‘Howdy Modi’: World awestruck at PM Narendra Modi’s popularity; hope for stronger ties between India and US

New Delhi: Mega event ‘Howdy Modi’ with the theme of ‘Shared Dreams,Bright Futures’ has unfolded a new chapter in the relationship between India and the US for more deeper ties and better cooperation in areas of trade,investment, border security, and fighting terrorism. As there are various outstanding trade issues between India and the US, this event has created a positive vibe before a bilateral meeting takes place to resolve those.

Besides addressing the Indian diaspora, his aim was to create positive scenarios for investment before the bilateral talks to resolve outstanding issues—GSP, import duty etc.—so that ailing Indian economy could be revived and accelerated. In this direction, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman had recently slashed the corporate tax to enthuse investors around the world. Whereas, Donald Trump was aiming to achieve the twin objective of resolving the trade dispute as well as wooing the Indian diaspora by using Modi’s popularity for the 2020 presidential elections.

The mega event was organized to acknowledge the contribution of Indian-American community, to strengthen the Indo-US relations as well as to honor PM Narendra Modi, who is on a week long trip here to attend the UN General Assembly along with other engagements. It was the biggest event held by any foreign leader in America indicating the immense popularity of Narendra Modi among Indian diaspora, which probably could sway the US to soften its stand and make it to reinstate GSP status for India.The Trump administration terminated the GSP on June 5 and recently 44 lawmakers urged his administration to reinstate GSP—which allows duty-free entry for thousands of products—for India.

The event started off with Kirtan singers singing a soulful Gurbani which swirled a divine energy around the jam-packed stadium with a crowd of about 50000 Indian diaspora from Texas and across the nation. After that, performing artists enthralled the audience with a multitude of programs reflecting the vibrancy and diversity of Indian-American community.

The euphoric crowd was chanting Modi! Modi! when Modi and Donald Trump entered the NRG football stadium and took the dais to set the ball rolling. Both leaders first heaped praises and admired each other’s work in their respective countries before addressing issues of terrorism, Investments and border security.

Addressing Indian community and each other’s admiration

While referring to Howdy Modi event, PM Narendra Modi responding back the ‘Howdy Modi’—Howdy expands into ‘how do you do ?’—assured the enthusiastic community in almost 8 languages including Punjabi, Gujarati and Bengali, etc. that ‘everything is fine.’

He said, “Because you have asked ‘Howdy Modi’ my response is everything is fine in India.”

He even underscored the liberal atmosphere of Indian democracy due to which various languages could thrive and prosper.

Terming President Donald Trump a true friend of India ,he heaped praises on him and said, “ This is an extraordinary thing, this is unprecedented. We have met a few times, and every time he has been the same warm, friendly, energetic and accessible. I admire him for his sense of leadership and passion for America, a concern for every American, a belief in America’s future and a strong resolve to Make America Great Again.”

Narendra Modi in an amusing way even inaugurated campaign for the Donald Trump from the stage or the 2020 Presidential election.

“We in India have connected well with President Trump, the words of candidate Trump, ‘Abki baar Trump Sarkar’ rang loud and clear,” he said, referring to a viral video from 2018 where Trump can be heard saying the slogan.

Trump admired Narendra Modi for doing great work for his people.

“ I am so thrilled to be here with one of American’s greatest friend PM Modi of India. PM Modi is doing a great job with the people of India,” he said.

On border security and terrorism

Donald Trump while acknowledging the the rights of India to protect its borders, he expressed his commitment to fight with terrorism and said, “India and the US are committed to protect innocent civilians from radical Islamic terrorism.”

As Texas shares a border with Mexico—source of illegal immigrants—and thus grappling with illegal migration, Donald Trump reiterated his commitment to secure borders and said, “To keep our communities safe, we must protect our borders, Border security vital to USA.”

On this, Indian-American community stood in standing ovation to applaud President Trump over his remark.

This statement holds significance for India as it has recently abrogated article 370 to protect borders from cross border terrorism by completely integrating Jammu and Kashmir in India.

PM Narendra Modi while recalling the 9/11 and 26/11 terrorists attack took digs at Pakistan and said that people know where the perpetrators of these two attacks had been hiding.

On abrogation of article 370, he said that only those who shield and nurture terrorists are having problems with its abrogation because It has foiled all their sinister schemes about spreading terrorism.

On investment

Donald Trump underscored the growing investment between the two countries and his interest to work with Narendra Modi to make their countries even more prosperous.

“Prime Minister Modi, I am looking forward to working with you to make our Nations even more prosperous than ever before.”

He said that America is a favorite destination for investment among countries all over the world for being the best economy with best workers.

He even affirmed the importance of the energy issue between the two countries. Further elaborating on expansion plans he said that both countries are working closely to enhance expansion in exports.

In an amusing remark he added, “ India will now have access to more advanced goods and the NBA basketball.”

Whereas Narendra Modi talked about the conducive atmosphere of Indian economy for investments which has been created by easing norms on single brand retail, opening coal mining and contract manufacturing for 100% FDI investment, and slashing corporate tax.

He even mentioned the feedback of the Oil company CEO in which he suggested that slashing corporate tax sent the positive message across the global business community.

Trade disputes and other differences will be taken up during the bilateral talks.

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