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IN SAN JOSE, PM NARENDRA MODI SAYS 'BRAIN DRAIN IS BRAIN GAIN'


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi struck an emotional chord with the Indian diaspora in his first ever speech in the Bay Area earlier today. Mr Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the Bay Area in 33 years. Mr Modi was speaking at a grand community reception organized by the Indian community at the SAP Center, San Jose, California. Mr Modi had the strong 18,500-audience engaged in his hour-long speech with loud cheers welcoming him on the stage. California is home to the largest population of Indians in the U.S. with majority of the community concentrated in the Bay Area.

Slamming critics over the 'brain drain' controversy which is a popular term for talented Indians settling abroad, Mr Modi said, "Brain drain can be brain gain. This is not brain drain but a brain deposit." He further added that, "When the opportunity comes, the brain deposit (working abroad) will come to the service of India with interest!"

The evening started on a patriotic note with Mr Modi paying tributes to legendary freedom fighter Veer Bhagat Singh. Today happens to be the birth anniversary of the freedom fighter.

Praising the people of California, Mr Modi said, "I see a replica of India in California. The people of California have dreams in their eyes and believe in fulfilling their dreams. I am very proud of the Indian community." He also added that India and California share close and deep bilateral ties.

Commenting on the changing global political equations, Mr Modi said, "India has found itself a new identity in the world. People's perceptions about India are changing. Those who refuse to change will become irrelevant in the 21st century." Mr Modi sent out the message loud and clear that '21st Century is India's Century.' The Prime Minister said, "The world has high expectations from India." He further added that, "The people of India have given me a big responsibility. I will try my best to fulfill the expectations. I will live and die for my country." He even encouraged the audience to rate his performance so far.

Mr Modi has stressed upon the role of India's youth in his earlier speeches. In his speech today he revealed some key statistics which are going to aid India's road to development. 65% of India's population is below 35 years. He said, "With the help of 80 mn youth and 16 mn hands we can achieve anything we want. We cannot stay behind."

Ahead of Mr Modi's speech at SAP Center, a group of Sikh activists were seen protesting against Modi for deteriorating religious freedom for Indians. Perhaps sensing the animosity in the air the Indian Prime Minister took the opportunity to heap praises on the Sikh community. He said, "Sikhs who came to California in the 19th Century as farmers started the Gadar moment for India's independence; the same time the country was waging a battle at home.

Keeping with the theme of his visit Mr Modi stressed upon the importance of technology in modern world. He added that Technology has made it easier for news to travel faster. Penetration of technology is immense. Even the poorest of poor possess a cellphone in India." The Prime Minister also shared his vision for E-governance which is easy, efficient and economical governance.

Taking a dig at his opponents who have questioned India's spending on the space program Mr Modi said, "India has succeeded in its Mars Mission in the very first attempt."

Mr Modi also spoke about the two big issues facing the globe today - Terrorism and Global Warming. He said, "If the United Nation takes so much time to define terrorism how will we tackle it? There is no good terrorism or bad terrorism. The world has to stand united in terrorism. India has been a victim of terrorism for 40 years and we have decided to overcome it."

Taking a dig at his opponents who have questioned India's spending on the space program Mr Modi said, "India has succeeded in its Mars Mission in the very first attempt."

The Prime Minister ended his speech by urging the crowd to pay tributes to the legend martyr Bhagat Singh.


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