Addressing the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that various schemes initiated by his government such as ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, ‘Ayushman Bharat’ and ‘Jan Dhan’ were a model for other countries to emulate.
Earlier, Modi began by mentioning about him having got the “highest number of votes” in “the biggest election in world’s biggest democracy” (in reference to this year’s Lok Sabha elections), and stressed that the “message behind this huge mandate” was bigger and “more inspiring”.
He said that when a developing country successfully completes world’s largest cleanliness mission by building 11 crore toilets in five years, it gives an “inspiring message” to the whole world.
The Prime Minister went on to mention others schemes like health insurance scheme ‘Ayushman Bharat’ and bank accounts for the poor, or Jan Dhan scheme and insisted that these were models and inspirations for world’s other countries.
He said that change was coming rapidly in the New India.
Modi said that “his resolve” to develop “his country” more rapidly gets more firm when he gets to know the “such-dukh” (problems and accomplishments) of other countries.
Lastly, Modi touched upon the issue of terrorism and urged all the countries to fight unitedly against the menace.
In his 16-minute address, Modi did not mention a word on the Kashmir lockdown that has crossed 50 consecutive days since August 5 when his government abrogated Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Reports of human rights violations by Indian security forces have been emerging from the Valley ever since.
Meanwhile, thousands of people gathered outside the UN headquarters in New York, holding placards and banners, to protest against PM Modi’s policies and alleged human rights violation in Kahsmir – India’s only Muslim-majority state -- and elsewhere.
Time Square New York was lit up with Pro-Kashmir displays.
Friday’s protests were a repeat of Modi’s much publicised ‘Howdy Modi’ event in Houston, Texas, on September 23 where thousands of Americans, Indian-Americans and people from other nationalities had staged protests against Modi at the venue of the event against the alleged human rights violation, promoting Hindutva nationalism, gagging of media and curtailing freedom of speech among other things by his government.
A few hundred Indian-Americans had also gathered outside the UN headquarters on Friday to greet PM Modi.