Thanks Indian-Americans for their support and unveils his vision for India in an engaging speech
September 29, 2014: On Sunday, Madison Square Garden was jampacked with Indian-Americans who had turned up to listen to Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India.
Thousands of supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi were seen lined up outside the venue. Modi’s hour-long speech about his vision for India received thunderous applause from the audience.
Modi’s appearance comes before he heads to the White House for meetings with President Obama on Monday and Tuesday. Modi addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday.
“In India, democracy is not just a system, it’s a faith. It’s a belief,” he said. Modi is expected to meet corporate honchos on Monday.
Modi also took the opportunity to thank the NRIs for their support. “Many among you couldn’t vote in the recent Lok Sabha elections. But there won’t be one among you who would have slept on the day (May 16 when election results were announced). I couldn’t thank those who had contributed to our victory. Today, I say THANK YOU,” he said amidst loud cheering.
Speaking of his plans for India, Prime Minister Modi said, “A hundred million youth joining hands to transform our nation, to put the light of hope in every eye and the joy of belief in every heart, lead people out of poverty, put clean water and sanitation within the reach of all, make healthcare available to all, a roof over every head.”
He also expressed pride for those present on the occasion. “For you to convert your thoughts into action and devote your time and energy so that others may have a better future, to those living in poverty without education, without basic sanitation, without opportunity and worse, without hope, I salute you. I feel proud of each one of you and I am sure your family, your friends and your nation feels the same,” he said.
He ended his speech with a Star Wars reference, saying “May the Force be with you.”
Some interesting quotes:
- India was once known as the land of snake charmers. Had it not been for Indian Americans, who have excelled in various fields, that image would not have changed. During a foreign trip I was asked whether India was still about snake charmers. I said: Our ancestors used to play with snakes, we play with a mouse.
- To win an election is a huge responsibility. Ever since I have taken over this responsibility, I have not even taken a 15-minute vacation.
- You must have read that government officials in Delhi are reaching on time. Is that news? Should that be news? Painfully, I asked myself ‘isn’t it their responsibility?’
- People ask me, “Modiji, why are getting into messy things?’ If I were to touch simple things, people wouldn’t have made me the prime minister.
- Never before has an India leader been given so much love. I will repay this loan. I will make an India of your dreams.