Indians living abroad are responsible for changing the world’s perception of India, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India told the Indian American community in California here on Sunday, September 27th, 2015. Using the analogy of cricket broadcasts, he said Indians in the US had a better view of what was happening in India than those who live in the country. “You are making the world change from here. Those who resist change will become irrelevant in the 21st century,” addressing thousands of Indian-Americans at the SAP Centre in San Jose, Modi said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the 21st century belongs to India and the world has begun to acknowledge the fact, as he addressed an 18,000-strong cheering crowd of Indian community members at the SAP Centre in San Jose. According to reports, Modi, in an over hour-long address to a “Modi, Modi” chanting crowd, also said that terrorism and climate change are the main challenges facing the world and urged all nations to unite in facing the twin threats. In a rock star reception like the one he had received at Madison Square Garden last year, Modi also asked the crowd for a “certificate” of his performance in the 16 months he has been in power.
He said the world now acknowledges that the 21st century belongs to India, to loud cheers.
“Sometime ago India was striving to join with the world, but today the times have changed and the world is thirsting to join with India,” he said. He also said he will give his every moment and every particle of his body in working for India’s betterment.
Asking the crowd for a certificate of his 16 months in power, Modi asked the rapturous crowd: “Did I live up to my promises, working day and night, and the responsibility that I have undertaken…Have I lived up to that?” to loud cheers and chants of “Modi, Modi”.
Modi, who said he was visiting the West Coast after 25 years, said he was seeing a “vibrant picture” of India in the large Indian tech community that lives and works here. Modi praised the “nimble fingers” of the Indian tech experts who “have made the world acknowledge India” with their competence, innovations.
He said he did not see the large numbers of Indians working in the US and other foreign countries as a brain drain, but as a “brain deposit”. Modi called terrorism and global warming as world’s main challenges and asked all nations to unite to fight this scourge as there was no such thing as good or bad terrorism.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said terror and global warming were the two big threats the world was facing. Modi said the world should stop differentiating between “good terrorism and bad terrorism. The UN is celebrating its 70th anniversary but till now it has not been able to arrive at a definition for terrorism. If defining it takes so much time, how many years will it take to tackle terrorism,” he said.
“Humanist forces in the world will have to put pressure so that it is decided in black and white what is terrorism. Since there is no definition, talk about good terrorism and bad terrorism is going on. We cannot protect humanity with this good and bad terrorism,” Modi said, adding that “terrorism is terrorism”.
Standing on a podium that turned slowly so that he could address everyone, Modi said the brain drain that was discussed for many years has now become brain gain. “I look at it differently. This is actually a brain deposit that is waiting for an opportunity to be of use to the motherland,” he said, adding that the time for that had arrived.
Highlighting how he had opened a new silent front against corruption, he said Aadhaar cards had helped weed out five crore fake gas connections and subsidy was now being given only for 13 crore units. This, he said, led to a saving of at least Rs 19,000 crore. He added that 30 lakh people had given up their gas subsidy under the Give It Up campaign.
Recalling the Ghadar movement in the US by Sikh migrants in the early 20th century, Modi said, “If those who came to work on the farms then wanted to do something for the Independence movement, the youth of today want to work for alleviating poverty back home.” The speech also mentioned the first Indians who made a mark in West Coast, including Jayaprakash Narayan, who studied in California.
“The world now accepts that this century will be India’s. And this has happened not because of me, but the 1.25 billion Indians,” he said, adding that India has now moved from the fringes to become the focal point. Often having to pause for the cheering crowd to settle down, Modi said his confidence in the country stemmed from the fact that India was young. “A country with 800 million youth and 1.6 billion young arms cannot be held back,” he said. The PM finished his address by announcing a direct Delhi-San Francisco Air India flight thrice a week from December 2 onwards.