Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has strongly lauded the contributions and achievements of the Indian-American community, saying they have made an identity for themselves in the US through their hard work, talent and perseverance.
Rajnath Singh was addressing a large gathering of the Indian-American community at a special event organized Monday by the Consulate General of India, New York at educational organization Asia Society.
India’s Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Consul General in New York Sandeep Chakravorty warmly welcomed Singh and senior officials in his delegation.
Rajnath Singh will visit Washington DC for the 2019 U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue on September 18. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper will host Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar and Singh on December 18 for the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.
Addressing the gathering, Rajnath Singh said that the biggest credit for the success of the mega community event Howdy Modi’ in Houston in September goes to the Indian-American community.
He congratulated members of the Indian diaspora in the US, saying it is because of their hard work, capability and talent that they have been successful in creating an identity for Indians and people of Indian origin.
“I want to give the biggest credit for the Howdy Modi event in Houston to you – members of the Indian-American community. I want to give you the credit for the success of the event because if you had not created an identity, established your credibility, prestige and repute for yourselves in America, then the Howdy Modi event would not have happened.
He said one of the factors for the Howdy Modi event is that India is forging ahead and growing rapidly but another factor is that the Indian-American community has through its capability, hard work, talent and perseverance, made an identity for itself.
Due to this also the Howdy Modi event happened, and was so successful, he said adding that it was a big achievement.
Rajnath Singh added that when he sees people from India and of Indian-origin achieve something extraordinary and bring laurels, he feels very proud and his chest swells with pride.
Referring to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, Singh said when he learnt that the Indian-origin Pichai was named to head one of the biggest technology giants in the world, his chest swelled with pride and became a 56-inch chest, as the audience cheered and applauded. We feel very happy when people of Indian-origin accomplish something extraordinary.
Rajnath Singh spoke at length about various measures and initiatives taken by the Narendra Modi government, including steps to ensure basic needs like housing for all, toilets to end open defecation, electricity and cooking gas.
He said it is the commitment of the Modi government that by 2022, there should not be even a single family in India without a concrete roof on its head. He further added that more than eight crore families in India have been provided with cooking gas cylinders and today more than 700 districts are open-defecation free. This is not a small achievement.
He also discussed major decisions taken by the government such as abrogation of Article 370, the Citizenship Amendment Act, the Triple Talaq bill, fight against corruption, measures to boost economic growth amid a global economic slowdown and tackling terrorism emanating from Pakistan.
“We have taken several major steps to make the system effective, efficient and transparent. Naturally, this will enhance the country’s economic capability. We have undertaken several structural and procedural reforms.
On India-US ties, he said bilateral relations between New Delhi and Washington are strong and the two nations have a strategic partnership in defense. He said more Americans from the IT sector should come to India, this will help increase their competitiveness.
On the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Rajnath Singh said it was not an election agenda but a commitment of the BJP to make the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Now the Supreme Court verdict has paved the way for a grand Ram Temple to be constructed at the birth place of Lord Rama, he said.
On a question that Pakistan is not India’s concern and India is ignoring China on the security front, he said he does not agree with this assessment that India is ignoring China. “We know where to speak, when to speak, how much we should speak, we know that.”