Our diaspora is our strength: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in Washington for a three-day visit, Thursday received a warm welcome from the members of the Indian community at Joint Base Andrews in Washington DC

Sep 23, 2021
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PM Modi visited the US for the 7th time after assuming office in 2014. (Image: Twitter/PM Modi)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in Washington for a three-day visit, Thursday received a warm welcome from the members of the Indian community at Joint Base Andrews in Washington DC. Wearing his trademark white kurta-churidar and a brown sleeveless jacket, Prime Minister Modi stepped out of his motorcade to interact with the Indians waiting at the airport.

This is Prime Minister Modi's first visit abroad beyond the neighbourhood since the outbreak of coronavirus in January 2020.

The crowd was chanting his name and waving the national flag amid light showers. The Prime Minister was seen smiling and shaking handing with the members of the Indian community, NDTV said. 

"We are so excited to see Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We don't mind standing in rain. We are excited to meet Prime Minister Modi," said an Indian-American.

Another member of the Indian community said PM Modi's visit will be "very instrumental" in bringing India and US ties much stronger.

"This visit is very instrumental in bringing India and US ties much stronger, given the COVID-19 and Afghan crisis. He is the leader who can solve every situation in the world. We are proud, we are Indians and he is representing millions of Indians," she said.

“Grateful to the Indian community in Washington DC for the warm welcome. Our diaspora is our strength. It is commendable how the Indian diaspora has distinguished itself across the world,”  Modi said after touchdown in Washington. 

There are an estimated four million Indians in the US who are the most educated and the highest-earning ethnic community in the US.

Modi was welcomed by India's Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, along with senior Indian Embassy officials. 

During his three-day US visit, Modi will address the UN General Assembly and attend the Quad Leaders' Summit as well as hold a bilateral meet with US President Joe Biden at the White House.

Joe Biden will host PM Modi at the White House tomorrow - the first in-person meeting between the two leaders since Biden took over as the US President on January 20. He will also meet separately with Vice President Kamala Harris, who is of part Indian origin, separately.  Harris's late mother Shyamal Gopalan, who came to the US when she was 19, is from Chennai. 

According to the Times of India, Shyamala Gopalan had arrived in the US this week in 1958, going on to earn a Ph.D with a dissertation evaluating "protein quality in chapatis" in the year Kamala was born.

Ahead of leaving for the US to participate in the Quad Leaders' Summit, Prime Minister Modi on Wednesday said his visit will be an occasion to strengthen the strategic partnership with the United States, Japan and Australia.