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21st century belongs to India, says Modi

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

San Jose: PM Narendra Modi said 21st century belongs to India and the world has begun to accept the truth, as he addressed an 18,000-strong cheering crowd of Indian community members at the SAP Center here.

Modi, in an hour-long address to the crowd, also said that terrorism and climate change are the main challenges facing the world and urged all nations to unite in facing the twin threats.

In a rock star reception like the one he had received at Madison Square Garden last year, Modi also asked the crowd for a “certificate” of his performance in the 16 months he has been in power.

He said the world now acknowledges that the 21st century belongs to India, to loud cheers.

“Sometime ago India was striving to join the world, but today the times have changed and the world is thirsting to join India,” he said.

He also said he will give his every moment and every particle of his body to work for India’s betterment.

Asking the crowd for a certificate of his 16-month in power, Modi asked the rapturous crowd: “Did I live up to my promises, working day and night, and the responsibility that I have undertaken…Have I lived up to that?” to loud cheers and chants of “Modi”.

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Modi, who said he was visiting the West Coast after 25 years, said he was seeing a “vibrant picture” of India in the large Indian tech community that lives and works here.

Modi praised the “nimble fingers” of the Indian tech experts who “have made the world acknowledge India” with their competence and innovations.

He said he did not see the large numbers of Indians working in the US and other foreign countries as a brain drain, but as a “brain deposit”.

Modi called terrorism and global warming as world’s main challenges and asked all nations to unite to fight this scourge as there was no such thing as good or bad terrorism.

“The world has to realise that terrorism can hit anyone at any place, and it is the world’s responsibility to recognize it and unite against terrorism,” he said.

Hoping that in its 70th anniversary year, the United Nations would be able to define terrorism, Modi said: “We cannot safeguard humanity if we do not come to an agreement on what constitutes terrorism.”

“Terrorism is terrorism, there can be no differentiation between good and bad terror,” he said.

Modi said he has written to the countries that the UN should decide on what constitutes terrorism, and who are the outfits perpetrating terror, and which are the countries supporting terror and those who are for humanity.

Mod also said he was trying to include space technology in the work of the government, and that after his persuasion 170 government departments are using space technology for connectivity and for providing easier governance.

He also outlined his government’s JAM initiative – J for Jan Dhan financial inclusion programme, A for Aadhar unique identity card and M for Mobile governance. He said the linking of the three would help eradicate corruption in the system.

He criticized the previous governments for not having opened up the banking sector to the poor despite nationalizing the banks around 40 years ago. “I am sad to say that despite the nationalization half the people of the country had never seen the doors of a bank,” he said, adding that without financial inclusion a country cannot progress.

In a dig at the previous Congress-led governments, he said that after coming to power he directed his officials to take the banks to the poorest sections of the people. “I said that we have made merry for 40 years, now it is time to work.”

He said the Jan Dhan Yojana had resulted in Rs.32,000 crore being put in the banks by the poor and rural populace.

He said linking the Aadhar card, with its biometric identification, with the Jan Dhan account in the case of gas cylinder subsidy had helped eliminate corruption in the scheme.

“The JAM yojana will help to root out corruption,” he said.

He also touched on skill development, Beti Bacho, Beti Padhao, and the soil health card, and neem coating for urea to help farmers.

Modi announced a thrice weekly Air India flight from New Delhi to San Francisco from December 2.

Modi also paid tribute to freedom fighter Bhagat Singh on his birth anniversary and asked the crowd to join in.

(With inputs from IANS)

 

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Iran Denounces US as Actual “Head of Global Terrorism”

China, an economic partner of Iran, urged countries outside the Middle East to promote peace and stability in the region and to avoid any acts of aggression

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iran, terrorism
In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a ceremony marking "National Day of Nuclear Technology," in Tehran, Iran, April 9, 2019. VOA

Steve Herman contributed to this report from the White House; Carla Babb – from the Pentagon.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denounced the United States Tuesday as the actual “head of global terrorism,” one day after the U.S. designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization.

The move was the first time the U.S. designated part of another government as a terrorist organization.

“This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft,” President Donald Trump declared in a statement. “The IRGC is the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.”

The U.S. action, which takes effect next week and includes the IRGC’s elite secretive Quds Force, means it will be a federal crime to provide any type of support to the IRGC.

iran, terrorism
In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks at a meeting with a group of Revolutionary Guards and their families, in Tehran, Iran, April 9, 2019. VOA

Rouhani said the U.S. designation would only bolster the reputation of the Revolutionary Guards and promote harmony among Iranians.

“This mistake will unite Iranians and the Guards will grow more popular in Iran and in the region,” Rouhani said. “America has used terrorists as a tool in the region while the Guards have fought against them from Iraq to Syria.”

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed a group of guards Tuesday, describing the U.S. action as a “vicious move” that “will bear no fruit.” After Iran’s legislature convened for an open session in Tehran Tuesday, lawmakers dressed in paramilitary uniforms chanted, “Death to America.”

Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani criticized the U.S. decision as the “climax of stupidity and ignorance.” Supreme National Security Council spokesman Keivan Khosravi warned without elaborating that “any unusual move by American forces in the region will be perceived as the behavior by a terrorist group.”

China, an economic partner of Iran, urged countries outside the Middle East to promote peace and stability in the region and to avoid any acts of aggression.

iran, terrorism
After Iran’s legislature convened for an open session in Tehran Tuesday, lawmakers dressed in paramilitary uniforms chanted, “Death to America.” VOA

“We oppose power politics and bullying by any countries,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

Minutes after the announcement from the White House on the designation Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated the IRGC “organizes and executes terror campaigns around the world.”

ALSO READ: “Chinese Human Traffickers Operating Illegal Matchmaking in Pakistan”, Says Pakistan Media

U.S. officials, in comments to reporters, are also referring to the IRGC as a “death cult” that, they say, is the true face of Iranian foreign policy.

Pompeo declined to say, when asked by a reporter, whether the terrorist designation means that the U.S. military will target IRGC leaders the same way it does those of the Islamic State group. Iran responded Monday to the U.S. action by putting U.S. military forces on its list of terror groups. (VOA)