Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump Sunday addressed over 50,000 Indian Americans at a mega event in Houston, Texas. Sharing stage at the ‘Howdy, Modi’ event, the two world leaders spoke of strengthened ties between India-US and addressed each other as “loyal friends”. The event was organised to mark Modi’s visit to the US state, which has a population of over 1,30,000 Indian-Americans.
Top quotes from Modi, Trump speeches at ‘Howdy, Modi’
*Introducing Trump to the mega event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi showered praises on the US President, calling him a “very special person”. “It is my honour and privilege to welcome Trump at this magnificent gathering,” he said. Trump, meanwhile, described Modi as America’s greatest, most loyal friend. “He is doing an exceptional job for India,” he said.
*Addressing the Indian-American community at the NRG stadium in Houston, Prime Minister Modi backed Donald Trump to return as the President of the USA in 2020.
*The two world leaders also used popular campaign slogans in India to endorse each other’s leadership in their respective countries. Playing around the BJP’s election campaign back home, Modi endorsed Trump’s reelection in the USA. “Abki baar Trump sarkar” (This time, Trump’s government). Modi also reiterated Trump’s popular campaign of ‘Make America great again”. Trump, on the other hand, while making case of America’s economy, borrowed the ‘Make in India’ campaign slogan to promote ‘Made in America’.
* The BJP’s ‘Vikas’ and ‘New India’ campaign also found mention in Modi’s address to the Indian-American community. “India’s biggest mantra is sabka sath, sabka vikas,” he said, referring to the BJP’s landslide victory in this year’s Lok Sabha elections for the second consecutive time. Modi also lauded the Indian government’s ‘Swatch Bharat’ and the ‘Ujjwala’ initiative at the event. “We are challenging ourselves, we are changing ourselves,” he said.
*Speaking on his government’s achievements, Modi said India bid farewell to the archaic “70-year-old” Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which allowed “terrorism and separatism to rear its head in Jammu and Kashmir”. He said the revocation of the special status to the state has integrated it with development in other parts of the country. “Despite not having a majority in the upper house, our parliament passed the bill with two-thirds majority,” Modi said, urging the crowd to give a standing ovation to the Indian parliamentarians.
*In a veiled attack at Pakistan, Modi said terrorists with links to the 26/11 Mumbai attack and the 9/11 attack on the twin towers in New York have links to “the same country”. “Time has come to fight a decisive war against such people,” he said, while also lauding the US President, urging the crowd to give him a standing ovation.
* Meanwhile, US Senator and Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders said that the Modi-Trump rally is happening in Houston at a time when Kashmir remains under lockdown. “There will be a deafening silence when it comes to a human rights crisis unfolding right before our eyes – and that is unacceptable,” the 77-year-old leader said in an opinion piece in Houston Chronicle. A group called the Alliance for Justice and Accountability is planning to hold protests near the NRG stadium where the event is taking place.
*”Our many languages are the identity of our liberal and democratic society,” Modi said in the Houston event at a time when Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s pitch for making Hindi a national language provoked opposition in the country. “Diversity is the basis of our democracy,” the Prime Minister said.
In different languages, Modi said aloud “everything is fine” to the audience.
— ANI (@ANI) September 22, 2019
*Trump pitched for strong border security, which he has promised as part of his reelection campaign in the presidential elections. Modi applauded in approval as Trump said border security is vital to both the United States and India. Trump, who is often criticised by the Democrats in America over his strong anti-immigration views, said his government will not allow illegal immigrants to take over the healthcare and other services meant for the citizens of the country.
*Trump also vowed to protect “innocent civilians” from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism as he emphasised on bolstering further the Indo-US security relationship.
*At the mega show today, Trump announced several defence deals will be signed between India and the USA “very soon” to “bolster our security relationship.” Next week, people will gather in Mumbai to watch first NBA match, the US President added.
*This is the first time an American President attended an event where an Indian Prime Minister addressed the Indian diaspora. This is also the largest gathering of people in the US for a foreign leader, after the Pope.