‘Vande Mataram’, ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ chants outside New York hotel. PM Modi waves at crowd
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a three-day official visit to the United States, was on Friday night (local time) seen waving at a crowd outside his hotel in New York, where Indian-Americans and members of the diaspora gathered to meet him. Loud chants of “Vande Mataram” and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” rang through the New York neighbourhood as the Prime Minister turned to the people cheering for him and joyously waved at them, before going inside the hotel. PM Modi landed in New York moments earlier, after concluding a series of key meets in Washington—including a Quad Leaders' summit hosted by US president Joe Biden at the White House.
The Prime Minister's three-day US tour will now be capped by his schedule in New York, where Modi is set to address the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). He is expected to highlight a host of pressing global issues – including the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the need to combat terrorism, and climate change, among others.
The warm greeting with which the Prime Minister was met outside his New York hotel is a signifier of his high popularity among the Indian diaspora abroad. Modi was welcomed with similar gusto by the members of the Indian community at the Joint Andrews Base in Washington, DC when he arrived at the US capital two days ago. More than a hundred people from the community abroad gathered at the airport to welcome the Indian leader, who is on his first foreign visit since the Covid-19 outbreak.
People chanted the Prime Minister's name and waved the Indian national flag amid light showers; while Modi, in turn, was seen smiling and shaking hands with members of the community.
In a recent survey assessing the popularity index of 13 world leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ranked the highest, outracing US president Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, among others. According to the survey conducted by The Morning Consult, PM Modi is the “most popular and accepted global leader” in the entire world. He received a stellar approval rating of 70 per cent, while Biden was fifth in the list with an approval rating of 48 per cent.
Also Read | Why Modi’s visit to the US matters
Prime Minister Modi's visit to New York assumes a special significance now in light of the recent developments in Afghanistan, where the rapid offensive of the Taliban insurgents surprised the world and forced the global community to come together to find an ideal diplomatic solution to the situation. According to top diplomats in New York and Washington, the western embarrassment over Afghanistan with the Taliban throwing the entire Doha political commitments out of the window will be the main theme of speakers in the UNGA.