Modi In Congress
How long can you bang your palms together, in one go? Members of the US Congress clapped for 3 minutes and 35 seconds non-stop, as they welcomed the Prime Minister of the Republic of India in the chamber ; and that was just the start. They would go on to extend as many as nine standing-ovations, and clap for around 1/3rd of the 45-minute speech Mr. Modi gives.
Starting with congratulating and encouraging other democracies of the world, Modi talked about his previous two visits to the states and shared his experiences when he covered 25 of the 50 states from coast to coast. Modi expertly twice highlighted the fact that India is the largest democracy in the world with its 1.25 billion people, and that America is the oldest. He also pointed out that Dr. Ambedkar, the proclaimed father of the Indian Constitution, studied in the Columbia University and had used the wisdom of the American Constitution in writing it; thus thanking the states for its indirect contribution.
Modi then went on to thank USA for its support and solidarity towards India after the Mumbai attack in 2008. Playing the financial card, he brought the members’ attention towards the fact that America is today India’s biggest trade partner; which include the defense purchases that had gone up from zero a decade back, to almost $10 billion.
All throughout his speech, he continuously kept reminding the members that India and America had a lot in common in almost all the fields; India’s biggest cultural offering, Yoga being the standout mention.
Modi also made it a point to congratulate USA on its decision to refuse rewards to India’s neighbor, which practiced and preached terrorism for political gains. He quickly went on to bring forth the fact that India, on the other hand, believed in equality and peace, and was the biggest contributor of troops to UN for peace-keeping ops.
Signaling towards a better and symbiotic future, Modi chose the following lines by Walt Whitman to end his address: ‘The Orchestra has sufficiently tuned its instruments; the baton has given the signal’.
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