The Message That PM Narendra Modi Gave To A Modified Madison Square

His speech included nothing that we haven’t heard from him. But the way he shares the anecdotes and his experiences, it always has a new tone and ring to the ears.

No other foreign dignitary in the history of the United States had received such lovely welcome and turnout from the local and immigrant population as well. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi proved an exception.

The huge turnout at the New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden was expected in a way as all the tickets to the event were sold out, but to see such a lively crowd chanting Modi’s name was something expected only in India.

Indian-American men, women and children wearing colourful Indian attire were seen lining up since morning excitedly outside the venue to listen to his eagerly awaited speech. Modi’s fans were seen carrying the Indian tricolour and wore traditional Indian garb with several groups of performers carrying drums and ‘dhols’ to give him a rousing welcome.

Miss America Nina Davuluri was the emcee for the event which kicked off with artists performing a number from Sharukh Kahn’s ‘Chakde India’ and Bruce Springsteen’s classic ‘Born in the USA’.

The hall broke out in Modi-chants when the Prime Minister arrived at the venue around IST 9:20 PM. Alost 20 members of the US Congress along with many NRI dignitaries were waiting on stage to welcome him. The national anthem of the USA was played and then singer Kavitha Krishnamurthi sang the Indian national anthem with Modi onstage.

The atmosphere at the venue turned electric when the Prime Minister greeted the people and wished them a happy Navratri. Modi spoke extempore for almost an hour and a half from a rotating stage in the same folksy manner and clear Hindi that he uses when interacting with fellow Indians.

He shared the anecdote of his Taiwanese translator, the story of India’s success in Mars mission, talked about his dreams of Indian development and achieving it by ensuring sanitation, food and housing to every Indian.

His speech included nothing that we haven’t heard from him. But the way he shares the anecdotes and his experiences, it always has a new tone and ring to the ears.

He invoked pride among the NRIs and tried his best to attract them back towards their homeland. Modi reached out to India’s US diaspora, a highly educated population of nearly 3.2 million, to invest and “Make in India.” By sharing his development dreams he ensured that every NRI would try, at least once, to visit India and invest in its motherland.

“India has three strengths no country in the world has: Democracy, demographic dividend, and demand,” he said. He received a roaring applause when he said that the previous government took great pride in creating laws but he was going to kill as many “redundant, obstructive and useless laws and regulations” as he could find.

He talked about the Namami Ganga project and the Swachchha Bharat project where he wants to build toilets. The crowd broke in huge applause when he said he wanted to give something back to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary by ensuring a cleaner India.

He struck a chord by announcing plans to simplify the immigration bureaucracy for Indians living abroad. He announced life time visas for persons of Indian origin (PIO) cardholders. And in further good news for NRIs with foreign spouses, he said that PIO and OCI cards would be rolled into one card.

He also said his government was working towards giving US nationals long-term visas and a visa on arrival following electronic travel authorization.

Modi acknowledged the generous help and support he has received from the Indian American community. “I will repay the loan. I will create an India of your dreams,” Modi said as the stadium size crowd gave him a standing ovation.

The speech ended with a Modi-style “Bharat Mata ki jai” chants.

Modi will have dinner with President Obama at the White House today, and on Tuesday they will hold a series of meetings that both sides hope can improve strained relations between the world’s two largest democracies. They will also discuss ways to increase counterterrorism and intelligence cooperation.

With many Congressmen have seen the Modi-magic now, and many already being a fan of his since his Gujarat days, India expects more good days.


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