I am so proud to be an Indian today, as should all people of Indian heritage whether they belong to America, the Caribbean, Africa or the Europe or even in South East Asia.
Yes, we are over a billion people. Yes, we have added value to whichever country we are in and, yes we may live in different countries but we are at heart the oldest living civilisation in the world.
Today, without any hesitation or hubris, PM Modi spoke about the strides India and Indians have made in just seven years from universal banking for the poor who were left out of the banking systems because they could not open a bank account with zero balance and now they can, and in addition, the government will give you your benefits directly, without any touts in between who would in the past have taken 50 percent of your government benefits.
For those who think this government keeps out minorities I can say with conviction that PM Modi’s reforms whether it is banking for all, or toilets or building houses for the poor they go to every Indian citizen. In Fact, even the Muslims in India, who at 200 million cannot be called a minority, get more scholarships to universities than ever before.
Today, almost every document you need can be done from a government portal, seamlessly and most of all we have more digital payments than any country in the world. In addition, he spoke of a vision that would bring India into the forefront of Artificial Intelligence; into mapping the land owned by every Indian and giving them the ownership deed, crucial in a country that ran on bribes once.
From medicine to vaccines to defence he outlined India’s vision of the future and how Make in India was becoming a reality.
We are the only country in the world where a card with your biometrics alone can get you a passport, a ration card and a voters identity and voting is the right of every citizen, in an Indian made voting machine which is not linked to the Internet and cannot be cyber attacked or compromised by any party.
After PM Modi’s one to one meeting with Kamala Harris, where she took up the issue of the horrifying terrorist attacks against India emanating from Pakistan; to the meeting he had with some of the top CEOs of US companies, who all said that investing in India was the best return on their investments and were thrilled about the reforms the government had brought in; to his meeting with Joe Biden where the two leaders spoke of closer ties; PM Modi was at the forefront in bringing India closer to a rules based order, where all countries would unite against terrorism and hegemony and climate change. The Quad meeting was no less significant where Australia, India, US and Japan gave a veiled message to China on freedom of navigation on the seas and oceans of the world.
Coming back to PM Modi’s speech, he also spoke of how from humble beginnings he became the leader of a country giving the power of democracy a big boost.
Since coming into office the PM is the only world leader who has not taken a break from his rigorous daily schedule and most young people in India admire him for his positive thinking and his aptitude to work tirelessly to bring India upto what it can deliver when it’s youth and entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to live up to their dreams.
Much of his speech at the United Nations reflected just this. His vision is all encompassing, he says that with other democracies of the world, India is striving against terrorism and wants peace not only for itself but for humanity and offers the world an opportunity to do business in a country that is bringing in big reforms to let loose its brightest and its best to attract new businesses and technology to the world. After all, India was the first country to give vaccines free of charge to many developing countries. This alone speaks volumes for India’s strides in medicine and research. It can become not only a power in manufacturing but in science, medicine and the vaccine provider to the world, which it is was already but now all it needs is to scale up for future pandemics.
In climate change as well, it was Modi’s vision first in Gujarat and than in India to bring solar and renewable energy to the forefront and to give subsidies to make companies to change to electric vehicles.
I can’t help comparing PM Modi speech to Imran Khan’s who was not even present at the United Nations, because neither President Biden nor even his closest ally Chinese President Xi had spoken to him, Biden since he became President and Xi it seems for 20 months. I am not sure about the latter but I write what I hear from Pakistani television. Imran Khan just regurgitated his last speech on Kashmir, Islamophobia and this time as the spokesperson for the new Taliban order in Afghanistan, where he warned the world to give them adequate financing or there would be many more terrorism emanating from this country.
It seems Pakistan has learnt how to threaten the world with dire consequences if not heeded to, whether it is because it’s a nuclear power or it’s in bed with terrorists. It is the same old tiring threat —either you give us what we want or ……
Up to you to guess. I don’t think the world is listening anymore, nor should it. It should just tell Pakistan one nuke getting into the wrong hands will mean you get obliterated along with the your establishment and the ISI and it’s 20 Billion dollar Military industrial enterprises that have a stake in every single part of your economy from cement, to biscuits to banks, to land and housing.
For me as an Indian, who had a green card once and gave it up, when I came back to India, I can say honestly that I can hold my head up high as an Indian anywhere in the world today. Even the taxi drivers know who Modi is. This is only because of the strides made by Narendra Modi to bring India up in the world and to make every Indian proud whether in India or part of the diaspora.
Our Prime has changed our entire psyche not only with mere words but his actions over the last seven years. The world has acknowledged this as actions speak louder than words.
This is the India I am proud off and this is the India that is finally getting its rightful due in the new world order.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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