Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday said the world should stop differentiating between “good terrorism and bad terrorism”.
“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, how many years will it take to to tackle terrorism,” he said.
“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 that “terrorism is terrorism”.
He said terror and global warming were the two big threats the world was facing.
Addressing thousands of Indian-Americans at the SAP Centre in San Jose, Modi made a veiled attack at Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra. Saying that corruption during the previous government’s time had triggered anger among people, Modi said, “In our country it doesn’t take much for allegations to come up against politicians… Someone made Rs 50 crore, someone’s son made Rs 250 crore, daughter made Rs 500 crore, damaad (son-in-law) made Rs 1,000 crore…”
Modi also told the Indian-American audience that the magic in their fingers was responsible for changing the world’s perception of India. Using the analogy of cricket broadcasts, he said Indians in the US had a better view of what was happening in India than those who live in the country. “You are making the world change from here. Those who resist change will become irrelevant in the 21st century,” he said to a near-packed arena.
Standing on a podium that turned slowly so that he could address everyone, Modi said the brain drain that was discussed for many years has now become brain gain. “I look at it differently. This is actually a brain deposit that is waiting for an opportunity to be of use to the motherland,” he said, adding that the time for that had arrived.
Highlighting how he had opened a new silent front against corruption, he said Aadhaar cards had helped weed out five crore fake gas connections and subsidy was now being given only for 13 crore units. This, he said, led to a saving of at least
Rs 19,000 crore. He added that 30 lakh people had given up their gas subsidy under the Give It Up campaign.
Recalling the Ghadar movement in the US by Sikh migrants in the early 20th century, Modi said, “If those who came to work on the farms then wanted to do something for the Independence movement, the youth of today want to work for alleviating poverty back home.” The speech also mentioned the first Indians who made a mark in West Coast, including Jayaprakash Narayan, who studied in California.
“The world now accepts that this century will be India’s. And this has happened not because of me, but the 1.25 billion Indians,” he said, adding that India has now moved from the fringes to become the focal point. Often having to pause for the cheering crowd to settle down, Modi said his confidence in the country stemmed from the fact that India was young. “A country with 800 million youth and 1.6 billion young arms cannot be held back,” he said.
The PM finished his address by announcing a direct Delhi-San Francisco Air India flight thrice a week from December 2 onwards.
[With PTI inputs]
(The writer is in Menlo Park on the invitation of Facebook)