PM Modi addresses joint session of US Congress, talks of ‘democracy, terrorism, war’
PM Narendra Modi US Visit: Narendra Modi became the first Indian prime minister to address US Congress twice.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said it was always a great honour to address US Congress and it is an exceptional privilege to do so twice. It was the second time that Modi addressed the joint session of the US Congress, a first for any Indian prime minister. He is the second world leader after Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be accorded the privilege of addressing a joint House more than once.
Modi received a standing ovation and loud cheers from the Congressmen.
“It is always a great honour to address the US Congress. It is an exceptional privilege to do so twice. For this honour, I extend my deepest gratitude to the 1.4 billion people of India. I see that nearly half of you were here in 2016. I can also see the enthusiasm of the old friends and the new friends in the other half,” Modi said.
“Now, when our era is at crossroads, I am here to speak about our calling for this century,” Modi said at the US Congress.
Modi said he can relate to the battles of patience, persuasion and policy. "I can understand the debate of ideas and ideology. But I am delighted to see you come together to celebrate the bonds between two great democracies - India and the United States," the prime minister said.
'India is the mother of democracy'
Speaking on democracy, Modi said it is one of our sacred and shared values. Throughout history, one thing has been clear, democracy is the spirit that supports equality and dignity, he said.
“Democracy is the idea that welcomes debate and discourse. Democracy is the culture that gives wings to thought and expression. India is blessed to have such values from time immemorial. India is the mother of democracy,” the prime minister.
“A spirit of democracy, inclusion and sustainability defines us. India grows while being responsible for our planet. The earth is our mother and we are her children. Indian culture deeply respects the environment and our planet,” Modi said.
'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayaas'
Modi said India's vision is “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayaas”. “We are focussing on infrastructure developments. We have given nearly 14 million homes to provide shelter to over 150 million people, which is nearly six times the population of Australia,” he said.
Modi also said India is the home to all faiths in the world, and “we celebrate all of them. In India, diversity is a natural way of life”.
PM Modi hails Kamala Harris
Recognising the significant presence of millions of individuals in the United States who have ancestral ties to India, Modi specifically mentioned the historic achievement of Kamala Harris in being elected as the vice president of the US.
“There are millions in the US who have roots in India and some of them sit in this chamber. One of them is seating behind, who has made history (pointing to Kamla Harris). I am told that Samosa Caucus is now the flavour of the House. I hope it grows and brings full diversity of Indian cuisine here,” Modi said.
Modi reiterated India's stance on the Ukraine and Russia conflict. “This is not an era of war but it is one of dialogue and diplomacy and we all must do what we can to stop the bloodshed and human suffering,” he said.
Modi on terrorism, Ukraine war
“The stability of the Indo-Pacific region has become one of the central concerns of our partnership. We share a vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific. More than two decades after the 9/11 attacks and more than a decade after 26/11 in Mumbai, terrorism and radicalism still remain a danger for the whole world,” Modi said.
Terrorism is an enemy of humanity and there can be no ifs and buts in dealing with it. We must overcome all such forces sponsoring and exporting terror, he said.
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