After a seven-minute speech in English, Modi also read out a Sanskrit scripture calling for “peace in the world” and greeted the largely-American crowd with a “Namaste” amid cheers and claps.
Amid performances by various singers, Modi was introduced to the crowd by actor Hugh Jackman as someone who started as a “tea salesman” and went on to become Chief Minister of Gujarat and then Prime Minister of India with a huge mandate.
Addressing the crowd, Modi sent his “Namaste” to also those watching the concert on “TVs, laptops, tablets and phones”.
Modi said he was delighted to be among the youth in an open park and not inside a closed conference room.
“Because you are the future. What you do today, will decide our tomorrow. I feel a current of hope in this park. Among you, I feel confident about the future,” he said.
Hailing the Global Citizen movement to end poverty and provide education and basic sanitation to all, Modi said, “Some believe that the world changes with the wisdom of the old. I think that the idealism, innovation, energy and ‘can do’ attitude of the youth is even more powerful.”
“That is my hope for India too (for) 800 million youth joining hands to transform our nation,” he added.
Modi said he decided to come to the festival to extend his support and to express his belief that youth of India can join them in this global effort.