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Terror incubated in India’s neighbourhood, Prime Minister Modi tells US Congress

‘India, US have overcome the hesitations of history’

Washington, June 8: Indian Prime Minister rendra Modi on Wednesday said the relationship between the United States and his country has overcome “the hesitations of history” and robust cooperation will benefit both tions.

Modi was addressing a joint meeting of US Congress. He evoked the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi in his speech. Modi said Gandhi’s nonviolence inspired King.

His speech on Wednesday was a chance for Modi to burnish his standing as a trusted US partner after years of being shunned in Washington over religious violence in his home state Gujarat.

Modi said in his prepared remarks that there was no doubt that advancing the US-India relationship would benefit both tions. Modi also called for a closer security relationship between his country and the United States.

“The fight against terrorism has to be fought at many levels. And, the traditiol tools of military, intelligence or diplomacy alone would not be able to win this fight,” Modi said in remarks prepared for delivery to a rare joint meeting of the Sete and House of Representatives.

Prime Minister Modi used the prestigious stage to highlight India’s concern over terrorism. Without ming Pakistan, the PM said that terrorism was a global challenge and that it was “incubated in the neighbourhood.”

“From the western borders of India to Africa, it goes by different mes – Lashkar-e-Taiba or Al Qaeda or ISIS. They all speak the same language of terrorism,” Modi said.

“Globally, terrorism remains the biggest threat, going by different mes, but with the common philosophy of hate, murder and violence. Although it’s shadow is spreading across the world, terrorism is incubated in India’s neighbourhood,” Modi added.

“We have both lost civilians and soldiers in combating it. The need of the hour is for us to deepen our security cooperation,” Modi said.

He said there were many who doubted when India reposed its faith in democracy but today “India lives as one, grows as one, celebrates as one”.

Modi recalled: “There were many who doubted India when, as a newly independent tion, we reposed our faith in democracy.”

“Our founders created a modern tion with freedom, democracy, and equality as the essence of its soul,” said Modi, the fifth Indian Prime Minister to address a joint sitting of the US Congress.

“Today, India lives as one, India grows as one, India celebrates as one.”

Stating that India applauded the great sacrifices of the men and women from “the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”, he raised his hands and clapped and the entire house stood up and clapped along with him.

“In granting me this opportunity, you have honoured the world’s largest democracy and its 1.25 billion people,” he said.

Modi also praised the manifold contributions of the Indian-American community to the US.

“Connecting our two tions is also a unique and dymic bridge of three million Indian Americans,” Modi said.

“They are among your best CEOs, academics, scientists, economics, doctors, even spelling bee champions,” he said eliciting standing applause from the US lawmakers.

He also mentioned the popularity of yoga and said India has not yet claimed intellectual property rights for it.

“SIRI (Siri Peterson Cavan yoga classes) tells us that India’s ancient heritage of yoga has over 30 million practitioners in the US,” the Prime Minister said.

“And, we have not yet claimed intellectual property rights on yoga,” he stated adding a touch of humour.

Modi is the fifth Indian Prime Minister after Rajiv Gandhi, P.V. rasimha Rao, Atul Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh to address a joint sitting of the US Congress.

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Ankur Kalita