Highlighting shared policy goals that stretch from the Middle East to the South China Sea and cultural ties that include yoga, the spelling bee and democracy itself, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a joint session of Congress Wednesday that, “the embrace of our partnership extends to the totality of human endeavor.”
Modi’s address to the joint session caps a U.S. trip intended to fortify ties between the world’s two largest democracies. The Indian prime minister lauded the U.S. Constitution as the inspiration for his own nation’s government and connected Martin Luther King’s quest for civil rights to Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent leadership of India’s independence movement.
Indian diaspora in US:
He drew cultural connections between the two nations and praising America’s large Indian community as a “dynamic bridge.” He said that today they are among US’s best CEOs, academics, astronauts, scientists, economists, doctors, even spelling bee champions.
The protection of environment and caring for the planet is central for both the countries. The PM said that for India, to live in harmony with mother Earth is a part of our ancient belief.
On defense ties:
Modi also called for continued defense cooperation between the U.S. and India. The two nations' militaries exercise more with one another than with any other partner, and the PM highlighted how India's military purchases have climbed from nearly nothing to $10 billion annually over the last 10 years.
The growth of global terrorism required a joint response from the U.S. and India. Mr. Modi thanked Congress for its solidarity in the days following a wave of 2008 attacks by the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba against Mumbai.
Mr. Modi was the fifth Prime Minister of India to address a joint meeting of Congress, the list of his predecessors who addressed US Congress.
1. Rajiv Gandhi on June 13, 1985.
2. Narasimha Rao on May 18, 1994.
3. Atal Bihari Vajpayee on September 14, 2000.
4. Manmohan Singh on July 19, 2005.