NEW YORK, USA. On September 28th, 2014, thousands of Indian-Americans flocked to New York’s Madison Square Garden for a rare chance to see the new leader of the world’s largest democracy.
At Madison Square Garden (MSG) in Manhattan, Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, on his first visit to the United States of America, addressed the Indian Diaspora and several US elected officials.
There was tremendous interest in the community in the US-India relationship. The event at Madison Square Garden, organized by the Indian American Community Foundation, had 18,500 people attending with oversubscription of more than 10,000 people. “Last minute requests to attend the event are coming in at the rate of hundreds per day,” said IACF President, Dr. Bharat Barai.
The dazzling Bollywood-style dancers and dozens of U.S. lawmakers that took part in that event highlighted the rock star welcome that Modi outside India, since being elected in May 2014. As in India, Indian-Americans represented the diversity, strength, and unity of the colorful melting pot that is India.
“The prime minister’s speech today was profoundly inspirational. Every Indian found new meaning to what it means to be Indian. Leaders like this come around once every few decades. Modi ji is the right person for the right time. The organizers did a fantastic job in putting this event together. They should be proud of themselves.” said Shabbir Q. Shehabuddin, Esq, a representative of the Dawoodi Bohra (Muslim American) community.
This was followed by a private dinner with Obama on Monday evening. During their talks, Obama and Modi focused on economic growth and cooperation on security, clean energy, climate change and other issues, the White House said. They also addressed regional concerns, including Afghanistan, where the U.S. is wrapping up its 13-year military involvement, and Syria and Iraq, where the U.S. is ramping up its military engagement as Obama builds an international coalition to target Islamic State militants operating in the both countries.
In a publication by Foreign Policy – “The idea that Asia’s future will be determined by China or any one other country is wrong. Across this vast region, more people live under democracy than any other form of government. And more states, democratic or otherwise, increasingly see the value of a rules-based international order and the need to play a greater role in sustaining it. For this reason, we see increasing strategic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region between the United States and its treaty allies, especially Japan and Australia, but also between these countries and emerging powers such as Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, and of course, India. Indeed, the growing partnership between India and Japan is perhaps most Encouraging?” said John McCain.
As the rockstar political roadshow wrapped up, it left solid impressions of Indian foreign policy and its desires to strengthen tie with the United States both in economic and political sphere.