If you are an Indian sitting in any corner of the globe and watching Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech last evening, I am sure it was an extremely proud moment for you. Whatever you name it, a PR exercise, a reiteration of bonhomie between two of the largest democracies in the world or even the new avatar that the world has come to view India in, you cannot deny the fact that as Modiji address the US Congress, you did not feel proud of the fact that yes India is your country and we are all proud Indians.
In his speech, the Prime minister called for deeper ties with the US, describing it as an “indispensable partner”. Laced with the right amount of humour, candour, pragmatism and reiteration of the fact that India is a force to reckon with in the South Asian region. Even as he acknowledged the growing relationship between India and United States, he did not mince words about his displeasure regarding the non-military support that is being provided to neighbouring countries with a proven track record of supporting the terrorist attacks that have tried to flounder the very foundation of the Indian democracy time and again. He called for isolating countries that harbour and sponsor terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Islamic State. He asked his American counterparts to stop discriminating between good and bad terrorists and take a strong stance against their growing menace.
Modiji further sought to strengthen and assert India’s strategic positioning. He said and I quote, “India is already assuming her responsibilities in securing the Indian Ocean region. A strong India-US partnership can anchor peace, prosperity and stability from Asia to Africa and the Indian Ocean to the Pacific.” He even made an indirect reference to China and spoke about India’s “respect for global commons and for international rules and norms.”
No wonder some of the top US lawmakers lauded Modi’s address, describing it as “insightful” as he wowed them in his Khadi clad Indian avatar. Infact the Senators and Congressmen irrespective of their parties, whether Republican and Democratic parties gave a standing ovation to the Prime Minister several times during his address.
All in all while the debate on the actual working and efficiency of the Modi Government will continue, you cannot deny the sign of a powerful nation is also about how confident we appear at the global stage. Diplomacy, dialogues are a lot about rhetorics and on that count it is hard to fault Modiji. It however remains to be seen how effectively do these hard talk go on change the ground situation.