Delivering the Nani Palkhivala memorial lecture here on "India and the World", Modi, while referring to the Indian freedom struggle, said Mahatma Gandhi gave importance to the moral dimension in conduct.
He stressed that the foreign policy should be drawn up with inputs from states and wondered why not give each Indian state one foreign country to develop better relationship.
He said India's freedom struggle was not just about getting independence from British rule but a global anti-colonial movement and these principles should shape up our foreign policy.
Paying glowing tributes to Palkhivala, Modi said the late lawyer as India's ambassador to the US was able to generate respect for India.
Modi said that after independence, the first task for the rulers should have been to collect the threads and build a harmonious neighbourhood. But that did not happen and the country lost more than 60 years.
Lord Buddha is a common thread between India and many Asian and East Asian nations and this bond should be strengthened.
This is the second time Modi is visiting Tamil Nadu in less than a month. Modi Sep 26 addressed a party rally in Tiruchirapalli, around 350 km from here.
Earlier, speaking to party workers after his arrival here, Modi said: "There is a cyclone of change going on in the country ... this stopped cyclone Phailin which could have caused great damage."
Targeting the central government, he said instead of hunting for gold in Unnao, it should bring back the black money stashed in foreign banks.
Noting people of Tamil Nadu wanted a change in Delhi, he said their dreams would be fulfilled if the BJP came to power.
Friday, the Madras High Court dismissed a petition filed by Tamil Nadu Makkal Katchi to ban Modi from speaking at the Madras University Centenary Auditorium.
Some students also staged protest against Modi's Chennai visit.
Security was tightened for Modi's visit and police verified the antecedents of those who registered themselves with the Palkhivala Foundation to listen to his talk.
--IANS (Posted on 18-10-2013)