By Surekha Vijh
WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised a new dream India to the Indian diaspora.
Speaking to the Indian diaspora at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in McLean, Virginia, on the first day of his US visit, Modi expressed confidence that soon India would be a transformed country. The dream of Indian diaspora to see a developed India will be fulfilled in their lifetime, he said.
Calling the meeting “a little India and a little America”,since various states of India and America were represented there, Modi said he decided to address a smaller gathering of Indian Americans this time in contrast with the two bigger events that he did in the last two years to spend time with those who helped to organize the previous events.
Modi said that in the last three years, there has not been a single case of corruption while people in India were getting better opportunities. “When I think of a developed India, I think of a healthy India, particularly the good health of the women and children of our nation,” he added.
Talking about the role of technology in reducing corruption, the Prime Minister said direct benefit transfer has helped in better targeting of subsidy and eliminated leakage to a large degree and that through technology-driven governance, a modern India is being created. He said that when appropriate policies and governance are in place, the aspirations of the people of India can be achieved. FDI is flowing into India at an unprecedented level and all international rating agencies rate India high, the PM said.
The Prime Minister said his aim was to create a “technology driven society” and “technology driven development”.
Without mentioning Pakistan, Modi said, “No one in the world criticized or questioned India during surgical strikes except those at the receiving end.” This was a sign of India’s success in building world opinion against terrorism, he said.
“Today the world is worried over terrorism. It is an enemy of humanity. When India used to tell the world 20-25 years go, they thought this was our law and order problem. Because they had not suffered. they had not experienced. Today we don’t need to explain terrorism to anyone in the world terrorists have shown it to them.”
He asserted that India would play by global rules. “We are bound by global rules that is our culture, our character….. Acting within the norms, for our sovereignty, security… and for peace and prosperity of our people, we are capable of taking toughest decisions… And the world can never stop us.”
Modi also appreciated the role of the Ministry of External Affairs, and in particular, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, in helping troubled Indians across the world.
He also appreciated the role played by the diaspora in contributing towards the American economy.