Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a rousing speech at the Madison Square Garden that inspired not only the large number of NRIs but also people at home who were impressed by the great reception received by the Indian leader. It was a deep emotional connect with the Indian diaspora which helped Modi bond with the people while he spoke about India’s economy, politics, and culture, and how he planned to reshape it
Modi also appealed to the Indian Americans that they would be welcomed to India to invest, and create opportunities. He promised that India would be forward looking in it’s approach. The atmosphere at the Madison Square Garden was electric, and the audience included top US politicians and lawmakers. When Modi appeared the stage the crowd went ecstatic and shouted ‘Modi, Modi’ as if a rock star had come on the stage. Addressing the huge crowd of around 20,000 people, the Indian PM recalled how a Taiwanese translator had asked him whether Indian was still a country of snake charmers, and black magic. “I told him that our ancestors might have played with snakes but now we were more interested in the computer mouse”, said Modi. He also said that one billion people of the country had blessed him, and that meant God had blessed him.
The Indian PM also told the audience of India’s success in sending an aircraft to Mars at a fraction of the cost of what other nations did. The PM also told the NRIs that they are stakeholders in the development of the country, and much to the delight of the people, announced easing of visa norms, and to simplify the immigration bureaucracy to ensure that people of Indian origin could travel to the country with ease. He also announced that PIO and OCI cards would be rolled into one card, and also said that efforts were on to given US nationals long term Visa, and a Visa on arrival.
Modi also called on the Indian diaspora to join the ‘Make In India’ campaign as the nation had three important strengths that included; Democracy, Demography, and Demand. For those coming to India for business, he also promised that single window clearance would be the norm, and bureaucratic obstacles would be reduced to the bare minimum. He also said that all laws and rules which were redundant, obstructive, and useless would be removed from the rulebook.
While the Modi supporters thronged the Madison Square Garden, and turned it into a mini-India there was also a rights group that had gathered outside the venue to protest against the riots in Gujarat. However, the sideshow by the protesters failed to make an impact on the high-voltage performance by the Indian PM whose speech witnessed an unprecedented turnout at the Garden. The PM is scheduled to have dinner with President Obama at White House, and on Tuesday the two sides will discuss important issues between the two countries.