The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi with other world leaders in a group photograph, at the 15th ASEAN-India Summit, in Manila, Philippines on November 14, 2017. File photo

New Delhi, Dec 31 (UNI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said India is looking forward to welcome all 10 nation heads of ASEAN countries for Republic Day celebrations on January 26 next year. “We will not have one chief guest this year…we will have 10. This is the first time so many leaders will grace the celebrations as the Chief Guests,” the Prime Minister said.

In his monthly radio broadcast Mann-Ki-Baat over All India Radio, the PM referred to famous Biblical quote “Son of Man has come to serve …” and said in India since ages “service to people” has been the biggest identity of humankind and also a part of India’s culture.

“On December 25, Christmas was celebrated across the world. It was also celebrated in India. On this day, we remember the teachings of Lord Jesus Christ, and the thing we remember the most was his teachings on service,” Mr Modi said in his last edition radio broadcast for the year 2017.

“The son of man has come, not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life, as blessing to all humankind,” he said.

During his visit to Manila in November for the ASEAN Summit, the Prime Minister had invited all the 10 leaders from the ASEAN countries for the ASEAN Commemorative Summit on January 25, 2018 to be hosted in India and also also invited them to be “special guests” for the Republic Day celebrations on January 26.

According to top MEA officials, all the ASEAN leaders had thanked the Prime Minister for the invite and graciously accepted his invitation.

In his opening remarks at the ASEAN Summit on November 14, 2017, Mr Modi earlier in the day had said,”I look forward to a befitting culmination of the commemorative year and receiving you at the India-ASEAN Special Commemorative Summit on 25 January 2018 in New Delhi”.

“The 1.25 billion people of India are keen to welcome the ASEAN Leaders as our Chief Guests at India’s 69th Republic Day Celebrations. I am committed to working with you to realise our common destiny,” Mr Modi has said.