Modi in Huston
PM Modi with a delegation of the Kashmiri Pandit community in Houston. Photo: Twitter

Ahead of Howdy Modi, PM chats, chants 'shlokas' with Indian diaspora

Ahead of the much-awaited ‘Howdy Modi’ event in the US on Sunday (September 22), Prime Minister seems to have already kicked off the celebrations by meeting and interacting with people from various Indian communities in Houston. Modi is expected to address more than 50,000 Indian Americans in the event.

Twitter on Sunday (Indian time) was sprinkled with tweets and photos of the prime minister cuddling an Indian baby, chanting shlokas or getting draped in a shawl by Indian Americans who greeted him ahead of the event.

Also read: Howdy Houston, says Modi; to address Indian Americans today 

According to reports, the PM had a ‘special interaction’ with a 17-member delegation of Kashmiri Pandits and assured them of ‘building a new Kashmir’ which would be for everyone. The delegation included Kashmiri Pandits from across the US.

“Kashmir mein naee hava beh rahee hai (new winds are blowing in Kashmir) and we will all build a new Kashmir together that will be for everyone,” he told the delegation.

The Indian government on August 5 revoked the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into two union territories.

Modi also thanked the community for their patience for over 30 years.

“I had a special interaction with Kashmiri Pandits in Houston,” Prime Minister Modi later tweeted.

Earlier, MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted that the Kashmiri Pandits expressed support for the steps taken by the Indian government for the progress of India. The delegation thanked the prime minister for the move and said that their 700,000 community members were “indebted” to his government.

The delegation also presented a memorandum to Modi, requesting him to set up a task force under the Indian Home Ministry to bring the community together, develop the region and repatriate Kashmiri Pandits.

“Modi Ji brought smiles to the faces of our Kashmiri Pandit delegation, by promising a new Kashmir that we will build together, for everyone,” Rajiv Pandit, who was part of the delegation, said.

The prime minister also met a delegation of the Dawoodi Bohra community later in the day.

“The Dawoodi Bohra community has distinguished itself across the world. In Houston, I had the opportunity to spend time with them and speak about a wide range of issues,” Modi tweeted.

The delegation members recalled PM Modi’s visit to Indore last year to attend a programme of their community and also highlighted his association with Syedna Sahib.

Members of the Sikh community too met Modi on his arrival in Houston. “I had an excellent interaction with the Sikh Community in Houston. I am delighted to see their passion towards India’s development!” Modi tweeted.

The MEA spokesperson said the Prime Minister interacted with the members of the Sikh community, during which they congratulated him on some of the path-breaking decisions taken by the Indian government.

Representatives of Sindhi, Baloch and Pashto groups too have gathered in Houston to hold a demonstration in front of the NRG stadium on Sunday (September 22) to draw the attention of Prime Minister Modi and US President Donald Trump to demand freedom from Pakistan.

Donald Trump is expected to deliver a major, 30-minute speech on India and Indian Americans at the “Howdy, Modi!” event.

Trump, who as a Republican presidential candidate in 2016 promised to be India’s best friend, is flying to Houston only to attend the event. As per the schedule released by the White House on late Saturday night, Trump will spend 100 minutes at the NRG Stadium.

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