for the victims of the 26/11 terror attack at Chabad House and lay a wreath at the Taj Hotel, another landmark where the Pakistani terrorists had wreaked havoc.
  8. Eleven-year-old Moshe Holtzman, an Israeli boy who lost his parents -- Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and Rivka Holtzberg -- in the attack at Chabad House, will be present for the ceremony.
  9. In the evening, he would meet some of the celebrities from Bollywood. Hindi films are veryu popular in Israel and Mr Netanyahu has spoken of looking forward to the event. One of the nine deals Israel signed with India on Monday is a film co-production deal.
  10. Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara had arrived in India on Sunday on a six-day tour. PM Modi broke protocol to receive them at the airport. The visit has been marked by warmth between the two leaders, with Mr Netanyahu calling PM Modi a "revolutionary leader" and the Prime Minister referring to his guest as "my friend Bibi".




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Highlights

1
PM Narendra Modi and Benjamin Netanyahu take out roadshow
2
Mr Netanyahu signs visitors' logbook at Sabarmati Ashram
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Mr Netanyahu and wife will fly to Mumbai later today

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