LoC Recreated in New York as Pro-Modi Indians Retort Slogans from Pakistanis

Line of Control Style Verbal Match among pro-Modi supporters and anti-India Pakistanis

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New York – Just as Prime Minister Narendra Modi finished his maiden speech on a crisp Saturday at the United Nations General Assembly and I came out of the UN building, I was greeted by an unusual scene of two sets of protestors separated with steel fence and engaged in a war of words from both sides of that line of control (LoC) maintained by the New York Police Department (NYPD).

It was an amusing sight to see hundreds of people chanting pro-Modi slogans and frequently retorting back to anti-India remarks from dozens of Pakistani Americans across the barrier. When Patrika approached the pro-Modi supporters, there was an unanimous chorus that the supporters were there not to protest but to show support for the newly elected prime minister. There was an undercurrent of unflinching support for Modi and unsullied faith in his vision to lead India in a pragmatic and efficient way.

On the other hand, the Pakistani Americans had nothing but negativity written not only all over their slogans but also in their words as they told Patrika that India is to blame for all the ills including the floods in the Kashmir region. A Pakistani student from New York, however, told me that he was not sure about the real issues but felt duty bound to protest with his countrymen about Kashmir.

The scene was also witnessing other protests against regimes of Cuba, China and Bangladesh directed toward the UN Building where for example Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina spoke just after Modi. The irony of Indo-Pak verbal match was that it was directed against each other and not towards the UN building.

Yoga Hits UNGA

Earlier I was overwhelmed by the simple but profound style and extempore injection of his oratory skills in his address to the UNGA as the prime minister Modi gave a gripping speech calling on the UN to go ahead with promised reforms next year as it turns 70 and got a thunderous standing ovation from not only the visitors’ gallery but also from diplomatic mission members of different countries, a scene rarely seen on the floors of the UN.

As I sat listening to Modi and I had his written speech in my hand, I was amazed at the number of places, the prime minister abandoned the script, and explained the points in his lucid style, making it easy for listeners to understand.

Saying “Yoga is an invaluable gift of our ancient tradition,” Modi made a proposal to the UN to adopt an International Yoga Day. Most of the non-Indians, I spoke to after his speech, were mesmerized by his presentation of Yoga as an embodiment of unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well being. Modi’s remarks saying that by changing the lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help humans deal with climate change, are sure to echo for a long time in the hall of the UN.

Neighbors Priority

Later after the UNGA address, Modi held three bilateral meetings with neighbors – Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. His Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif left New York last night, without a meeting with Modi. With his policy of neighbors first, Modi expressed his desire to visit Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at the earliest and reiterated his desire for the UN reforms noting that the countries who are contributing to UN Peace Keeping Force, should also have a say in the policy making of the UN. Sri Lanka became the first country to endorse in writing Modi’s proposal asking for a UN Yoga Day. Bangladeshi Hasina and Nepalese Koirala also got full cooperation promise from Modi for various projects including the upcoming SAARC Summit in Nepal.

In Short, In English, In Sanskrit

The curtain of dusk started lengthening as Modi came on stage with a rock-concert atmosphere in Central Park in New York, which was brimming with a young and energetic crowd. In a break between rocking performances, Modi was introduced to the crowd by actor Hugh Jackman as someone who started as a “tea salesman.”

In a short speech in English punctuated with applause and ending with a Sanskrit couplet wishing all well and peace, Modi told the young crowd, “Because you are the future. What you do today, will decide our tomorrow. I feel a current of hope in this park. Among you, I feel confident about the future.” In the same vein, Modi addressed the Indian youth saying, “That is my hope for India too (for) 800 million youth joining hands to transform our nation.”

Throughout the day there was a huge sense of expectations pulsating through the audiences that thronged different rendezvous venues of the Indian Prime Minister Modi. Tomorrow, the prime minister is scheduled to address nearly 20,000 people of Indian origin in New York.

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