On the morning of Sunday 10th March 2013 Shri Narendra Modi addressed a Community Outreach Programme organized by the Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) in New Jersey and Chicago. In addition to this, the programme was viewed by large number of people across USA and Canada. In India, all leading channels telecast the programme LIVE as large number of people viewed Shri Modi’s speech. In an inspiring speech, Shri Modi pointed out that development alone is the solution to all problems. He gave the Mantra of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’ (One India, Excellent India) and added that we must move ahead with this Mantra. The Chief Minister further said that for him, secularism means ‘India First’; “Whatever we do, it must be for India. We must never let India, her honor, the dreams of the people be adversely affected. India first it must be!” he affirmed.
The Chief Minister thanked the OFBJP for organizing the Community Outreach Programme and lauded the members of the diaspora for keeping their strong links with India. “Wherever we stay, our links with our roots, our culture, our tradition must remain…the Bharat Prem and Bharat Bhakti must remain and increase over the years,” Shri Modi avowed. He urged the diaspora to help India and the nation’s growth in every way possible. Shri Modi also remarked that a lot of American born Indian youngsters who have never seen India earlier are coming to India and involved in community service, which is a very positive sign.
During his speech, Shri Modi commented that since the last three decades a question has come as to who will lead the world in the 21st century. “The 19th century was Europe’s century. We were colonized back then so we never benefitted from the Industrial Revolution. If we were not colonized, things would be different. We had the capabilities but the nation was under colonial rule so that opportunity went out of our hands. Then in the 20th century USA increased its influence but we were fighting for freedom under Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership,” he shared and added, “It was at the turn of the last century that it was agreed the coming century will be Asia’s. Under Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s leadership there was an atmosphere all around the world that India will do something. When Vajpayee ji did the nuclear tests, the faith of Indians both in India and across the world was further renewed.” Shri Modi opined that it was as if the leadership of the world would come in India’s hands but for the last 6-7 years that has not happened.
Talking about the development of Gujarat, Shri Modi pointed out that Gujarat has created a new ray of hope and that in this atmosphere of darkness if a ray of hope emerges, it is natural that it draws the attention of the world. Shri Modi shared that despite two recessions that affected many nations including USA, Gujarat adopted various initiatives and did not stop the development journey. Shri Modi stressed on the need of creating a manufacturing sector that is both cheap and efficient.
Categorically stating that development alone is the solution to all problems, Shri Modi affirmed that the 2012 Gujarat Assembly Elections showed that it is possible to win elections on the basis of development. He opined that the 2012 Election victory is not Narendra Modi’s win but that of the people of Gujarat, who have reposed their faith in development over everything else. Shri Modi shared that there may be delays and problems on the way but that does not take away the fact that development is the solution to all problems. He further went on to say, “We never said there are no problems or shortcomings, but we created a confidence that we will make efforts to end these.” He pointed that today, if there is anything talked about in context of Gujarat, it is in context of development.
Shri Modi stressed on the need to rise above the limited focus of winning and losing elections. “Winning or losing elections must never be our aim. When we get a mandate of five years, we must work on that and serve the people selflessly. If we do that then the people will forgive our mistakes as well,” he said. Shri Modi added that it has been over eleven years since he assumed office and his Bhakti for the people of Gujarat has increased with each passing moment. He declared, “the 6 crore people of Gujarat are my family. Their happiness is my happiness and their problems are my problems.” He also talked at length about Gujarat’s advances in tourism and invited members of the diaspora to visit Gujarat.
In his speech Shri Modi paid rich tributes to Swami Vivekananda and said that Swami Vivekananda combined spirituality with Bharat Bhakti. He affirmed that Gujarat is celebrating Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary as Yuva Shakti Varsh with a special focus on skill development. Shri Modi further pointed that while the Centre allocated only Rs. 1000 crore for skill development, a small state like Gujarat allotted Rs. 800 crore to strengthen the youth with skills. He stated that being the world’s most youthful nation, it is our duty to provide skills to our youth so that they can shine. “If we do value addition for the youth, a lot can happen,” he declared and added that even President Obama stressed on skill development in his recent address. He shared that Swami Vivekananda himself has immense faith in the power of the youth.
The Chief Minister recalled that he had the honor of visiting Chicago to attend the centenary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda’s address to the Parliament of the World’s Religions. He shared that along with Swami Vivekananda, a son of Gujarat Veer Chand Gandhi also attended the Parliament at Chicago in 1893. Shri Modi affirmed that Swami Vivekananda dreamt of a Jagat Guru Bharat, an India at the peak of world leadership and that it is for us to convert his dream into reality.
Shri Modi greeted the people on the occasion of Mahashivratri and stated that the nation remembers Lord Shiva on this day. He opined that the great influence we get from Lord Shiva is to bear all the negativity. “Let us bear all the poison with our mind filled with nectar,” the Chief Minister declared. He further said that while the world is extremely concerned about global warming, it is a fact that all Gods and Goddesses in India are linked with Mother Nature. “There is no God or Goddess that is not associated with a tree, bird or animal. In this there is a message that the God we worship is linked with nature. It is not possible to worship Almighty without worshipping nature,” he pointed. He added that it is conventionally believed that the snake and the mouse cannot coexist but in Lord Shiva’s family the snake and the mouse co-existed. “What is a better message of co-existence?” he asked.