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Gandhi Jayanti 2019:Narendra Modi says world respects Indian passport today, remembers Bapu

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said respect for Indians had increased globally and it was easily experienced in the admiration and acceptance received from other countries, while referring to his interactions with world leaders during his week-long US trip in September that also included a historic diaspora event titled ‘Howdy,Modi!’.

Modi was speaking at Ahmedabad Airport on Wednesday afternoon, while on the way to Sabarmati Ashram to offer special prayers on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, after his arrival from Delhi. Gandhi had launched the famous Dandi March from the ashram on March 12, 1930.

“The power of Indian passport has increased, today the world views Indian passport holders with respect,” the prime minister said.

PM Modi said the event to commemorate Gandhi at the United Nations was marked with “immense enthusiasm” reflecting the respect for the legendry Indian leader. Prime Minister Modi along with other world leaders had inaugurated a 193-panel solar park, each representing a UN member, in New York and also released a postage stamp in Gandhi’s remembrance.

“Gandhiji was Indian, but he belonged not just to India,” PM had said during the September 25 event and recalled his influence on leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.

Recalling his US trip, PM said India was today at the forefront of several positive changes and it had boosted confidence of Indians living all across the globe.

He said very “small reflection” of India’s soft power was seen at ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event in Houston but it was sufficient to create a buzz among international leaders he met.

“Every person I met and every program I attended after leaving Houston, the conversation always started with ‘Howdy,Modi!,’ the PM said and added, “Every leader from all around the world knew about the status, the reputation and other details of ‘Howdy,Modi!

Close to 50,000 thousand Indian-Americans had feted Modi in Houston, Texas on the second day of his US trip on September 22. The event’s profile rose further after US President Donald Trump decided to attend it.

Prime Minister said he was nostalgic on his Gujarat visit and thanked all the supporters gathered to listen to him at the Ahmedabad airport.