Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday that the 21st century is India’s century and he attributed the sudden change in India’s fortune to the commitment, strength and pledge of the 1.25 billion people of the country, PTI reports.
Modi addressing Indian diaspora at San Jose's SAP Cente
Modi addressing Indian diaspora at San Jose’s SAP Center Sunday

“For some time now, people are saying that the 21st century is India’s century,” Modi said in an address to a crowd of 18,500 Indian-Americans at the SAP Center in San Jose, which is the hub of Silicon Valley.

Asserting that he is giving every minute of his life in the service of the nation, Modi said he would live and die for the country. Modi said that in the past 16 months, world’s perception about India has changed dramatically. The world is looking at India with a new vision and aspiration.

“I can tell you with confidence that this country will not remain behind,” he said during his speech, which was marked with several rounds of thunderous applause.

Modi said India is in a strong position. In just 15 months, India has scaled new height, has attained economic stability. In the past six months, almost all rating agency have said in one voice that India is the fastest growing economy in large countries.

Prime Minister Modi said that no one ever thought that brain drain can become brain gain. “This is actually brain deposit,” he asserted, adding that it would serve its motherland at an appropriate time.

“Now it is the time Indians show people their strength,” he said in his hour-long speech.

 Modi recollected the contribution of the Gadar party in San Francisco in India’s independence movement.

 “Today is September 27 here and in India it is September 28. September 28 is the birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh. I salute the martyr,” Modi said and asked the audience to chant with him ‘Veer Bhagat Singh Amar Rahe.’

“I am meeting Indian-Americans a year after the Madison Square Garden event in New York. I am coming to California after 25 years. A lot has changed. Many new faces I see. I can see India’s vibrancy here,” he said.

Modi congratulated Indian-Americans for the place of pride they created for themselves among the Californians.

“The world has changed its impression about India because of your talent in computers. With your talent, commitment, and innovations, you are forcing the world to change,” he said.

On his ambitious Digital India programme, Modi said his mission is JAM – Jan Dhan financial inclusion program, Aadhar unique identity card and mobile governance.

In just 100 days, 180 million new bank accounts were opened, which deposited Rs 320,000 million (US$4,843 million) in the bank, he said.

There is new movement in India to provide unique identification to every citizen of India. And finally mobile governance, on which work is in full swing.

All these, he said, have resulted in reduction in corruption, saving hundreds and thousands of crores to the country’s exchequer.

The Prime Minister said  the world is facing two biggest challenges — terrorism and global warming.

“This can be successfully addressed with firm commitment and co-operation with the people of the world,” he said.

He rued that even now, the United Nations has no definition of terrorism. If it has taken the UN 15 years to define terrorism, how long will it take to fight terrorism, he asked.

“There is no good terrorism and bad terrorism,” he said. “India has been suffering from terrorism for 40 years. All human forces should come together against terrorism. There is need for an unity against terrorism. Only then there can be peace in the world.”

 “India is a peace loving country. It is the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Gautam Buddha. It is the land of peace and ahimsa,” he said.

Modi said he would raise the issue of terrorism again at the United Nations Monday. He is scheduled to address a UN Peacekeeping Summit convened by US President Barack Obama.

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