TORONTO: In a Madison Square-like event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday wowed diaspora Indians when he pledged to clean up the “mess left behind” by the previous regime and change the country’s image from the one of “scams” to that of a “skilled” nation.
“The country (India) is facing many challenges. And there is only one medicine,” he said as the crowds shouted “Modi, Modi”. He said it is not him but something called “‘vikas’ (development) is the solution to all the problems of the country… Only development can take the country forward.”
Making a veiled dig at the previous government, the Prime Minister, said, “Jinko gandagi karni thi, woh kar ke chaley gaye. Lekin hum safai karenge (Those who had to create the mess, they had done and left. There is a lot of mess. We will clear it up and go,” Modi said, without taking any name.
“The nation is huge. There is a lot of mess. It has been there for long. It will take time but it (cleaning) will be done as the attitude of people has changed,” said, Modi who was wearing an yellow kurta and sporting an orange angavastram.
“Earlier, the country was known as ‘scam-India’. We want it to be known as ‘skilled-India’,” he said in yet another attack on the previous regime during which scams tumbled out as the gathering lapped up what he said with cheers.
The reception hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife, who ws clad in a dark blue saree, at the Ricoh Coliseum was attended by a huge number of Indians, who have settled in Canada for decades.
The event was a replica of an address Modi made at the Madison Square in New York during his visit there in 2014.
Modi said the “jan mann” (people’s attitude) has changed over the last 10 months since he took over.
There is now an “atmosphere of trust” which was making things happen like the voluntary participation in Clean India campaign, rich people giving up LPG subsidy and bank accounts being opened for the poor, he said.
Urging the diaspora to contribute to India’s development by sharing their expertise and experience, Modi said the people of India have enough potential but they only needed an opportunity.
He said it was with the aim of strengthening the hands of the people of India that he was asking various countries to share their expertise and technology.
Modi underlined that India had the youth power as 65% of its population is below 35 years of age and if they decide to work for the progress of the country, nothing can stop the nation.
He said the march of development has already started over the last 10 months in a “transparent and corruption-free” environment.
In this context, the Prime Minister said while earlier two km length of road was being built per day, now 11 km is constructed in a day.
The Prime Minister cited a Bollywood song ‘kitna badal gaya insaan…(how much the human has changed)’ to make his point that the attitude of people has changed in India and they needed to be trusted to make things happen.
In this context, he said after he gave a call for “swachchh bharat” (clean India), common people have come forward to clean up places.
He said his government is focusing on skill development as he was of the view that by 2030, the developed world would require skilled people in a large number and India will be the only place to source them.
Modi thanked Harper for the immense enthusiasm with which people of Canada expressed their love and said the relationship between the two countries will be “very long and fruitful”.
“My experience of working with Canada has always been very good right from the time when I was the chief minister of Gujarat. Canada partnered with Gujarat in 2003,” said Modi, who is the first Indian Prime Minister to undertake stand alone bilateral visit to Canada in 42 years. – Edited from Asian Age