The Hitavada Correspondent
Woh jo mushkilon ka ambaar hai,
woh to mere houslon ka meenar hai ...
(That heap of problems is actually the tower of my resolve ...),
said Prime Minister Narendra Modi using his own poem in Hindi, as he interacted with thousands of cheering members of the Indian diaspora as well as Americans in the eagerly-awaited ‘Howdy Modi’ event in which United States President Donald Trump also made a speech and remained present throughout the occasion. Of course, he was speaking to his “own family” and Narendra Modi was at his oratorical best not just dishing out details of the good work his Government has done in the first term of five years and is doing now in the second term, but also putting in perspective the various developments in the world in which he is one of the global leaders.
As the audience, which was loosely described to be more than 50,000 people, cheered every now and then, President Trump and his close associates and American political and administration leaders watched in amazement at the popularity of the Indian Prime Minister. In the initial stages of his speech, Modi said “everything is fine” in many Indian languages, and described the effort as a symbolism of India’s unity which is expressed so wonderfully in multiple languages, regional identities, and cultural patterns. “India has a vibrant democracy which is our strength, our inspiration”.
He gave details of various developmental projects successfully implemented in India -- like 110 million toilets, like achievement of 99% of rural sanitation, like 115 million cooking gas connections, like 200,000 kilometers of rural roads, like 100% Indian families getting linked to the banking system, like the availability of the world’s most inexpensive data, like expansion of transparent digital footprint that helped in filing of 5 million Income Tax Returns in one single day. “This is the picture of New India where we are combating ourselves, challenging ourselves, changing ourselves for better ease of living. Public participation is our method, as an indicator of how deep democracy has percolated into our society. We have courage to be patient as we make efforts to grow.
But we also are impatient, eager to grow faster. We want to increase the pace of our growth,” the Prime Minister said. True, welfare of all is India’s creed, Modi asserted. But even as “we seek welfare, we also offer farewell to many wrong things. We have bid farewell to open defecation in our country, we have bid farewell to as many as 15,00 archaic laws, we have said farewell to old taxes and woven the whole country into one tax. We are bidding farewell to corruption. All this we are doing as part of our effort to build a transparent ecosystem. “And yes, we bid farewell to a seventy-year-old malady when we withdrew Article 370 of the Constitution from Kashmir. In one stroke, we reinstalled in Kashmir equality in all its dimensions in the national context,” Modi said as the audience kept cheering and standing up. And then the Prime Minister made an appeal: “Both the Houses of our Parliament saw an intense debate on the issue of Article 370, and passed the proposal.
I wish that all of you offer a standing ovation to our Members of Parliament”. Mesmerised by the Prime Minister’s words, the audience rose to its feet and clapped and clapped. Then Narendra Modi charmed the audience with one very well-worded statement: “Nine-eleven or 26/11, we all know where the perpetrators come from. This makes a great case for us to get engaged in an all-out war against terror. President Trump stands by India firmly on this count. Let us give him a standing ovation”.
The audience again obliged most willingly. Modi presented keys to Houston City on his arrival at ‘Howdy, Modi’ event: PRIME Minister Modi was on Sunday presented with the keys to the Houston City by its Mayor Sylvester Turner on his arrival at the ‘Howdy Modi’ mega event here as the mark of respect and the long standing India-Houston ties. After welcoming Modi at the event, Turner handed over the oversized keys to the city of Houston to him. At the event start of the event, Turner told the crowd that Houston is the most diverse city in the county. “In Houston, we say howdy in more than 140 languages,” Turner said, ‘and this morning we are saying howdy to Modi!’ About two dozen Governors and members of the US Congress are also attending the event. Houston has one of the largest concentration of the Indian-American community in the US.