Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a saffron jacket, got a full-house reception on Sunday at New York’s Madison Square Garden, a venue that rock stars dream of packing with a sell-out audience. He thanked the crowd of about 18,000 Indian Americans who constantly chanted his name, for the rousing welcome.
Here are the highlights of his speech:
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at Madison Square Garden
Kavita Krishnamurthy sings the national anthem
Mr Modi begins his address with ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’
My greetings to you on the occasion of Navratri. I am fortunate to have this opportunity to meet you on such an auspicious occasions
- India used to be known as a country of snakes and snake charmers
It is only because of you (Indian-American community) that we have made such a huge progress
If not for you all,there wouldn’t have been an IT revolution
You (Indian-American community) have earned a lot of respect in USA through skills and values
- Through your actions and values you have earned immense respect
- I visited Taiwan once and an interpreter said your country has been a land of snakes and snake charmers
I said ‘No, we have been vastly under-valued. Our ancestors used to play with snakes, we play with mouse.’
Many of you didn’t get a chance to vote, but when the results came, not one of you must have been sleeping
Many of you were involved in the election process
You may not have voted in 2014 but when results were coming in, you celebrated
- Today, I am here to thank you all
- You have a huge contribution in building India’s image.
Winning an election is not just about post or chair, it’s a responsibility
I haven’t taken a 15-minute break since I took over.
- For the first time in 30 years, a party won a clear majority in India
Even the opinion makers could not make an opinion
You all have several expectations from India. Even the people of India are expecting a lot from our government.
- We will be successful in fulfilling the aspirations of people
- The world is convinced that 21st century belongs to Asia
- We are a youthful nation with a very old culture. 65 per cent of Indians are below the age of 35.
There is no reason to be disappointed. India will progress very fast and the skills of our youth will take the country ahead.
When 125 crore people give their blessings, it automatically becomes God’s blessing.
- We have three powers that nobody else has, and it is our duty to identify these powers, present it to the World and mobilise it:
Democracy – This is our biggest strength. Even the poorest man went out in the heat to hear speeches
Demographic dividend – 65% of people less than the age of 35 years
Demand – The World is looking at India
Democracy is India’s biggest strength
The whole world is looking at India. No country has the strengths that India has.
I am confident India will achieve new heights
America is the oldest democracy in the world. India is the biggest democracy in the world.
People from around the world have settled in America. People from India have settled across the world.
It is our endeavour to make development a people’s movement
If the nation has to progress then good governance is essential
I may be thousands of kilometres away, but I understand your troubles and problems
If you look at India’s history, so many great leaders have sacrificed their lives
- Mahatma Gandhi made the freedom struggle a mass movement. Every Indian felt that yes, I am also a part of the freedom struggle. We want to make development a mass movement.
The people of India are my strength
- In days to come, we will be able to supply work force to the world
- The world needs teachers, we will supply teachers
The world will have to recognise the talent of the Indian youth
In Ahmedabad, you spend Rs. 10 to travel 1 kilometre in a rickshaw
We traveled 65 crore km to Mars, and spent Rs. 7 a km
- This is our talent
And America and India are also talking on Mars… US reached on the 22nd, India on the 24th
India is the first nation to have reached Mars in its first attempt
- Our Mars budget was smaller than the budget of a Hollywood film
We have given importance to skill development. We created a separate ministry for skill development.
- We are focusing on skill development. We started the jan dhan yojna.
We said we will start zero balance accounts, but people started it with a total sum of Rs. 1500 crore
I invite you to come ‘Make in India’
- If you want human resources and low-cost production, then India is your destination. I invite you to the Make in India initiative
- We aim to show our strength by exploiting technology to the maximum extent
- I have a website MyGov. I have made arrangements for you to interact with me.
- I request you all to look at MyGov. Please visit the website and see how you can get involved.
- The earlier government spoke only of what laws they have made
I have begun removing obsolete laws
- The more laws we get rid of the better it will be for us
- Government officers reaching on time was news to the people of India. But such were the conditions.
- People may wonder whether this is a Prime Minister’s duty, but I have decided to construct toilets in the country
- People ask me about my ‘bigger vision’
- I tell them I reached here by selling tea, I am a simple man, so I focus on small things
- Will you help me clean Ganga?
- People ask me why I am taking up such difficult tasks
- I tell them that I wasn’t made the PM to solve easy problems
- Cleaning Ganga is not only for religious reasons, it is also the tackle the climatic problems
- Mahatma Gandhi never compromised on cleanliness. He gave us freedom. We should give him a Clean India.
- In 2022, it will be 75 years of our independence.. it is an important landmark in Indian culture… I have a dream that by 2022, there should be no one in India without a roof over his head.
- Mahatma Gandhi was an expatriate who returned to India. It will be 100 years of that event next year. Pravasi Bahartiya Divas will be held in Ahmedabad this time
- PIO card holder have lot of visa issues. We have decided they will get life-long visas.
- The PIO and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) schemes will be combined.
Long-term tourist visas will be introduced for US citizens. The American tourists will get visa on arrival.
- Those who stay in India for a long time had to report to police stations. They will not have to do so.