Culture & Lifestyle / Howdy Modi: Our 5 Takeaways From The Modi-Trump Bromance In Texas

Howdy Modi: Our 5 Takeaways From The Modi-Trump Bromance In Texas

Culture & Lifestyle Sep 26, 2019

In Houston, Texas Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi was greeted with a political rally that had everything: a trending #HowdyModi hashtag, major protests, bromance with Trump and some viral-worthy controversy. Here are our 5 takeaways from the Modi & Trump bromance in Texas.

Howdy Modi, a mega-event organized by and for the Indian diaspora in Houston,Texas was a potent political spectacle. The deafening sound of the drums every time Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi and President of the United States, Donald Trump clasped hands and waved at the frenzied crowd of 50,000 was captured by global media. The leaders of the world’s two largest democracies sent out a clear message — we have each other’s back. The growth of US exports to India, fight “radical Islamic terror”, a tough stance on China, abrogation of Article 370 of its Constitution, thereby revoking special status to Jammu and Kashmir, were some of the issues that the two leaders addressed at the NRG Football Stadium. We bring to you the top five takeaways from the Trump Modi rally:

1. Truly #HowdyModi

This is the first time in recent years that an Indian PM witnessed support in such large numbers in a foreign country. The event was nothing short of a soap opera with millions glued to their television sets for their prime time show. The stadium was packed with more than 50,000 Indian Americans and NRIs who came together to cheer for the leaders. This was also an event where Modi looked equal to Trump which will be beneficial for him in his domestic politics.

HowdyModi
Howdy Modi: Modi & Trump arrive hand in hand at the rally. Photo Credit: www.brecorder.com

 

2. A Celebration Of The Indo-US Ties:

The audience broke into slogans and cheers every time Modi and Trump clasped hands and waved at the crowd. Both the leaders engaged in back-slapping each other. Modi lent his own election slogan to Trump: Abki baar, Trump Sarkar, endorsing Trump for a second term. He also went on to say, “Mr. President, you had introduced me to your family in 2017. And today, I have the honour of introducing you to my family. ” On the other hand, Trump said, “India has never had a better friend in the White House than President Donald Trump. My administration fights for you (PM Modi) every day. Going beyond the protocol-driven agenda, the two leaders clearly put both the countries in the global spotlight.

Howdy Modi
Howdy Modi: Trump and Modi holding hands again on stage. Photo Credit: www.courthousenews.com

 

3. Protests On Kashmir On A Global Stage & #Adios Modi 

Modi had received international criticism for his actions in Kashmir. Thousands of people were reportedly detained, there was a complete security clampdown, besides a mobile and internet blackout. But Modi brought out his defensive act and discussed the Kashmir issue, and even defended his Government’s actions in the Muslim majority state. In not so many words, Modi accused Pakistan of harbouring terrorists. “The time has come for a decisive fight against terrorism and those who support terrorism. I want to stress here that President Trump is standing firmly against this.”

There was also a huge protest outside the auditorium by Alliance for Justice and Accountability, AZAAD Austin, and South Asian Youth in Houston Unite. The protesters used #AdiosModi to ask Modi to go back and answer about the Kashmiri lockdown. Besides placards, the protesters were also waving Kashmiri and Khalistani flags. The protest signs screamed “Real Hindus don’t lynch”, “Hinduism is real, Hindutva is fake” and “Houston, we have a problem: It’s Modi”. Incidentally, Modi also met members of Kashmiri Pandits community, Bohara Muslim and Sikh community leaders at Texas.

Howdy Modi
Howdy Modi: Some of the protesters who were also at the rally. Photo Credit: www.thehindu.com

 

Howdy Modi
Howdy Modi: Various protest signs at the event. Photo Credit: www.twitter.com

 

4. Their Bond Over Islamophobia:  

Not only does Trump and Modi’s affection for each other stem from their similar far-right nationalistic ideologies, it’s hard to deny their similar xenophobic stance on Islam. During the rally, Trump announced his often-repeated declaration about his most important war “we are committed to protecting innocent civilians from the threat of radical Islamic terrorism,” which garnered the loudest cheer from the pro-Modi audience. Immediately after, Modi encouraged the audience to give Trump a standing ovation to further show his support for Trump’s stance against Muslims.

 

5. The Hasan Minhaj Controversy: 

Imagine sitting in the parking lot of the stadium but seeing your picture on the jumbotron. Well, that was what happened with the renowned comedian and host of Netflix’s Patriot Act Hasan Minhaj. He was denied entry to the event stating “lack of space” But later the actual reason was given that his comments on Prime Minister Modi “were not appreciated.” As a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers, he said, “They were honouring me for my comedy while also blackmailing and blackballing me and kicking me out for my comedy. It is the most Indian thing ever. They were like ‘we’re proud of you but we’ll never say it to your face’.”

Hasan Minhaj (above) in front of the stadium where he was denied media entry. Minhaj (below) tells the whole story on him being banned by Modi on Late Night With Seth Meyers. Photo Credit: www.ndtv.com

 

Main Image Photo Credit: India Today 

Mrinalini Sundar

Mrinalini Sundar

Author

Mrinalini Sundar (new_girl_in_to) has worked with various Indian national, international publications including Times Of India and is currently based out of Toronto. She's constantly in search of high adventure, exotic food, and new experiences. She is the happiest amidst mountains, with no wi-fi.

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