When India carried out surgical strikes, not one country raised questions: Modi to Indians in US
Indian ambassador to US Navtej Sarna welcomed PM Modi to the 2017 Community Reception in Washington. Photograph: (Twitter)
In his address to the Indian community in Washington suburb Virginia, Indian PM Narendra Modi addressed the issue of terrorism and spoke about India's surgical strikes on terrorist camps in Pakistan.
"When India did surgical strikes the world experienced our power and realised that India practices restraint but can show power when needed," PM Modi said in the address at the Ritz Carlton hotel.
"When India talked of terrorism 20 years back, many in the world said its a law and order problem and didn't understand it. Now terrorists have explained terrorism to them so we don't have to," PM Modi said.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj received profuse praise for her efforts in rescuing Indians in crisis situations, including the rescue of the young Indian woman Uzma Ahmad who was forced to marry a Pakistani at gunpoint.
"It is now well known in India - anyone in trouble tweets to Sushma ji, she promptly replies and the Government takes prompt action. How social media can empower a ministry has been shown by the MEA and our External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj ji," PM Modi said.
"The Ministry of External Affairs has touched new heights from point of view of humanity. 80,000 Indians in distress have been rescued from different parts of the world in three years," PM Modi said.
The prime minister highlighted the initiatives taken by his government for bringing about transparency in governance including the use of direct transfer technology to provide benefits of government schemes directly to beneficiaries.
"Technology plays an important part in bringing transparency in governance. The government has used the direct benefit transfer technology to provide benefits of government schemes to the beneficiaries directly," PM Modi said.
The prime minister claimed that the BJP-led government was corruption-free.
"At the root of all problems is corruption, the reason why governments have been changed during elections by the people. The present government, in its three years, hasn't seen a single allegation of corruption," Modi said.
The PM also took credit for making people give up subsidies for the benefit of the poor who did not have the resources to procure an LPG cylinder.
"I urged people to give up subsidy on LPG. Around 1.25 crore families gave up their subsidies. It shows that people want to contribute to the development of the nation.
The government decided to use the money which was saved on account of people giving up their subsidy to provide benefit to the poor who do not have the resources to get an LPG cylinder.
The government has provided gas cylinders to more than 1 crore families
Subsidies are being directly transferred to the bank accounts of people. Thousands of crores were wasted in ghost clients. Because of DBT, that money has been saved," PM Modi said.
The PM began his speech by thanking the Indian diaspora for the warmth given by them since he became prime minister in 2014.
"After I became PM, you arranged so many gatherings that their echo can be heard even today. Not just US but politicians from all over the world identify me by these events in America," PM Modi said while thanking the Indian diaspora for its sustained support over the years.
"When I meet you all I experience the kind of joy one feels while meeting his or her family. You fill me with new energy," the Indian PM said in his address.
Modi was effectively barred from the United States for years after deadly communal riots in the western state of Gujarat during his time as chief minister.
PM Modi was given a rousing welcome by members of the Indian community who chanted "Modi-Modi" and "Bharat Mata ki jai" as soon as he touched down at the Joint Base Andrews airport in neighbouring Maryland.