Modi vows to 'clean up the mess', empower India's youth

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was back at his pre-election best while he tried to charm the Indian diaspora in Toronto, during his visit to Canada, with a pledge to clean up the ''mess left behind'' by the UPA government and empower India youth.

He said his government wants to change the country's image from one of "scams" to that of a "skilled" nation.

Modi said his government's mission is to impart skills to the country's youth so as to enable them to be productive assets of the country. And, as the 10,000-odd crowd shouted ''Modi, Modi'', the prime minister said he was not the solution for the country's problems, but ''development'' was.

"The country (India) is facing many challenges. And there is only one medicine," something called 'vikas' (development). ''Only development can take the country forward," he said.

The prime minister said that whatever was happening was not due to him but due to the people of India. There is a new atmosphere of trust in our nation, he pointed out and that gives confidence for people to work.

He said India's biggest treasure is its youth and his aim is to see them as "job creators". He also said that India is empowering its youth not just for itself, but for the world as well.

Modi who started addressing the diaspora at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, saying "Khem cho" (how are you) in Gujarati, was flanked by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife, clad in a dark blue sari.

Switching over to Hindi, Modi repeatedly stressed, "Sarkar naahi badli, jan manas badla hai dus mahine main" (It is not that the government has changed, but it's people's thinking that has changed during the last 10 months)".

Modi was at his old game when he said, "Jinko gandagi karni thi, woh kar ke chaley gaye. Lekin hum safai karenge" (Those who had to create the mess, they had done and left. There is a lot of mess. We will clear it up and go."

"The nation is huge. There is a lot of mess. It has been there for long. It will take time but it (cleaning) will be done as the attitude of people has changed," said, Modi.

"Earlier, the country was known as 'scam-India'. We want it to be known as 'skilled-India'," he said in yet another attack on the previous regime during which scams tumbled out as the gathering lapped up what he said with cheers.

There is now an "atmosphere of trust" which is making things happen like the voluntary participation in Clean India campaign, rich people giving up LPG subsidy and bank accounts being opened for the poor, he said.

He also urged the diaspora to contribute to India's development by sharing their expertise and experience.