Indian-Americans gave a rousing welcome to Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he arrived in New York on September 23rd. He was in the U.S. to participate in the United Nations summit on development and give a boost to his “Make in India” and “Digital India” programs.
Arriving at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, he stepped out of his vehicle and greeted at least 500 people, including drummers and dancers, waiting for him and waved to them. Secret service agents ran around him, trying to set up a cordon as the crowds surged and Modi tried to get closer to it. The supporters chanted, “Modi, Modi” and distributed sweets. They gathered about four hours before his arrival.
Modi informally met members of the Indian community from the New York and Chicago areas. Vasudev Patel, a physician from Atlanta who met Modi, said some of those meeting him offered their expertise. Modi, he said, welcomed their offers and asked the Indian community in the U.S. to contribute to India’s development efforts.
According to a press release by the organizers of the reception to the Indian Premier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi whose popularity graph has reached 87% was jubilantly and enthusiastically welcomed by Indian-Americans who thronged under the banner of “ Indian American Community”, on September 23 in front of Waldorf Astoria Hotel where he will be staying in New York City.
They carried the playcards depicting “AMERICA WELCOMES MODI”, “NEW YORKERS LOVE MODI” and uncontrollably shouted “MODI, MODI, WELCOME MODY” to express their love, respect and exhilaration for Modi who is determined to make India an economically prosperous and militarily strong nation.
As seen from the following political developments Modi is expected to take Indo-American relationship to new heights. Secretary of State John Kerry announced his intention to take bilateral trade between India and USA to 500 billion dollars from the present 100 billion dollars. Vice President Joe Biden has said that he would like India to make the best friend of America.
Pentagon has established Rapid Reaction Cell to speed up its defense ties with India and accelerate the process of co-development and co-production of hi-tech military equipment in the country. Indian Cabinet has cleared the purchase of Boeing’s Apache and Chinook helicopters in a deal worth around $3.1 billion.
Recognizing the threat posed by outfits like the al-Qaeda, LeT and the D-Company, India and the US today agreed to deepen cooperation in fighting terrorism and asked Pakistan to bring to justice to the 2008 Mumbai attack perpetrators. According to some press reports, US National Security Advisor Susan Rice recently met Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan, Raheel Sharif and warned him to desist from issuing the threats of nuclear attack to India otherwise USA would rethink its financial and military relationship with Pakistan. In order to contain China’s naval presence in the Indian Ocean Region, USA is nudging India to cooperate with it.
Meanwhile, a group of Sikhs and the Patidar community supporters demonstrated outside the UN headquarters, coinciding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on Sustainable Development at a special UN summit. Under the banner of Sikhs for Justice, over 200 Sikhs, alleging human rights violations in Punjab, demanded referendum in 2020 for a separate Khalistan. The protesters, raising anti-India and anti-Modi slogans, urged the world body to take steps to meet their demand.
“There is massive violations against minorities, in particular against Christians, Sikhs and Muslims,” SFJ leader Bakhshish Singh Sandhu claimed Friday. Side by side in a separate enclosure were a few dozen members of the Patidar community from Gujarat who are living in different parts of the country. “We want justice from police brutalities. As many as 4,000 youths are still in police custody. There has been police brutality against innocent people. So far no action has been taken against the police officials responsible for this,” one Anil Patel claimed.
Amidst beating of drums and shouting of ‘Modi-Modi’ slogan, a few hundreds of community members gave the visiting Prime Minister a boisterous welcome as the Prime Minister’s entourage entered Waldorf Astoria Hotel straight from the JFK Airport. The people had been patiently waiting on the barricaded sidewalks for long, much before he entered the hotel to have a glimpse of their leader. There were men and women, both young and old, even a few young children standing next to their parents. And the wait was worthwhile.