As America says “Howdy Modi!” - “Howdy Houston! Looking forward to the range of programs in this dynamic and energetic city,” tweeted India’s PM Narendra Modi, as he landed on the U.S. soil, for his week long visit. Amidst several agendas, the highlight of the visit was the grand diaspora event "Howdy Modi," in one of U.S.’s largest stadiums, hosted by 650 U.S. based non-resident Indians (NRI) groups.
That evening, "Howdy Houston" was the PM’s address to the packed NRG Stadium, of Houston-- the 4th largest and the most diverse city in the U.S., and one with a large Indian population. He said, “My answer to Howdy Modi, is only this: 'Everything is fine, in India,'" and repeated this in eight Indian languages.
It was raining and it was stormy, but for the 1500 volunteers who were engaged in the preparations there was no dampening of the spirit as they ran around to ensure a "ROCKSTAR WELCOME" to their leaders. 50,000 spectators-- the largest ever turnout for a foreign leader on U.S. soil - watched the 400 artists put up a 90 minute music, dance and multimedia show. The two billion viewers watching the event live worldwide could actually feel the electrically charged atmosphere within the stadium as the Indian PM Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump came together up on the stage.
In a grand show of friendship and common vision, the heads of the two largest democracies in the world pledged to fight terrorism while praising each other’s achievements in relation to their countries’ overall development and progress.
Telling PM Modi that he never had a better friend than him in the White House, President Trump saluted the vast Indian diaspora for its multifarious contribution to the American economy, as its true loyal citizens. On his side, the Indian PM fondly recollected how in 2017, President Trump had introduced him to his family. And now, in his turn, he had the honor to introduce the president to his family-- the Indian community in America. ￼All this as he held up official Digital India plan as “India’s new face to the world.”
While the mammoth gathering in the energy capital of the world was wowed by the two world statesmen as they walked hand in hand, supported and cheered by all present in an unforgettable celebration, the event will go down in the history of the two countries, not just as a turning point, but as nothing short of a diplomatic revolution. Truly, a diaspora diplomacy at its best!