Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the partnership between India and the US augurs well for the future of democracy in the world, and together the two nations can give a better future to the world, and a better world to the future.
In an address to the joint sitting of the US Congress, the Prime Minister also said that while the world has seen many advances in AI – artificial intelligence, “there have been even more momentous developments in another AI – America and India” – referring to the growing close friendship between the two nations.
“A lot has changed since I came here seven summers ago. But a lot has remained the same – like our commitment to deepen the friendship between India and the US,” he said.
The PM also spoke on radicalism and terrorism, saying they still remain a pressing danger for the whole world. “These ideologies keep taking new identities and forms, but their intentions are the same.
“Terrorism is an enemy of humanity and there can be no ifs and buts in dealing with it. We must overcome all such forces sponsoring and exporting terror.”
On the Indo-Pacific, he said, with tacit reference to China’s hegemonistic behaviour in the South China Sea, “We share a vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific, connected by secure seas, defined by international law, free from domination, and anchored in Asean centrality.“
On the Ukraine war, he said: “This is not an era of war. But it is one of dialogue and diplomacy. And we all must do what we can to stop the bloodshed and human suffering.”
He called for giving voice to the Global South as the way forward for the world.
“We must revive multilateralism and reform multilateral institutions, with better resources and representation. That applies to all our global institutions of governance, especially the UN,” the PM said, reiterating India’s stand on reforming the multilateral institutions.
On sustainability, he said:
“By being mindful in making choices, every individual can make a positive impact.
“Making sustainability a mass movement, will help the world reach the Net Zero target faster.
“Our vision is pro-planet progress. Our vision is pro-planet prosperity. Our vision is to create pro-planet people.”
On India, he said: “The youth of India are a great example of how a society can embrace latest technology. India is an ancient nation with a youthful population. India is known for its traditions. But the younger generation is also making it a hub of technology.”
“India’s vision is not just of development which benefits women. It is of women-led development, where women lead the journey of progress.
“I believe that investing in a girl child lifts up the entire family. Empowering women transforms the nation.”
On India’s vision for the world, he said:
“Our vision is सबका साथ, सबका विकास, सबका विश्वास, सबका प्रयास।
“It means: Together, for everyone’s growth, with everyone’s trust and everyone’s efforts.
“In the last century when India won its freedom, it inspired many other countries to free themselves from colonial rule. In this century, when India sets benchmarks in growth, it will inspire many other countries to do the same.”
“Everyone wants to understand India’s development, democracy and diversity. Everyone wants to know what India is doing right, and how.”
On India’s diversity, he said:
“We have 22 official languages and thousands of dialects, and yet we speak in one voice. We are home to all faiths in the world, and we celebrate all of them. In India, diversity is a natural way of life.”
“The US is the oldest and India the largest democracy. Our partnership augurs well for the future of democracy. Together, we shall give a better future to the world, and a better world to the future.
“Democracy is one of our sacred and shared values. It has evolved over a long time, and taken various forms and systems.
“Democracy is the spirit that supports equality and dignity. Democracy is the idea that welcomes debates and discourse. Democracy is the culture that gives wings to thought and expression. India is blessed to have such values from time immemorial.”
“In the evolution of the democratic spirit, India is the mother of democracy. Millenia ago our ancient scriptures said, the truth is one but the wise express it in different ways.”
“Over two centuries ago we have inspired each other through the lives of great Americans and Indians. We pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Junior. We also remember many others who worked for liberty, equality and justice.
“Today, I also wish to pay a heartfelt tribute to one of them – Congressman John Lewis” – referring to the late American politician and civil rights activist who served in the US House of Representatives.
Praising the US, he said: “Throughout your history, you have embraced people from around the world. There are millions here, who have roots in India.
“Some of them sit proudly in this chamber… I am told that Samosa Caucus is now the flavour of the House.”
MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi in a tweet said:
“An address for the history books.
“In an address to the Joint Session of the US Congress, PM @narendramodi laid out his vision for the future of the most consequential India-US bilateral partnership.
“PM appreciated the bipartisan support extended by the US Congress for the strong India-US ties.”
The PM also held a meeting with the Speaker of the US Congress.
“PM @narendramodi held a productive meeting with the Speaker of the US Congress @SpeakerMcCarthy.
“They discussed avenues for strengthening engagements between the two largest democracies of the world and fostering cooperation on key issues.”