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Indian-Americans Greet PM Modi Outside Hotel In New York

Geetha Patil

FIA (Federation of Indian Associations) New York and New England Chapters’ members greeted the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, September 25, 2021, morning. Hundreds of Indians gathered outside the hotel in New York City before his departure for the United Nations Headquarters (UNHQ). When he was leaving for UNHQ to address the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), he was greeted by a cheering crowd with chants of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’ alongside chants of ‘Modi, Modi.’

Before Modi’s address to the UNGA, he had met with several business CEOs, participated in bilateral meetings with US President Joe Biden and US Vice-President Kamala Harris. Modi said that he is confident that the India-USA relationship and people-to-people linkages will grow even stronger in the years to come. He also attended multilateral meetings with Yoshihide Suga of Japan and Australia’s Scott Morrison in the Quad leaders’ summit hosted by Biden in the U.S. capital. 

The theme for this year’s General Debate was ‘Building Resilience through hope to recover from COVID-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalize the United Nations’. In his address to United Nations General Assembly, Modi said, ‘India is known to be the mother of democracy, When India grows, the world grows When India reforms, the world transforms.’ He paid tribute to lives lost due to COVID-19. He stressed the fact that development should be all pervasive, inclusive: India has brought 430 million people into the banking systems. India has built 30 million homes for homeless families; every 6th person in the world is Indian. He further stated that oceans should not be used for expansion & exclusion: India is on a journey to provide clean & portable water to people. He proudly mentioned to the audiences that India is emerging as a frontrunner in the manufacturing of vaccines. India developed world's first DNA vaccine and India's mRNA vaccine is in development stages. Modi additionally said that India is making efforts to bring a balance between economy & ecology. India outperformed developed world on climate action. He gave emphasis on science bases approach to development. Moreover, Modi said that world is facing a rising threat of extremism. No country should take advantage of Afghan crisis, as terrorism is an equal threat to nations using them.

During this visit, when 157 artefacts & antiquities were handed over by the United States to PM Modi. As a warm gesture, Modi conveyed deep appreciation for the repatriation of antiquities to India by the United States. The major portion of these precious Indian antiques were made by metal, stone and terracotta and included the ornate figurines of the well-known postures of Lakshmi Narayana, Buddha, Vishnu, Siva Parvathi and the 24 Jain Tirthankaras and the less common Kankalamurti, Brahmi and Nandikesa besides other unnamed deities and divine figures. 

FIA New York Joint Secretary Srujal Parikh and Chairman Ankur Vaidya, FIA New England President Abhishek Singh along with many community leaders and audiences spoke to various Media reporters who approached them for their thoughts on Modi’s speech. Every one of them expressed his/her very positive feedback/reflections and said that Modi is very clear in conveying his message to the world. He can get things done slowly and steadily but certainly. Modi always stands up for what he believes. They feel proud as he is taking India to a new height in the world. They promised their support to Modi’s efforts. Robert Lancia (Republican Party) who was a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives, representing District 16 also spoke on the occasion and said that we need to strength Indo-US relations in many areas and fight for India’s permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council. 

Ankur Vaidya and Sanjay Gokhale thanked everyone for coming to New York City to greet and show support to PM Modi. They also thanked Rajbhog Food Inc. for serving breakfast with hot coffee and team to all the participants. Ankur thanked our Hon. Consul General Randhir Jaiswal, Deputy Council General of India Dr. Varun Jeph and the New York City Police and Security Team members for their help and excellent services. He expressed deep appreciation on behalf of all Indians for returning 157 artefacts & antiquities to India by United States. 

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