‘Howdy, Modi!’: Ten points on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US visit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visit to the United States will see him attending the UNGA session and hold bilateral meetings with Donald Trump among other important engagements. He is also attending a landmark diaspora event, ‘Howdy, Modi!’, in Houston.Updated: Sep 22, 2019 20:21 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address Indian diaspora in United States’ Houston city in a short while as part of the much awaited mega event --‘Howdy, Modi!’ US President Donald Trump will also be present for the event and is likely to deliver a 30-minute speech. Close to 50,000 people are attending the event at Houston’s NRG stadium that was sold out. The United States is home to four million Indian-Americans and the event is likely to boost India-US ties. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s week-long US visit will see him attending many important events and meetings.
Here are key points on Prime Minister Modi’s US visit
1.Houston is hosting a diaspora event named ‘Howdy, Modi!’ to be attended by 50,000 Indian-Americans on Sunday. The organisers claim it will be the largest gathering ever for an elected foreign leader visiting the US, other than the Pope. The event will last for four-hours starting 8:30 pm India time.
2.‘Howdy, Modi!’, being managed by more than 1,000 volunteers and 650 Welcome Partner organizations, will begin with 90-minute long cultural performances followed by the screening of a film on the experiences of the Indian diaspora. The programme named ‘Shared Dreams, Bright Futures’ will be broadcast live in Hindi, English and Spanish to over two billion people all across the world.
3.The 90-minute cultural programme, “Woven: The Indian-American Story”, will have a music, dance and multimedia show with nearly 400 artists from Houston and elsewhere in Texas. Teenage singing prodigy Sparsh Shah will sing ‘Jana, Gana, Mana’, the Indian national anthem. Class 11 student Shah is a singer, songwriter, rapper and inspirational speaker, he was born with an incurable disease Osteogenesis Imperfecta also known as the brittle bone disorder.
4.‘Howdy, Modi!’ assumed special importance due to the presence of US President Donald Trump. Trump’s attendance at the diaspora attempt is being seen as a rare gesture to demonstrate the growing strength of the India-US ties. Some experts also see it as recognition of the contributions made by four million Indian-Americans to the United States. Trump is likely to speak for about half-an hour at the event.
5.Prime Minister Narendra Modi started his fourth visit to the US with a roundtable with 17 CEOs of energy companies that were together worth $1 trillion and had operations in more than 150 countries, including India. Petronet LNG, an Indian state-private partnership, signed an MoU with Tellurian, a Houston-based oil company to invest $2.5 billion in Tellurian’s proposed Driftwood LNG export terminal, in exchange for the rights to 5 million metric tons of LNG per year over 40 years. \
6.Prime Minister also interacted with members of Dawoodi Bohra community in Houston who felicitated Narendra Modi and highlighted his association with Dawoodi Bohra leader Syedna Sahib.
7.PM Modi also met members of the Sikh community based in the United States who thanked him for removing the names of over 300 community members from a blacklist that prevented 312 Sikh foreign nationals involved in anti-India activities from traveling to India among other restrictions. The Prime Minister later in a tweet said he was delighted to see their passion towards India’s development and added that that he has a surprise for them in the next few days and urged them to wait for the news.
8.The Kashmiri Pandit community in Houston also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday and thanked him for abrogation of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The prime minister acknowledged hardships endured by the community and invited them to build a ‘new Kashmir’. The delegation assured community’s support and requested for creation of a task force of community members to advise and help in the development of a comprehensive plan to repatriate and reintegrate Kashmiri Pandits to the region. Before leaving, PM Modi joined the group in reciting ‘Namaste Sharade Devi’ shloka.
9.Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a bilateral with US President Donald Trump on Tuesday in New York on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly. The two leaders are likely to discuss a range of bilateral, regional and global issues, including efforts to address the bilateral trade disputes, potential defence and energy deals and peace process in Afghanistan.
10.PM Narendra Modi will also be addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York and meet other world leaders on the margins of the event. Terrorism, world economy, climate change, poverty and universal health are some of the issues the Prime Minister is likely to raise at the UNGA. Pakistan is expected to raise the issue of Jammu and Kashmir at the United Nations.
First Published: Sep 22, 2019 19:37 IST