The Saffron Rockstar Set to Woo America via ‘The Garden’

Modi (background vivekanada)


Another saffron clad leader sharing the same name (Narendra) is set to woo America. It would be interesting to note that the spiritual leader Swami Narendranath or Vivekananda as he was popularly known became iconic for his opening address ‘Sisters and Brothers of America’! Pleading for universal tolerance and stressing the common basis of all religions Vivekananda laid the Indian stone of spirituality in America.

Inner view of Madison SquareAddressing a mammoth gathering of 20,000 odd in Madison Square Garden would be a different game changer for Modi. This will be the first time an Indian PM will be accorded a public reception on such a grand scale.

About Madison Square Garden

outer view of Madison Square

Madison Square Garden is called the world’s most famous arena. History of various sorts has been created there. Famous for its sporting arena, Madison Square Garden is used for professional basketball and ice hockey, as well as boxing, concerts, ice shows, circuses, and other forms of sports and entertainment.  There have been some iconoclastic boxing fights including the first Muhmmad Ali-Joe Frazier bout. Before boxing was shifted to Nevada, MSG was labeled the mecca of boxing.

Many large music concerts in New York City take place in MSG. The most famous being George Harrison and Ravi Shankar’s ‘The Concert for Bangladesh’, the Concert for New York city etc. Musical greats like John Lennon, Elton John, Elvis Presley, U2 performed in the stadium to mammoth crowds.

Modi’s address and impact

PM Narendra Modi will be the first non-American political dignitary to address and interact with NRI’s at Madison Square on 28th September. His address to almost 20,000 people will draw perhaps the largest crowd by a foreign leader on US soil. His address from a revolving podium set on a special 6-foot-diameter stage, so that he faces all the people at some point will be broadcast live on Times Square. The buzz around the event has forced New York authorities to run extra trains as they expect an increase in commuters to the venue.

The visit to the US caps a month of fast paced, high level diplomatic events that saw Modi interact with leaders of Japan, Australia and China — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Chinese President Xi Jinping — and also the inking of major agreements with the three countries.

Before his visit to the US, the launching of Mangalyaan into the orbit of Mars,  his initiation of ‘Make in India’ strategy, inviting all the manufacturers, producers and investors to set up manufacturing hubs in India is likely to make India the buzzword in the business circles for a long time to come. The Indian diaspora hopes this visit by an Indian leader will send a positive and strong message to the world. Cyrus Mistry, Tata Group Chairman quipped, “Make in India is a unique opportunity for government and business to work together,”.

Among those attending the grand event being organized by the Indian American Community Foundation, will be the Who’s Who in the tech, business and academic world. The high profile guests likely to be featured in the event are Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi, Dean of Harvard Business School Nitin Nohria, President of Carnegie Mellon University Subra Suresh and Chancellor of UC San Diego Pradeep K Khosla . Other leading businessmen who are expected to be present include the doyen of Adobe Shantanu Narayan, MasterCard’s Vivek Ranadive, Morgan Stanley’s Kamesh Nagarajan to name a few of several Fortune 500 companies.

Modi is also likely to meet American political heads, former US President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, US Speaker of the House of Representatives Joe Boehner etc.

While in Washington, Modi would also meet Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner among others.

This US trip, which will be Modi’s maiden, promises to be nothing short of a power-packed rendezvous with the top polictial leaders and businessmen of the world, and could hold a lot for India, in terms of business and political mileage.

In all likelihood, Modi, Mangalyaan and Madison Square are going to be the buzzwords in the trade and business circles of the NRI community for days on end.

Source: Deccan Chronicle, Economic Times,, Bloomberg View, The New Indian Express, Wikipedia, International Business Times

Image Source: The Boston Review,,

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