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Rediff.com  » News » In California, Modi hails India, says it's our time to shine

In California, Modi hails India, says it's our time to shine

Last updated on: September 28, 2015 16:38 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses Indian-Americans at the SAP Centre in San Jose. Photograph: @MEAIndia/Twitter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the 21st century is India’s century and attributed the sudden change in India’s fortune to the commitment, strength and pledge of the 125 crore people of the country.

“For some time now, people are saying that the 21st century is India’s century,” Modi thundered in an address to a strong crowd of 18,500 Indian-Americans at the SAPCenter in San Jose, which is the hub of Silicon Valley.

Asserting that he is giving every minute of his life in the service of the nation, Modi said he would live and die for the country.

Modi said that in the past 16 months, the world’s perception about India has changed dramatically. The world is looking at India with a new vision and aspiration.

He attributed this change to the commitment, strength and pledge of the 125 crore people of the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being presented a jersey of the San Jose Sharks, the ice hockey team, ahead of his speech. Photograph: @MEAIndia/Twitter

Modi said he is confident of India’s success because 65 per cent of the population of the country are of less than 35 years -- 800 million.

“I can tell you with confidence that this country will not remain behind,” he said during his speech, which was marked with several round of thunderous applause.

Modi said India is in a strong position today.

In just 15 months, India has scaled new heights, has attained economic stability. In the past six months, almost all rating agency have said in one voice that India is the fastest growing economy in large countries, he said.

'We cannot let 21st century to be stained with terrorism'

Lamenting that the United Nations has been unable to define terrorism in 70 years, Prime Minister Modi said if it takes so long in doing so, then how many years will be required to deal with the menace.

"We put pressure on the UN. The UN is celebrating its 70th anniversary but till now it has not been able to arrive at a definition for terrorism. If defining it takes so much time, then how many years will it take to tackle terrorism," Modi said in his speech.

It is the UN's responsibility to spell out clearly who it considers a terrorist so that the international community can chart out its path to usher in peace, he said.

"At a time when we are observing the 70th anniversary of the UN, it is the world body's responsibility to come out in clear terms who it considers a terrorist and who is on the side of humanity. Once it has to be made clear so that the world can decide which path it should follow and only then peace will prevail," Modi said.

The prime minister said he was hopeful that the UN will not be able to further delay a decision on such a serious issue.

"Humanist forces in the world will have to put pressure so that it is decided in black and white what is terrorism. Since there is no definition, talk about good terrorism and bad terrorism is going on. We cannot protect humanity with this good and bad terrorism," Modi said, adding, "terrorism is terrorism".

Observing that India has been a victim of terrorism for the past 40 years, Modi said the West and many other countries woke up to the menace of terrorism only after they faced bomb blasts or terror attacks.

"We cannot let 21st century to be stained with terrorism," Modi said, adding, "the world has to stand united in tackling terrorism."

Noting that India is the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Gautam Buddha who preached peace and non-violence to the world, he said, "the world has to realise that terrorism can hit anyone at anyplace, and it is the world's responsibility to recognise it and unite against terrorism."

Lalit K Jha
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