Ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s and Trump’s address in Houston on Sep 22, Indian-American artists from Texas & elsewhere performed cultural programmes, PM Modi presented with the keys to the Houston City by its Mayor Sylvester Turner on his arrival at the ”Howdy Modi” mega event as the mark of respect and the long standing India-Houston ties worldwide.
“The joint appearance also underscores the growing strategic significance of US-India ties. The world’s two largest democracies are a vital check on China’s ambitions to dominate the Asia-Pacific region, as US president recognises and Barack Obama did as well,” The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) mentioned in an op-ed, hours after the two leaders” historic address at the energy capital of the world.
Describing it as a “Spectacle in Houston”, The WSJ assumed that Donald Trump is hoping to pick up a larger share of this growing voters bloc in 2020 than he did in 2016. He understands the benefit of associating with Indian Americans, whose contributions are crucial to the prosperity of both nations in the 21st century. At the same time, The New York Times mentioned that earning votes from Indian Americans will not be easy for US president, even with PM Modi by his side. Indian Americans overwhelmingly vote for the Democratic party candidates, The new York Times noted.
As per the Washington Post, the leaders of the world’s two largest democracies took the stage together in Houston before a roaring crowd of tens of thousands of Indian Americans, where Narendra Modi delivered an unmistakable endorsement of Trump”s presidency and cast their joint appearance in historic terms.
Meanwhile, “Indian Americans enrich our values and uphold our culture India has lifted nearly 300 million people out of poverty, lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his welfare schemes in the short span of time”. Further, “Our people are progressing like never before”. India never had a better friend in the White House than me, The US President asserted.
During the ”Howdy Modi” mega event, “PM Modi doing truly exceptional job for India,” mentioned United State President Donald Trump in Houston as he wished him for his success in the Lok Sabha elections 2019. He also wished Indian PM for his birthday which was on September 17. This is a profoundly historic event. We love you and support you. US President Trump asserted.
As per the US president, “Indo-US relations are stronger than never before. Want to thank Indian-Americans,”. “Indian-Americans are pioneering in medicine, founding new business and providing jobs to thousands,”. Thousands of Indians are working at some top American tech firms that are run by Indian-origin CEOs like Satya Nadella at Microsoft, Sundar Pichai at Google and Shantanu Narayen at Adobe, among others. Argued US president Trump at the ‘Howdy Modi’ event in Houston.
Moreover, “Unemployment in Texas is currently at the lowest rate ever recorded in the history of our country, and unemployment in the US has just reached the lowest level in over 51 years,”. The president assumed that over the last two years, unemployment among Indian-Americans dropped by one-third. Noting that the US is the No 1 producer of oil and natural gas on the planet, US president remarked he was thrilled to hear about the Indian company’s pledge to purchase up to 5 million tonnes of LNG a year from the US, which could lead to billions of dollars of LNG exports to India in the coming years.”
He further argued that, both the countries will work together to create cutting-edge technology to benefit millions. Signalling his support for legal immigration, he had argued in June that he will change the H1-B visa system for professionals to ensure “certainty” and a path to citizenship for those on the visa.
One the one hand, The United State president mentioned that, “border security is vital to America as well as India”. And also assumed that, “We are committed to protect innocent civilians from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism,” stated US President as he talks about America’s defence deals with India. Thus, US President Donald Trump vowed to protect innocent civilians from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism.
Whereas on the other hand, In a veiled attack at the Pakistan; “It is a breeding ground for terrorism. Be it 9/11 attack in USA or 26/11 attack in Mumbai, the perpetrators of the acts have been found in that one country,”. He also says the time has to come to take a tough stand against the terrorism, PM Modi asserted at the Howdy Modi event in Houston on Sep 22.
However, Indian Prime Minister Modi calls US president Donald Trump ‘great American president’, where “Millions of people across time zones are witnessing history in the making,” mentioned PM Modi about his meeting with President Trump at Houston public rally. Hence, This moment is extraordinary and unprecedented. President Trump has made America great again, The PM asserted.
The PM, “This atmosphere is unprecedented. We are seeing new history and chemistry under making here,”. “Texas’ spirit is reflected here. This NRG’s energy is a proof of increasing synergy between India and US,” argued PM Modi at the Howdy Modi event in Houston while referring to the cementing of ties between India and USA.
Significantly, Speaking at this mega event in Houston, PM Modi gave a glimpse of diversity of India’s culture when he argued “everything is fine” in several India languages like Gujarati, Bengali, Marathi, Malayalam. “Diversity is unity. This diversity is the core of India’s vibrant democracy. And “This programme name is Howdy Modi, but Modi alone is nothing. I am a simple man who works on order of 130 crore people,” Prime Minister added.
According to PM Modi, “We are competing with ourselves.. We are challenging ourselves. We are changing ourselves and that is why we are on the path of development,”. “We are aiming high. We are achieving higher,” PM Modi added at the Howdy Modi event in Houston. Further, “First time in 60 years has it happened that a majority government came back to power in the second term (Modi 2.0) with more vote share,”. The PM also talks about first-time voters and women voters..
The PM, “If data is available at affordable prices anywhere in the world, it is India. 1 GB data in India is available at nearly 25%. This has been possible under Digital India,” added Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Howdy Modi in Houston. From e-governance to income tax returns, he says the cheap data has brought convenience to the people in India.
After India’s decision or corporate tax deduction a very positive message has been sent to business people across the world. In this regard, Ease of doing business is important to us, however ease of living is equally important. Need to empower people for this. Only then can the social and economic development of a country take place at fast pace. Added PM Modi at howdy Modi event.
Meanwhile, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told the crowd that Houston is the most diverse city in the county. “In Houston, we say howdy in more than 140 languages,” he highlighted, “and this morning we are saying howdy to Modi!” Houston has one of the largest concentration of the Indian-American community in the US. Indian Prime Minister entered on the stage with folded hands. He bowed before the audience, thanking them for such an amazing welcome.
As per the, Democrat Steny Hoyer welcomed PM Modi and invoked Mahatma Gandhi and former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru in his speech. He stated that, both Indians and Americans have the same purpose, growing the partnership between the two countries. Earlier, US president Trump argued that he and his “friend” Modi will have a “good time” at the mega event. “Look forward to being with our great India loving community!” As per he tweeted. Responding to Trump”s tweet, Prime Minister Modi stated he was looking forward to meet the US leader in Houston. “It surely will be a great day! Looking forward to meeting you very soon @realDonaldTrump,” Modi added.
The Mega Howdy Modi Event, It is Organised by the non-profit Texas India Forum, the event, with the tagline ”Shared Dreams, Bright Futures”, will shine light on the tremendous contribution of Indo-Americans in US and the strong and lasting partnership between the US and India. About two dozen governors and members of the US Congress are also attended the event.
Despite all of this, “India bid farewell to 70 year old Article 370 which had deprived the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh from the benefits of development. It was being used by separatists and terrorists,”. “On October 2, India will bid farewell to open defecation,” stated PM Modi at Howdy Modi in Houston as he talks about government’s action against open defalcation.
While India accuses Pakistan of providing safe haven to terror groups, which carry out attacks in the neighbouring countries. “We are further taking unprecedented action to secure our southern border (with Mexico) and stop illegal immigration,” US president asserted while the crowed cheered. US president remarked that, illegal immigration is unfair to legal immigrants who pay taxes and obey laws. Trump praised Modi’s economic reforms and remarked that these reforms have lifted more than three million people out of poverty.
However, The ‘Howdy Modi’ mega event comes against the backdrop of trade tensions between India and the US rising in recent months after the US withdrew preferential access (Generalized System of Preferences or GSP) for Indian products recently and India raised import tariffs on 28 US products. While US based companies have invested $23 billion in India between April 2000 and June 2019, accounting for 6% of the total foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into India in equities during the period.
Consequently, US President Donald Trump on Sep 22 announced that, “India will soon have access to another world class American product” – NBA basketball. And argued that America is committed to ensure Indians have access to the finest goods in the world, products stamped with the beautiful phrase ‘Make in USA’. Thus, The NRG stadium in Texas warm welcomed Indian PM Narendra Modi where he addressed nearly 50,000 Indian-Americans.
About Author, “Trilok Singh” Founder and CEO at Youth Darpan Media, IASmind.com, & India’s Journal. MA in Political Science, Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi. Currently Studies Masters in Mass Communication and Journalism at International School of Media and Entertainment Studies (ISOMES), Film City, Noida; News 24 (BAG Film Production).