Dear Coldplay fans of India, if there is one and only one person you should sincerely thank for bringing the much reputed band to India, it is none other than our “Rockstar” Prime Minister Narendra Modi who personally ensured that the Global Citizens Festival was held for the first time in India and Coldplay performed here.
It all began on 27 September 2014 when PM Modi made a “rockstar” appearance at the Global Citizens Festival in the Central Park (New York) where Coldplay was performing. He was greeted by a huge cheer when he came to the stage. He ended his short speech holding his hands with Hugh Jackmann and saying “May the force be with you” refering to the Star Wars and also to the humanitarian task Global Citizens Event has undertaken. It was this very meeting between the PM and Hugh Evans (the head of Global Poverty Forum, which organizes the Global Citizens Festival) that led to today’s Global Citizens Festival in Mumbai.
PM Modi was so impressed by the initiative and the aims of Global Citizens Festival in improving the living conditions in developing and poor countries, when he appeared on the stage of the festival in New York in 2014, that he decided to bring the festival to India. The Prime Minister Office itself supervised the project and ensured that everything went well. Young MPs like Poonam Mahajan and other people like Gauri Ishwaran & Shiv Khemka were given the charge to work all the formalities and arrange for a successful festival.
PM Modi was supposed to personally attend the inauguration of the Global Citizens Festival in Mumbai, but due to his tight schedule he had to cancel his trip to Mumbai and instead addressed the huge crowd via video-conferencing. Along with motivating the youth for striving towards a better, clean and transparent India, he was at his humorous best a couple of times. The prime minister acknowledged that the huge crowd of thousands of people were more excited to listen to Coldplay than his speech. He said, “I know that I stand between you and Coldplay so I will make this brief.”
The Prime Minister also cracked a joke with the huge audience he was addressing via video-conferencing, invoking the recent issue of demonetization, when he said – “You have been smart in asking me to only address the gathering, and not sing. Else, I am pretty sure your audience would be asking you for their money back. And that too in 100 rupee notes.” He also stressed how youth can play a major role in transforming Indian into a clean, transparent and a poverty-free society.
Inspiring the thousands of youth that he was addressing to, he quoted Bob Dylan and said – “Come mothers and fathers, throughout the land, and don’t criticise, what you can’t understand. Your sons and your daughters, are beyond your command. Your old road is rapidly again’. Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand, for The Times They Are a-Changin.”
“Elders must learn from these words of wisdom. We better get out of the way as indeed the times they are a changing. Artistes have often inspired generations. My dear young friends, I’m convinced we can and we will build a Swachh Bharat free of all forms of filth within one generation.” he said.
“You bring an energy and idealism that is unparalleled. You can be the change you want”. The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, no doubt, is one of the biggest inspirations to the youth of India, knows the power of the youth, their love & dedication for the country, and strikes a chord with them.