File photo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Photograph:( AFP )
This was the Prime Minister`s maiden speech at the UN General Assembly after assuming office for the second term.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi invoked three-millennia old Tamil poet and philosopher Kaniyan Poongundranar to highlight the essence of Indian unity in diversity and emphasise the feeling of kinship among all people in the world.
Calling Tamil as the oldest language of the world during his address to the 74th UNGA session said 3000 years ago, a great poet of India, Kaniyan Pungundranar wrote in Tamil the most ancient language of the world 'Yaadhum Oore Yaavarum Kelir' which means 'We harbour a feeling of kinship for all places and all people are our own.'
"The literal translation of the quote is "To us all towns are one, all people our kin"The prime minister spoke in Tamil and his comments bear significance in the light of the storm that has arisen in the country in the wake of politics over Hindi language imposition. Emphasising India`s rich cultural diversity and heritage and its commitment to peace Modi said the country has given the world "Buddh" and not "Yudhh" (war). "If there is a country which has given the most sacrifices in UN peacekeeping mission, it is India", he said.
"Hum uss desh ke vaasi hain jisne dunia ko yuddh nahi Buddh diye hain, shanti ka sandesh diya hai (We are from the country which gave Buddh and not "yuddh" (war) to the world).And that is why our voice reflects our seriousness to alert the world against terrorism as well as anger," he said in his address to the UNGA, which is second in five years.
Recalling Vivekananda's famous speech delivered at World Parliament of Religions, the Prime Minister said, "Around 125 years ago, India`s great spiritual leader, Swami Vivekananda had given a message to the world. The message was - Harmony and Peace and not dissension.
"The Prime Minister said the "world biggest democracy's message for the international community even today remains the same - Harmony and Peace."
This was the Prime Minister`s maiden speech at the UN General Assembly after assuming office for the second term. He had last addressed the gathering four years ago, with former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj representing India at the world body during the interim years.
The 69th session of the UNGA had witnessed the Indian Prime Minister calling for the early adaptation of the Comprehensive Convention on Global Terrorism, highlighting that it was a matter that had been pending for long. He had made it clear that India wanted to pursue bilateral talks with Pakistan in an environment of peace, free from the shadow of terror.
Modi's address at the UN comes on the final day of his week-long visit to the US. The leader had a packed agenda of bilaterals amongst other engagements, beginning with the mega "Howdy, Modi!" event in Houston event that witnessed him sharing the stage with US President Donald Trump before a crowd of more than 50,000 Indian-Americans.