San Jose: The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who received a rock star welcome at the SAP center in San Jose on Monday, told around 18,000 heady Indian diaspora in California that the time has come when brain drain has turned into brain gain for India, inviting them back to their country, saying “India is waiting for you”.
The PM further said that now the Indian diaspora should begin contributing to their country.
“People used to talk a lot about brain drain, they complained a lot about it,” he said, questioning, “Did anybody ever think that this brain drain could become brain gain? No, but now it has.”
Modi further claimed that he sees brain drain as brain deposit essentially and now the time has come to use that deposit with interest for welfare of India.
Modi poured words of praises over Indian diaspora and held them responsible for uplifting India’s image in the world.
“Your fingers created magic on the keyboard and the computer and this gave India a new identity. Your skill and commitment is wonderful. Your commitment, innovations and sitting here, you are forcing the world the change,” he said, to the audience’s delight.
The PM, during his an hour-long address to Indian-Americans, also talked about the achievements of his 16-month-long government.
“Today after 16 months, I need your certificate. Did I fulfill my promise? Did I fulfill my promise?” he asked, as the audience returned the favour, shouting, “Yes, Yes” and “Modi, Modi.”
“For the last 25 years, there’s been a question, ‘Whose is the 21st century?’ ” he said, as the crowds again answered, ‘Modi, Modi.’ The Prime Minister answered his own question saying that while it used to be said this century was Asia’s, a lot of people are now saying the century belongs to India.
“This change didn’t come because of ‘Modi Modi Modi’. This change has come about because of the 125 crores of Indians who have resolved that India won’t lag behind,” claimed Modi.
Modi had filled up his flamboyant speech with chock-full of rhetorical flourishes. It was occasionally funny, as well.
Modi took a dig at his political opponents in a mocking manner.
“In our country it doesn’t take much for allegations to come up against politicians…This person made 50 crores, that son made 250 crores, that daughter made 500 crores, someone’s damaad (son-in-law) made 1000 crores…” He paused after ‘damaad,’ but he needn’t have, because the audience understood and cheered wildly.
Modi also lauded the people living in India during his speech. He praised them for being very supportive to his policies which he had especially formulated for the welfare of poor.
“I requested my countrymen to give up their LPG (cooking gas) subsidy, and 30 lakh people actually surrendered it voluntarily,” he said.
He also clarified, “I wanted to provide a bank account to poorest of the poor with zero balance facility, but these poor people in total deposited 32,000 crores by saving 50 Rs here, 100 Rs there in over 18 lakh new accounts. We know about the poverty of the rich. But seeing the wealth of the poor you feel immensely touched.”
Talking about his discussion in New York last week that was aimed at talks on terrorism and climate change, Modi said that the United Nations still hasn’t been able to define terrorism.
“If it takes so much time to define, how will we tackle it. There’s talk about good terrorism and bad terrorism. Terrorism is terrorism and we in India are ready to tackle it. India is also the land of the Buddha and of Gandhi so the country will be a harbinger of peace,” he added.
The Prime Minister also paid tribute to the great freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, whose birth anniversary it is today, in the beginning and end of his speech. “Raise your fists and say Bharat Mata ki Jai. Say it louder! Let this sound reach India.” The audience happily complied.