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Rediff.com  » News » After Modi's address, US lawmakers line up for his autograph

After Modi's address, US lawmakers line up for his autograph

By Yoshita Singh
June 23, 2023 11:01 IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nearly hour-long address to the United States Congress evoked multiple standing ovations, applauses and cheers from American lawmakers and chants of 'Modi, Modi' from members of the diaspora community sitting in the grand House Chamber at the US Capitol in Washington, DC.

Modi became the first Indian leader to address the joint session of the US Congress twice on Thursday.

He first addressed a joint meeting of the US Congress in 2016.

IMAGE: US Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy applaud as Prime Minister Narendra Modi concludes his address to a joint meeting of the Congress in the House Chamber of the US Capitol in Washington, DC on June 22, 2023. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

As Modi walked to exit the chamber, several lawmakers crowded around him, shaking his hand, congratulating him and getting his autograph on special copies of his speech that were circulated to the attendees.

Earlier, Modi arrived in the House Chamber to a rousing reception as lawmakers stood up and applauded as he walked up to the podium to deliver his address.

IMAGE: Modi puts his hand on attendee's head as he departs the House Chamber after concluding his address. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Members of the Indian-American community sat in the visitor galleries in the chamber and erupted into applause and chanted 'Modi, Modi' as the Indian leader walked in.

 

Modi waved to the diaspora in the galleries overhead before he began his address.

IMAGE: Modi is greeted by a member of the US Congress as he arrives to address a joint meeting. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Modi's address received about 15 standing ovations from US lawmakers and multiple applauses.

On several occasions, the diaspora broke into chants of 'Modi, Modi' and 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' during the address.

IMAGE: Modi waves as he departs the House Chamber after concluding his address. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Some of the members of the Indian-American community were dressed in traditional Indian attire.

During his address, Modi said, "There are millions here, who have roots in India. Some of them sit proudly in this chamber. There is one behind me, who has made history."

IMAGE: Harris and McCarthy listen as Modi addresses a joint meeting of the Congress. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Modi was referring to Kamala Harris, the first Black, South Asian, and woman to be elected to the post of Vice President. Harris' mother Shyamala Gopalan, a breast cancer scientist, hailed from Chennai.

IMAGE: Modi waves as he arrives on the podium. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

As Modi made this comment, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi smiled and looked over at Congressmen Ro Khanna and Raja Krishnamoorthi sitting across the aisle from her and applauded and acknowledged them.

Both are US lawmakers of Indian origin.

IMAGE: Modi is greeted by Harris and McCarthy as he arrives on the podium. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Some aspects of Modi's address also elicited light-hearted laughter from the lawmakers, with one saying, "In all this, Indian Americans have played a big role. They are brilliant in every field, not just in Spelling Bee."

IMAGE: Modi addresses a joint meeting of the US Congress. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

It was a reference to the popular spelling competition in America that has been dominated by Indian-American children who emerge as champions year after year.

This year too, 14-year-old Dev Shah, an eighth grader from Florida, won the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Modi's address ended with a prolonged standing ovation and applause from the lawmakers and members of the Indian-American community.

Members of the community shouted 'Modi, Modi' and 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai'.

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Yoshita Singh
Source: PTI© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
 
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