Houston, September 22
Time for a decisive battle against terrorism has come, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday as he defended revoking Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
Addressing over 50,000 Indian-Americans at the ‘Howdy, Modi’ event here, he said India has given farewell to Article 370, which allowed terrorism and separatism to rear its head in Jammu and Kashmir.
Modi asked people to give standing ovation to the Indian parliamentarians for Parliament’s nod to repeal Article 370 provisions.
“India’s decision on Article 370 has troubled some people, who can’t handle their country, who support terrorism,” the prime minister said.
“Where do you find conspirators of 9/11 and 26/11 terror attacks,” Modi said, in an apparent reference to Pakistan.
“Time for decisive battle against terrorism,” he said. Modi also praised India’s democracy and said Indians are working day and night to realise its goal of new India.
“India is seeing new history and chemistry being made and witnessing new Indo-US synergy,” he said.
“Our many languages are identity of our liberal and democratic society. Diversity is basis of our democracy,” the prime minister said.
He said the recent elections showcased the Indian democracy’s greatness across the world.
He said 61 crore people, twice US population, voted in the elections. “India working day and night to realise its goal of new India; we are challenging and changing ourself,” Modi said.
Earlier, PM Modi introduced US President Donald Trump to the Indian-Americans at the mega ‘Howdy, Modi’ event here as a very “special person” whose presence at the event signals India has a true friend at the White House.
Addressing over 50,000 Indian-Americans at the NRG stadium, Modi said it was honour and privilege for him to welcome Trump in this magnificent stadium and magnificent gathering.
“Greetings to my fellow Indians in India and around the world. Friends, this morning, we have a very special person with us,” Prime Minister Modi said.
“He (Trump) was a household name even before he went to hold the highest seat in he US,” Modi said while greeting the US president.
“His name is familiar to every person on the planet. His name comes up almost every conversation in the world on global politics,” he said.
“From CEO to Commander in Chief, from boardrooms to the oval office, from studios to the global stage, from politics to the economy and to security, he has left a deep and lasting impact everywhere,” Modi said.
Modi said he met Trump a few times and every time he has been warm, friendly, accessibly, energetic and full of wit.
“And I can say I had a chance to meet him often and every time I found the friendliness, the warmth and the energy,” he said.
“President this morning in Houston, you can hear the heartbeat of this great partnership in this celebration of the world’s two largest democracies,” Modi said.
“You can feel the strength and depth of the bonds between our two nations,” Modi said.
When I met him for the first time, Trump said India has a true friend in the White House.
“Your presence has a great testimony to that,” Modi said.
The prime minister said “the people are at the heart of all relationships. From Houston to Hyderabad, from Boston to Bengaluru, from Chicago to Shimla, from Los Angeles to Ludhiana.” Trump has already made the American economy strong again, Modi said.
“He has achieved much for the US and for the world,” Modi said.
“We in India have connected well to him,” he said, adding “Abki baar Trump Sarkar”. — PTI
Before the event, Trump tweeted: "Will be in Houston to be with my friend. Will be a great day in Texas!" To this, PM Modi replied: "It surely will be a great day!"
It surely will be a great day! Looking forward to meeting you very soon @realDonaldTrump. https://t.co/BSum4VyeFI
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 22, 2019
From Houston, Modi will fly to New York, where a packed schedule awaits him. On Tuesday, he is scheduled to meet President Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
Soon after his arrival in Houston, #HowdyModi started trending on social media.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who is also a Democratic presidential aspirant, greeted the prime minister on Twitter.
“Indian PM Narendra Modi has just arrived in Houston. And we cannot wait to say hello. Are you ready Houston?” she said on the microblogging website.
“We are already here to welcome our Beloved PM,” said Rikin Talati. — Agencies