NARENDRA MODI, A MAN WITH CAPITAL “M”
Report from Narain Kataria, New York
March 20, 2005 will be written in golden letters in the annals of Indian Americans living in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. On this day braving the rough weather, a sea of humanity thronged at Madison Square Garden Theatre right in the middle of New York City to listen to their beloved leader Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat in India. Narendra Modi spoke via satellite to a jubilant crowd consisting of more than 5,000 strong people, and answered their questions. He delivered a very powerful speech. He kept the crowd spellbound for about one hour with his charm and wit. The magnificent spectacle was seen to be believed. More than 2000 people could not attend the celebration because they mistook refusal of visa to Narendra Modi as cancellation of the program.
Narrating the progress achieved by the State of Gujarat during his short tenure of three years or so, Mr. Modi said that Gujarat has become one of the most prosperous states in India. I want to make Gujarat a model state for other states to emulate. In Bharat, the first ‘Green Revolution’ was brought in by Punjab, but the second Green Revolution will be produced by Gujarat.
In the past, India had been the Jagat-Guru, the Teacher of the World, for most of the mankind before we went into decline. Very soon, we are going to regain our rightful place in the comity of nations. ‘Knowledge is Power’ and we are genetically endowed with it. Hence, Twenty-First Century rightly belongs to India.
When asked as to what his ‘reaction’ was to the denial of visa by US State Department, Mr. Modi quipped, “I do not believe in ‘reactions.’ I believe in action. I plan to make Gujarat and the rest of India so prosperous, vibrant and peaceful that there would be a queue for visa in America to go to India.” In another question as to what Indian youth could do to help India, Mr. Modi suggested that if each one of the Indian Americans convinces only five non-Indian families in a year for visiting India, that would create a positive understanding of India and boost the Indian tourist industry ten fold. That will be your contribution to the Puniya-bhoomi Bharat.
Most prominent leaders of Indian community were present on the occasion and each one addressed the gathering briefly. As a mark of protest, one throne-like royal looking seat in the center of stage right in the midst of all prominent community leaders had been left vacant for Narendra Modi who could not be with them because of the refusal of visa by US State Department. Referring to the vacant seat Sunil Nayak, one of the co-Chair of the Event said that this was the second time in India’s History that a throne had been kept vacant; the first time when Lord Rama went to Vanvas 5,000 years ago and the second time when Narendra Modi is not allowed to come to this country.
US Congressman Frank Pallone got a spontaneous uproarious applause from the audience when he said, “It was a big mistake on the part of US to deny a visa to a constitutionally and democratically elected Chief Minister.”
Dr. Mahesh Mehta, the Founder/Chairman of Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, lashing out at the anti-Hindu forces, emphasized that it was incumbent upon us to identify the anti-India elements and their sympathizers who have unleashed the hateful campaign of vilification and denigration against peace loving Hindu people, and expose their nefarious designs.
Dr. Mukund Mody, the Founder of the Overseas Friends of BJP said, “The denial of visa was based on wild accusations and distortions by those who indulged in a smear campaign against the Indian leader.” He further stated that The State Department had violated a fundamental principle of the American justice “innocent until proven guilty.” “India has not produced the slave-drivers but Lord Buddha.” “India has not produced Hiroshama nuclear bombers but produced Mahatma Gandhi, declared Dr. Mody.
Dr. Sudhakar Reddy, the co-Chairman of the event said that Narendra Modi is a man with the capital “M.” He is a great visionary and a dynamic leader. He is a Nishkam Karamyogi. We adore him. He is not just a leader of Gujarat State; he is truly a national leader. If and when he comes to New York in person, I promise, we will give him a resounding reception befitting the stature of a head of state in which 20,000 people will participate.
Outside the Theater, about 30 Indian and Pakistani Moslems were shouting slogans against India and Mr. Modi.