Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the United States of America has arguably been the greatest ever foreign tour by an Indian Prime Minister as it was a culmination of 5 years of deft diplomacy by the Modi government. From ‘Howdy, Modi’ to his UNGA address and meeting the top executives of prestigious companies, his visit was laden with fruitful meetings and events and will act as a huge shot in the arm for the Indian economy and soft power.
The highlight of this trip was the ‘Howdy, Modi’ event which sent shockwaves around the world as Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a gathering of 60,000 people from all walks of life. Such a staggering number of Indian Americans and NRIs shocked even the Americans as such massive crowds for political leaders are rarely witnessed for political leaders, let alone a foreign leader. It was a sign of PM Modi’s ever-increasing popularity which is not just limited to India. In a historic first, the US President Trump opened for Prime Minister Modi at the ‘Howdy, Modi’ event in Houston, which was a flattering and inflating moment for every Indian. The historic and unprecedented event will be remembered for ages as PM Modi established himself as a true world leader. His phenomenal speech in which he did not mince his words and spoke his heart out got the crowd on its feet in an atmosphere of great triumph and merriment. How PM Modi spoke, the setting of the event and the way PM Modi was able to capture the imagination of the audience, absolutely everything about the Houston event showcased PM Modi’s might.
The event managed to capture the imagination of the viewers not only because of the mammoth crowd and the build-up before the massive event but also because of the sheer innovation and conviction shown by PM Modi in his speech. He was very clear about what he was trying to express and managed to drive home his point successfully. How PM Modi took up the issue of Pakistan sponsored terrorism and also mentioned India’s recent move on Kashmir abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution, shows both India’s diplomatic advantage over its neighbour and his bold approach towards the entire issue.
Prime Minister Modi also conducted marathon bilateral meets as he met over 20 leaders and held bilateral talks with them. PM Modi also co-chaired two important multilateral meetings — India Pacific Islands Leaders meeting and India-Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM). The Prime Minister also met over 61 executives of top energy and technology companies as executives from IBM, Shell, Coca Cola and Lockheed Martin have showered praises on India and the Indian economy. Unsurprisingly, Prime Minister Modi was the only foreign leader to gather and meet with so many top US executives during the week of the United Nations General Assembly. JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, Walmart CEO Doug Mcmillon, 3M CEO Mike Roman, Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson, Mastercard CEO Ajay Bhanga, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson and 30 others were in attendance at the private meeting which lasted over two hours. The Prime Minister’s meeting saw the top executives showering praises at him and his government as they line up to invest in India as they are bullish on India’s economy. This meeting comes at a time when according to EY India, Private equity and venture capital investments into India have hit a record high of $36.7 billion in 2019. This surpasses the previous all-time high of $36.5 billion in 2018. This surge comes on the back of large investments in the infrastructure sector that have accounted for 35% of all PE or VC transactions so far in 2019. At $12.8 billion, fund flow into the infrastructure sector is more than what the sector has seen since 2012. Foreign portfolio investors have pumped in a staggering ₹76,052 crores in equity.
PM Modi met with POTUS Trump a record three times as the latter went the extra mile to welcome Modi in the United States. They first met when Trump attended the ‘Howdy, Modi’ event. The second time was when Trump dropped by at the Climate Summit to hear PM Modi speak and the third was during the bilateral meeting with PM Modi. He also collected the prestigious Goalkeepers Award by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for his stupendous work to clean and sanitise India through the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has delivered rich results for the country and according to government estimates, over 89% of houses in villages have access to sanitary toilets. Whereas leaders like Trump remain mere bystanders to address the rapidly chaining climate, Prime Minister Modi highlighted the strides taken by India to counter the climate change and effectively assumed the mantle of climate leadership as he also inaugurated Gandhi Solar Park — installation of solar panels on the rooftop of the UN headquarters in New York from India’s grant of USD 1 million as also opening of Gandhi peace garden at state university of New York campus of Old Westbury through remote control, and release of a UN postage stamp on Gandhi.
His UNGA speech emanated class and exuded statesmanship as he honoured the time limit, in his 17 minutes long speech and set the stage on fire as PM Modi stood as a formidable world leader, an exemplary statesman, as he addressed 17 relevant issues with absolute finesse. From India’s growing economy to its deep cultural and spiritual roots, PM Modi’s speech was one which will surely guide the discourse for times to come. The Prime Minister’s successful visit to the USA will only increase India’s growing diplomatic clout as PM Modi strives to leave behind a legacy which will aid the country for many years to come.
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