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As it happened: Modi’s address to US Congress

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in the United States on a three-day visit, arrived at the Capitol Hill ahead of his address to a joint session of the US Congress on Wednesday.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2016 22:59 IST
HT Correspondent
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a closer security relationship between his country and the United States on Wednesday, in an address to the US Congress stressing the importance of the warm relationship between the two countries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a closer security relationship between his country and the United States on Wednesday, in an address to the US Congress stressing the importance of the warm relationship between the two countries.(Twitter/MEA India)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a closer security relationship between his country and the United States on Wednesday, in an address to the US Congress stressing the importance of the warm relationship between the two countries.

“The fight against terrorism has to be fought at many levels. And the traditional tools of military, intelligence or diplomacy alone would not be able to win this fight,” Modi told a rare joint meeting of the Senate and House of Representatives.

Read: Full text of PM Modi’s speech

Here are highlights of Modi’s speech:

  • Modi concludes his speech by quoting Walt Whitman as he says the India-US relationship is primed for a momentous future.
  • The constraints of the past are behind us and foundations of the future are firmly in place.
  • For us in India, to live in harmony with mother earth is a part of our ancient belief.
  • Those who believe in humanity must come together as one and speak against this menace in one voice. Terrorism must be delegitimised.
  • Although its shadow is spreading across the world, terrorism is incubated in India’s neighbourhood.
  • Globally, terrorism remains the biggest threat, going by different names, but with the common philosophy of hate, murder and violence.
  • I commend the members of US Congress for sending a clear message to those who preach and practice terrorism for political gains.
  • The effectiveness of our cooperation would increase if international institutions were to reflect the realities of today.
  • A strong India-US partnership can anchor peace, prosperity, and stability from Asia to Africa & from Indian Ocean to the Pacific.
  • India’s strong economy and growth rate of 7.6% per annum is creating new opportunities for our mutual prosperity.
  • I see US as an indispensible partner. Many of you believe that a stronger and prosperous India is in America’s strategic interest.
  • My dream is to economically empower our billion citizens through many social and economic transformations.
  • Connecting our two nations is also a unique and dynamic bridge of three million Indian Americans.
  • Our cooperation secures our cities and citizens from terrorists and protects our critical infrastructure from cyber threats.
  • The embrace of our partnership extends to the entirety of human endeavour - from depths of the oceans to vastness of the space.
  • And, we have not yet claimed intellectual property right on Yoga.
  • SIRI tells us that India’s ancient heritage of Yoga has over 30 million practitioners in the US.
  • We trade more with the US than with any other nation.
  • Our cooperation secures our cities and citizens from terrorists and protects our critical infrastructure from cyber threats.
  • The genius of Norman Borlaug brought the Green Revolution and food security to India.
  • Our independence was ignited by same idealism that fuelled your struggle for freedom.
  • You are well-known for your bipartisanship. I have also witnessed a similar spirit in Indian Parliament, especially in Upper House.
  • India will never forget the solidarity shown by US Congress when terrorists from across our border attacked Mumbai in 2008.
  • Today, our relationship has overcome the hesitations of history.
  • No wonder then, that President Obama has called our ties the defining partnership of the 21st century.
  • The genius of Dr BR Ambedkar was nurtured in the years he spent at the Columbia University a century ago... No wonder then, that former Prime Minister of India Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee called India and the US ‘natural allies’.
  • The Constitution is our real holy book, in which freedom of faith, speech and franchise and equality of all citizens are fundamental rights.
  • Gandhi’s non-violence inspired the heroism of Martin Luther King
  • Today, India lives as one; India grows as one; India celebrates as one.
  • Our founders created a modern nation with freedom, democracy, and equality as the essence of its soul.
  • There were many who doubted India when, as a newly independent nation, we reposed our faith in democracy.
  • India applauds the great sacrifices of the men and women from ‘The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave’ in service of mankind.
  • As a representative of world’s largest democracy, it is indeed a privilege to speak to the leaders of its oldest
  • In granting me this opportunity, you have honoured the world’s largest democracy and its 1.25 billion people
  • This temple of democracy has encouraged and empowered other democracies the world over
  • Thank you, Mr Speaker for opening the doors of this magnificent Capitol
  • I am deeply honoured by the invitation to address this joint meeting of the US Congress
  • Following shooting incident in gurudwara in my constituency, the Sikh community’s compassion and forgiveness has been a lesson -- US House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan

On April 28, Ryan had announced that he formally invited Modi to address a joint meeting of the US Congress on June 8. Ryan received Modi at Capitol Hill on Wednesday.

Modi is the fifth Indian prime minister to address the US Congress after Rajiv Gandhi (1985), PV Narasimha Rao (1994), Atal Bihari Vajpayee (2000) and Manmohan Singh (2005).

Read: Modi, Obama flip the switch on nuclear power, welcome pact on building reactors

In 1949, the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had addressed only the House of Representatives but not a joint session or a joint meeting of the Congress.

Modi met US President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday. Later in the day, he met business leaders in the US and addressed the US-India Business Council also.

Read: Is the Modi-Obama equation a true friendship or smart politics?

After his address to the US Congress on the final day of his three-day visit, the prime minister will head to Mexico City.

With inputs from agencies