"I feel myself partly a citizen of India -- a citizen of love and honour." This is how Nobel Peace Laureate and Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday described her "friendship" with India and its people.
Addressing a packed gathering of students and teachers at her alma mater Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi, Suu Kyi reminisced her formative years in the prestigious institution and said she never felt "far away" from India.
"I always knew I would come back to this hall where I had learned to sing one of Gandhi's favourite songs -- Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram," she said drawing loud applause from the audience. Suu Kyi did her graduation with a degree in politics from Lady Sri Ram College in the early 1960s.
"Coming back to LSR (Lady Sri Ram) is not just coming back home, it is coming back to a place where I know my aspirations have not been wrong," Suu Kyi, who has been waging a campaign for democracy in Myanmar for decades, said.
Talking about her vision for a democratic Myanmar, she said the country needs India's help in its progression towards democracy.
"We need you to help us in our progression towards democracy. We are trying to achieve democracy. In our endeavour we need you, we need your help," Suu Kyi, who is in India after 25 years, said.
67-year-old Suu Kyi had last visited India in 1987. Her father General Aung San --regarded as Myanmar's independence hero -- was a personal friend of Jawaharlal Nehru.
"To people of India who have given me so much affection, so much warmth with such generosity that I have never felt myself to be far away from India even in days when I had little contacts with you," she said.
Asking students not to compromise on their "principles", she termed "unprincipled politics" as one of the most dangerous things in the world.