MODI ALL OVER WASINGTON DC
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Narendra Modi, Pradhan Mantri of Bharat, has indeed won the hearts and minds of American citizens by his thought, word and action in the present visit to the United States. In the 50 hours or so that he spent in the capital of the United States of America from 6th to 8th June 2016, he renewed and cemented his friendship with President Barack Obama and addressed the joint meeting of the two houses of the US Congress. It was a landmark speech made in English for about 45 minutes punctuated by over 50 applauses including standing ones.
By the dint of his hard work, his outreach to the people of America and the purity of his word and deed that made a political pariah a darling of Americans. Narendra Modi had long ago travelled around many States and learnt about the people of the country. As the Chief Minister of Gujarat, he did a commendable job as an administrator pursuing inclusive policy but some criminal minded men and women painted a fallacious picture of his and prevailed upon the US Administration to deny an entry Visa to him to keep him away from the main stream of American political and social life.
The TRUTH dawned on the US Administration after Narendra Modi was returned to power as the Prime Minister of India in the Indian general elections in 2014. The prophets of doom had to eat an humble pie. The same Modi of pure heart and mind was invited to the United States as an official guest and personal guest of President Obama in June 16. What a change in both the New World and the old world. By the way, this was the seventh meeting of minds between the President of USA and Prime Minister of India. The mutual exchange of notes was a success. All sides praised the final outcome. Everything was hunky dory.
GAINS OF PARLEYS
What were the gains of the numerous meetings and discussions between the two heads of governments and their delegations, one may ask. Well, America and India have come as close as close could be. It is indeed a strategic partnership that would favour both the major democracies – the oldest and the largest. It is not to form an alliance against any other country but to let the world partake of the fruits of this budding friendship. It is the intention of both India and America to leave a good legacy for the people of the world and not only eat the bilateral cake.
Defence of India through modernization of its weapon system and equipment of its armed forces is a matter of prime concern for Narendra Modi. He would not allow history to repeat itself where foreign forces had the better of Indian forces for lack of modernization. A strong army, navy and air force are a real deterrent to the present and potential enemies. In the onward march towards the goal of defence preparedness, America will be a positive partner.
America elevated defence relations with India on par with NATO and Israel. In other words, the partnership between America and India in strategic matters will be an ongoing one brooking no break. The news of this partnership has generated a sense of Fear among the immediate neighbours of India who did not wish the Indian Republic well.
How did it all happen? Well none of the two leaders waived any magical wand. They worked for it assiduously and reaped the desired harvest.
Narendra Modi on the afternoon of his arrival in USA, visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and laid a wreath at the Arlington National Cemetary. The ceremony may be a symbolic one but the nation loves it. When a visiting Prime Minister lays wreath to honour the men martyred in the cause of the country, the whole country loves it. Modi thus touched the hearts of the American citizens within hours of his arrival in Washington DC, capital of the United States of America.
The Oval Office meet between the two leaders was not a routine give and take. Both the Statesmen were keen on leaving a legacy of peace and friendship benefitting people of the world by developing friendship between Bharat and America. They succeeded in their noble and unique venture. President Barack Obama was determined to stand by India, be it a membership of the Missile Regime or the NSG – Nuclear Suppliers Group. The former membership is achieved by India as none of the present members raised an objection to the new entrant. The latter one is on the cards despite the hesitant attitude of China at the behest of Pakistan. Most of the existing members of the NSG, except China, Have expressed their open support for inclusion of India. America is working diplomatically to neutralize any negative effect of miniscule minority opposition. One looks forward to seeing positive results in India’s favour.
Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi’s address to the Joint Meeting of the two houses of the US Congress went a long way to bringing the law makers and citizenry closer to the government and people of India. The massive applause was so frequent that Modi had to stop to let it fade away. The humour thrown in by Modi not only generated loud laughter but also lightened the atmosphere to make the august audience receptive to Modi’s thought and words. Modi did not abstain freom making a dig at the neighbouring Pakistan without mentioning it by name. When he emphasized that Terror was incubated in India’s neighbourhood and the comity of nations must go all out to prevent it, the US lawmakers were in no doubt that the reference was to wily Pakistan. Modi was emphatic in underlining the idea that Terror was Terror; there was no distinction between good terrorist and bad terrorist. Terrorists are Terrorists.
Modi’s humour extended to the working of the US Congress and the Indian Parliament, especially the upper house, the response was more than a chuckle.
The present visit of Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi to the United States, President Obama receiving him with open arms, their historic e3mbrace Indian style and deep friendship that it regenerated and restrengthened will go down in history as a landmark for the present generation and the posterity.