The prime minister says the bond between the two countries is based on a common language, a federal system of government, a commitment to democracy and pluralism and shared cultural experiences.
Harper made the comments in Ottawa Thursday night, at a celebration marking an Indian holiday.
It coincides with Harper's upcoming visit to India -- this weekend, he begins a week-long trip that will also take him to the Philippines and Hong Kong.
The prime minister has his eyes on a free-trade deal with the south Asian giant.
The trip is Harper's second to India since 2009.
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