SAN JOSE — Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on the United Nations to define exactly what terrorism is for once and for all.
Speaking in Hindi to a crowd of over 18,000 Indians and Indian-Americans at the SAP Center in San Jose, Modi said “once and for all, it must be in black and white.
“We cannot protect humanity by using terms like ‘good terrorism’ and ‘bad terrorism.’ Terrorism is terrorism; there is no good terrorism and bad terrorism,” Modi said. And “we cannot safeguard humanity if we do not come to an agreement on what constitutes terrorism.” Without naming Pakistan, Modi noted that India has been a direct victim of terrorism for the last 40 years.
He expanded on his belief that if the world’s human forces unite with strong values, “then we can defeat terrorism as well as save the planet from global warming.” The Prime Minister believes these are the two biggest challenges facing the world in this 21st century.
This year mark’s the United Nation’s 70th anniversary since the signing of the Charter on June 26 of 1945.
In addition to discussing the need to combat terrorism globally, Modi promoted J.A.M. which he said is the three-letter word which exhibits India’s success. The “J” stands for the nation’s financial inclusion project known in Hindi as “Jan Dhan Yojana” or “People’s Wealth Scheme.” The “A” stands for the “Aadhar” which is an identity card. The “M” stands for mobile governance, which is part of Modi’s “Digital India” plan to extend government services to its citizens using mobile devices.
“Even the poorest person has a mobile phone,” Modi said. “And the poorest of the poor have access to a bank account” because of this program.
Modi also took a veiled swipe at the Gandhi family, whom he referred to as having gathered millions of dollars through corrupt means over the past 60 years. The reference was in response to a brewing war of words between Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Vice President of the Indian National Congress Rahul Gandhi. Rahul is the son of Sonia Gandhi, who has served as the president of the INC since 1998.
Two hours of traditional Indian dances were performed for the eager audience members as they waited in anticipation of the guest of honor.
— Adelle Nazarian (@AdelleNaz) September 28, 2015
Sufi folk singer Kailesh Kher also performed a series of well-known Indian tunes of his own and shouts of “Modi! Modi!” were heard intermittently. Several attendees proudly bellowed “vande mataram,” which roughly translates to “motherland” in Hindi.
— Rahul Kanwal (@rahulkanwal) September 28, 2015
Modi was formally introduced to the stage with several members of Congress including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Rep. George Holding (R-NC), Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.
“Everybody agrees the 21st century is the century of Asia. But today, people say, the 21st century belongs to India,” Modi said to his roaring crowd of supporters.