Decoding PM Modi’s U.S. Congressional Address

Modi US Congress_1PM Modi is not the first Indian head of the government to have addressed a joint session of the US Congress. He is also not the first who has emphasized on the result-driven bonding between the two countries that share so much in common, from democracy to liberal markets, from cultural richness to innovative and intellectual vibrancy. This, however, was the first time that foreign media, and not just of the India and the US, was flooded with reports on Modi’s speech. The analysis that followed invited many admirers, a few critics too. Although there is much to be discussed about PM’s recent 5-nation diplomatic tour, let us try to decode this most talked-about event. In the very beginning, it can be easily said that this was an inclusive speech, a perfect 10 out of 10, not only because it invoked many celebrated US and Indian leaders, but also for its coverage of topics ranging from India’s rural and renewable energy commitment to security concerns in the Asia-Pacific region. Standing ovations and thunderous applause were a part. Let’s explore in-depth.

Reiterating Commitment to Democracy and Liberty

India’s name is synonymous with the tag ‘world’s largest democracy’, whilst the US was the first country to have a written constitution that promised equal rights within a democratic setup. Having recalled Abraham Lincoln at the very opening, the Indian PM ensured that all critics back home know his belief in the notion of ‘all men are created equal’. He was historically correct in remembering how the world doubted our capability to provide a just and democratic state after 1947. He was also not flawed when he told the same world, from a pulpit that is most watched and heard, owing to its power, that India lives, grows and celebrates as ‘one’.

As citizens of India, and being ones who are buffeted by different political positions, we need to acknowledge that our Prime Minister cannot speak on every incident, good or bad, either in the Parliament or in the media. Asking for his intervention in every matter is impractical if not injudicious, and for those who urged for his intervention on the alleged rising intolerance and debate on anti-nationalism, his statement that the Constitution is the real holy book of the present government is a thought-provoking reply, you just need to have courage to accept it.

At the same time and amidst all the glorious words of the PM in the US Congress, any act of any leader of the ruling party or its allies ought to be in line with the principles of the Indian Constitution. Of course, the PM himself and other senior leaders have sent across a strict message down the line regarding discipline in actions and speech, but the real result is expected out of leaders at the provincial levels. ‘Toilets before Temples’was an assuring slogan by Modi before 2014 polls; its relevance hasn’t lost sheen until today, nor has BetiBachaoBetiPadhao movement or the Jan DhanYojna. PM’s wordsin the US Congressional speech, echoing freedom and inclusion for all 1.25 billion Indians, applies to all Indians despite their religion, caste, colour, sex or ethnicity.

Modi US Congress_5Natural US-India Ties

An extraordinarily capable politician and one of the most illustrious Indian PMs, Atal Vajpayee underlined the natural alliance between the two countries, and PM Modi reiterated the commitment. India’s supreme law of the land. Our Constitution owes much to its US counterpart, and how the time spent in the US impacted Dr. B R Ambedkar’s view of liberty and equal rights for all. Pointedly referencing the inspiration drawn by Martin Luther King (a name synonymous with working for the rights and equality of blacks in America) from India’s Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, and Swami Vivekananda’s Chicago speech on humanity and religion, are all evidences that humans from both the countries have a natural inclination towards shared culture and embracing our unity in diversity, something that PM Modi emphasized to the US politicians.

Today, the US is the world’s largest economy and India the world’s fastest growing major economy; these economic advantages and financial vibrancy would never be possible unless there was an unmitigated force in the background to move us towards the ambition of eradicating poverty and inequality. While the US has long achieved the goal of providing assured basic amenities to its citizens, PM Modi ignited the spirit of shared humanitarian values by making person to person comparisons. Thus calling upon the US to take a big leap forward in helping India attain its part of ambitions. The Green Revolution of India executed by the then PM Jawaharlal Nehru and American biologist Norman Borloug took India towards food security; alliance, thus, is the best road to success. And the statement of PM Modi that drew maximum applause, that we haven’t yet claimed IPR for Yoga, which is practiced by more than 30 million Americans, was an impeccable shot.

Economic Partnership of the Two Countries

This may merit primary consideration, since whatever may be the force exerted by other factors, unless mutual economic benefits are at stake, no partnership can thrive. The civil nuclear deal between the two countries, and the two-way flow of people, capital, ideas and technology have shaped economic ties between India and the US. Prime Minister Modi, by adding these to his speech, ticked the right box at a time when it was much needed. The world is slowing down, including China, Japan and European countries, and India remains the sole shining spot. By impressing upon and assuring the US political and business milieu, India can attain not only capital, but also jobs and technical know-how to take our economic growth to yet another level.

In this context, as highlighted when the PM included his ambitions of a better India in his speech, the goal of attaining and adopting some successful US models in the fields of public health, education , housing and basic infrastructure are something that cannot be ignored. If the policymakers want farmers, job-seekers, students and workers to grow in a robust manner, borrowing the US model of inclusive growth is indispensable. PM Modi acknowledged how Indians are shining in the US, even in spelling bee; however with ignominious cases like that of Bihar toppers, we should take a critical look at our institutional framework and not refrain from any possible help from other countries including the US.

Global Security and collaboration on foreign missions

There is no denying the fact that terrorism is nurtured in India’s neighborhood and PM Modi, by including this expression in his momentous speech, warned not only Pakistan but also its allies. Freedom of navigation in international waters and the security of the Indian Ocean, combined with other areas of global relevance were an indirect warning to China which is not only claiming others’ territories in South China Sea but is also directly confronting India by working in the Pak-occupied Kashmir for its One Belt One Road project. At the other end of the spectrum, India has supported not only Afghanistan in its struggle for re-building the war torn country, but also played a role in peacekeeping missions of the UN, which makes India one of the most actively concerned and participative nations in the arena of international peace and stability. It was important for PM Modi to tell this to the world, which he did quite appropriately.

Climate change is a major talking point in the US political discourse, and a mutual concern; with the focus on renewable energy, India and the US are jointly tackling this menace, PM Modi stated unambiguously in the US Congress. Additionally,there was an urgent call to nations for an upgradation in the constitution and structure of international institutions and groupings. PM Modi’s speech included this point; this will open doors for India in NSG, APEC, UNSC and similar other important unions which hold unparalleled significance in decision making and impact global politics.

PM Modi’s address was exceedingly reassuring to all Indians, which includes opposition parties in the Parliament (only if they want to do away with their unwarranted reluctance in the interest of the country) and the media (which is busy discussing irrelevant topics like nationalism vs anti-nationalism). This was also the one time when an Indian leader did not talk of dependence on the world leader, but talked of connectivity, cooperation and partnership, sending a clear message that as much India needs the world, the world needs the fastest growing economy and its vast market as well. We do not look to become a NATO-partner or imitate UK or Australia in being an ally of the US; we are what we are, independent yet collaborative in race to global development. We must applaud that all this came from a person who was denied a US visa some 11 years ago but was subsequently given a warm welcome after a landslide victory in 2014 general polls.

Modi US Congress_3

For PM Modi, having invoked former PM Atal Vajpayee was praiseworthy; had the non-BJP leaders who addressed the US Congress in the past also been acknowledged with reference, the much-needed symphony in the Indian Parliament could be accomplished in coming days with a harmonious note. It cannot be overlooked that PM Modi’s attendance and address owes much to the works of earlier leaders ranging from former PM Rajiv Gandhi (credited with paving way for high technology transfers from the US to India by shaping ties with the then US President Reagan) to another Indian genius, Dr. Manmohan Singh (credited with making the civil nuclear deal with the Bush administration possible in the face of strong opposition from China and the Congress party itself); inclusion of their names in PM Modi’s speech could have filled the gulf of the so-called ‘bi-partisanship’ in Indian Parliament. Finally, hailing PM Modi’s address cannot be termed as anything except very genuine and non-partisan, for even the US has acknowledged the ‘Modi Doctrine’.


109 thoughts on “Decoding PM Modi’s U.S. Congressional Address

  1. Hardik Thakkar

    This should be viewed as a lesson for other politicians who say that our prime minister is always on foreign trips. PM is opening new doors of success and development for Indian economy and we should be proud of him.

  2. Binoy Singh

    The elaborated fact above is an eye opener to the critics of Prime Minister of India. The critics are simply spreading false propaganda against his vists in general and this visit in particular and trying to distract the attentions of achievement as well to be achieved in future

  3. Mani shubham

    He played very smart indeed. Did not talk anything about Hillary or Trump because he wants good relations with anyone who is elected. Modi has a sharp mind.

  4. Brig SK Sharma

    Dear Dr Gupta, yes you have very eloquently brought to fire the underlying nuances of our PM’s speech to the USC. I was witness to each word, spoken and not so.

    May I most humbly add just a few issues that you might like to please consider.

    1. The initial lack of conviction that was on witness two years ago when he had addressed the UN session had surely given way to more confident body language. But there still was trifle lack of difinitiveness that comes from some major achievements back home. But you have to be fair to the PM since two years is too short a time to get more positive results in such a vast country as we are. Therefore, we, and our PM both must remain conscious of this fact that we got to achieve a great deal more over the next two to three years to convince the world that WE have now arrived.

    2. Whilst we must not lower our guard back home, must must now at least shed the cloak of being Pakistan centric. Let us altogether remove any mention of our venomous neighbour. Let the world make Pakistan totally inconsequential due to its total absence from anything emanating from India. We have much bigger challenges than a mere Pak – namely – population explosion, internal misgivings, religious issues, poverty alleviation, energy and water shortage, lack of education for all; not to mention corruption being an all pervasive scourge. Next time our PM goes to speak on an important world forum, let him speak what he has been able to accomplish on these fronts. That will instil a chill up the spine of the world leaders that this MAN is a true giant amongst pygmies that they have seen coming out of India.

    3. See, Dr Gupta, his speeches are written by run of the mill speech writers from amongst the Foreign Service officers. They are a lot of people with limited cerebral resources. What this man of our PM needs is a few very otiginal fertile minds who understand the most critical of resource – human being. I have had many good friends amongst these IFS lot. They are all self-adulatory grandiloquents. Please pardon me since I am stupidly painting them all in one colour. But, that’s unfortunately them all are. Nothing original. And same is the case with the Administrative officers’ lot. They only look unto themselves. Nothing new, no fresh blood is likely to come out of them. Only in-breeding. And, please, that is self-destructing. To that extent, if our PM infuses fresh blood, his efforts shall have an untold force-multiplier there-in.


  5. Aayush bansal

    China is the only country that India needs to deal with with intelligence. China cannot survive in isolation and by growing enmity in Asia, so Modi must think of a new strategy for China.

  6. Sahil Vaidya

    Now we have the US with us, we have Russia on our side, we have Europe forging ties over free trade agreement and Middle East is also investing in India. So we should not care about pakistan and china.

  7. Nisarg Kolhe

    I was listening to his speech with my father who is nowadays supporting aam aadmi party. But he was so very impressed and said that we have the best PM. He even said that Modi is better than Atal Vajpayee.

  8. Ramesh Singh

    There were more than 40 applauses during Modi speech in congress. And in India parliament does not let him introduce changes that can uplift Indians. Shame on such a democracy in India.

  9. Pratham kapoor

    I am very sad that Indian media talks about fake GDP numbers when they do not understand economics. India is growing the fastest and that is a truth, there are always discrepancies in formulas and methods.

  10. Sachin Anand

    It was the US Congress that helped in preventing sale of F 16 to Pakistan by America. PM Modi in a way thanked them and look how they were just overwhelmed by his persona and charisma.

  11. Vaibhav Chaudhari

    True. Manmohan Singh, Rajiv Gandhi and even Jawaharlal Nehru have played a very significant role during and after cold war era in US-India relations, prime minister should have mentioned that.

  12. Gulshan SINGHANIA

    All appears good till we have Narendra Modi as prime minister. But if we want all good and enabling bills to be passed BJP should win state legislative polls, importantly in UP next year.

  13. Chhatrapal Tiwari

    This is a great tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Simple but very precise information… Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post.

  14. Harshit kothari

    So good to find somebody with some unique thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. thanks for starting this up.

  15. Rohini Singh

    Your article will surely be a great help to a lot of people. An outstanding blend of thinking and good writing.

  16. Ved Ansari

    Your style is very unique compared to other people I have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have got the opportunity.

  17. Balachandar Gettala

    Hi there to all, how is the whole thing, I think every one is getting more from this web site, and your views are pleasant designed for new users.

  18. Parth Desai

    Way cool. Some extremely valid points. I appreciate you writing this post plus the rest of the website is really good.

  19. Gowtham rajput

    I am often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your web site and keep checking for brand new information.

  20. Sanket Ghorpade

    I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This paragraph posted at this site is actually good.

  21. Pritesh Parmar

    These are in fact enormous ideas in concerning blogging. You have touched some nice things here. Any way keep up writing.

  22. Tushar Pawar

    I quite like reading an article that can make men and women think. Also, thank you for permitting me to comment.

  23. Prashant Mital

    Really.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is required on the web, someone with a bit of originality.

  24. Usha Verma

    Rarely do I come across a blog that is both educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head.

  25. Piusal phonso

    Excellent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous too and You are just too magnificent.

  26. Jignesh pareek

    Great task on this publish. I enjoy the way you displayed your info as well as the way a person achieved it significant and also obvious to be aware of. Thanks a great deal.

  27. divya

    This information is impressive..I am inspired with your post writing style & how continuously you describe this topic. After reading your post,thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feelhappy about it and I love learning

  28. Ravi Sankar

    Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have really loved browsing your weblog posts. In any case I will be subscribing on your rss feed and I hope you write once more very soon.

  29. Rajeev ranjan

    Greetings. Very useful advice in this particular post. it is the little changes which will make the most important changes.Thanks for sharing.

  30. Rishi Tyagi

    Hi there, yeah this post is genuinely nice and I have learned lot of things from it on the topic of blogging. thanks.

  31. Mukund rajan

    I wonder how come you get to know that this is the exact information that I have been looking for. Thanks a ton man.

  32. Kostubh Bhardwaj

    I read this article completely about the comparison of most up-to-date and preceding technologies, it is remarkable article.

  33. Manik bhatti

    Hi there. I simply would like to give you a big thumbs up for your great information you have got right here on this post. I will be returning to your website for more soon.

  34. Meher kalyan

    I am highly impressed with the think tank that you possess. I wonder how 1 man can have so much of knowledge

  35. Garima Sethi

    Hi, all the time i used to check weblog posts here in the early hours in the break of day, because i enjoy to learn more and more.

  36. Rakesh sethi

    You seem to be blessed with a perfect blend of good vocabulary and good writing. Thoroughly admired your work.

  37. Mahin Doshi

    What I have seen so far is brilliant and everyone involved should be congratulated. I can see me spending the rest of the evening perusing the site. Just when I thought I would like an early night.

  38. Rameez Rahman

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe that this amazing site needs much more attention. I will probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the advice.

  39. Narayan Srinivasan

    Hello very cool website. Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally.I am glad to search out numerous useful information here within the publish, we need work out extra techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  40. Amrut Meharwade

    We look forward to reading many more thoughts of yours , and wish you the success that you deserve.

  41. Mihira chougule

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the most useful blogs online. I am going to highly recommend this blog.

  42. R Rajaram

    Just wanted to say how much we appreciate the tremendous amount of hard work and effort you all put in to producing this website. It is a great credit to everyone and I am sure will be a great success.

  43. Sarita singh

    Way cool. Some very valid points. I appreciate you penning this write-up and the rest of the site is also very good.

  44. Manjunath Bhat

    I am genuinely glad to glance at this webpage posts which consists of tons of useful facts, thanks for providing such statistics.

  45. Manish patidar

    I need to to thank you for this wonderful read.. I certainly loved every little bit of it. I have got you book-marked to look at new stuff you post…

  46. Abhishek Sha

    It is always exciting to read through articles from other authors and use a little something from other sites.

  47. Jadav sandipsinh

    After looking into a handful of the blog articles on your website, I seriously like your technique of writing a blog. I added it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future.

  48. Ramya Pathipati

    You are to be commended for your excellent writing skills.Hope to see more of your flawless skills soon.

  49. Harinakshi Raina

    Pretty. This has been an incredibly wonderful article. Many thanks for supplying this information

  50. Anant Parmar

    Hello there. This blog post could not be written much better. Going through this article reminds me of my previous roommate. He constantly kept talking about this. I will send this information to him. Fairly certain he will have a very good read. I appreciate you for sharing.

  51. Abhay Sehgal

    I wish to say that this article is amazing, nice written and come with approximately all important infos. I would like to see more posts like this .

  52. Abhik Basu

    Great article. Keep writing such kind of information on your site. Im really impressed by your blog.

  53. Bhawarlal Dhayal

    I really like what you have acquired here, really like what You are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it smart.

  54. Jason Singh

    Hello there, you have done an incredible job. I will certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends.

  55. Davinder S. Pahwa

    Ahaa, its pleasant dialogue about this piece of writing at this place at this weblog, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting here.

  56. Sahil sethi

    I just had to drop you a line to let you know that John and I think that the website is BRILLIANT……………………… Well done.

  57. Yogendra Kumar

    I am very happy to find this web site. I wanted to thank you for your time due to this fantastic read. I definitely liked every little bit of it and i also have you saved to fav to see new information in your site.

  58. Adarsh raj

    I do agree with all the ideas you have offered on your post. They are very convincing and can definitely work. Thank you for the post.

  59. MANALI verma

    Had a look through the site, it looks great and will be a big help in social and economic issues.

  60. Dr ayachit Rao

    Absolutely wonderful, well done everyone, what a great achievement. Here is to the future and success for everyone. Thank you all for your hard work, we know it will be ongoing and trust that you will get the appreciation and credit of putting such brilliant articles on the worldwide web. Looking forward to seeing it grow.

  61. Satish Ganjudde

    The site looks absolutely fantastic. Well done to all involved. Very professional & the navigation is great too. Cheers.


    I have learn several just right stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you set to create such a fantastic informative web site.

  63. Abu Bakar rajput

    Quality posts is the important to be a focus for the people to visit the web page, that is what this web site is providing.

  64. RAHUL Apte

    I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I am quite certain I will learn lots of new stuff right here. Best of luck for the next.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *