Indian PM Narendra Modi is flying off to be at Houston, Texas. As soon as he sets foot on American soil, he will be met with much appreciation and criticism.
Many reactions await for PM Modi at Houston. But one thing is for sure, the Indian PM is set out to make history with Howdy, Modi! which is being termed as the largest live gathering for a foreign leader. A whopping 50,000 Indian-Americans will fill the seats at NRG Stadium; the tickets to which were sold out weeks ahead of the event (on 22 September). While India is in awe at the fact that US President Donald Trump will be joining the India Prime Minister at Howdy Modi!, what is the scene at Houston?
Howdy Modi! PM Modi will be met with welcoming billboards and not-so-welcoming campaigns at Houston, Texas.
PM Modi has been a favourite for Indian-American; a fact that is proved from his previous visits. On top of that, the fact that many of his audience are also taking flight to reach Texas from various parts of America, gives one a clear idea of the warm welcome that PM Modi will be showered with at Houston. Welcoming billboards have been put up in Texas.
Houston, we have a Modi!
Moreover, a car rally was organised in Houston, Texas on Friday ahead of PM Modi’s visit. This rally was to signify the budding relationship between the world’s oldest and largest democracies. More than 200 cars participated bearing flags of both the countries.
Perking Protests- Houston we have a problem!
While PM Modi has gathered his fan-following at Houston with his ever-growing charm, not everyone is happy about the visit. Protestors are perking up their preparations to stage protests at the NRG Stadium.
English journalist Kate Hopkins took to Twitter to let the cat out of the bag, “SUPRISE SUPRISE the bus pick-ups for those protesting against Modi & Trump are the mosques of #Houston See how this works yet? Mosques are not simple places of worship. They are places of co-ordination & control #STOPTHEBUS”
Khalistani supporters and pro-Pakistani elements are trying their level best to use the Kashmiri propaganda in creating hindrance to the event.
Playing the Trump Card
While the event at Houston had PM Modi at the center stage, President Trump joined in very recently. It was a move that was both appreciated and criticised. PM Modi sure was delighted by the special gesture.
But it seems there is more to the story. With upcoming elections in Texas in 2020, polls show that Donald Trump would be losing against a Democratic presidential candidate. Additionally, Texas has a diverse population majorly comprising of Indians. So, Trump might be trying to use this opportunity to the Republicans’ advantage.
In fact, he has also hinted at an announcement that he will be making at Howdy, Modi! While it is not clear what the announcement will be about, this has certainly raised expectations for a breakthrough in India – US trade relations.
Raining Cats and Dogs
While the stage is all set to make history at Houston, a tropical storm (Imelda) ran havoc in the area. At least two people died and many lost power. But even as heavy rains have affected normal life, the organisers of Howdy, Modi! (Texas India Forum) are sure that will turn out to be a success. Only time will tell.