oppn parties Howdy Modi: Diplomacy And Outreach

News Snippets

  • The government decides to decriminalize more than two-thirds of penal sections in the Companies Act
  • Muslim groups tell the Supreme Court that they want the Babri Masjid to be restored
  • Muslim groups claim that while they were asked questions in court, Hindus were not questioned
  • Postpaid mobile services restored in Jammu & Kashmir from today, but still no internet
  • Abhijit Banerjee, an Indian-American currently a professor at MIT, wins the 2019 Noble prize in economics jointly with two others
  • Industrial output slumps in August as the IIP shrinks by 1.1%
  • Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping watch a cultural show at the Shore Temple in Mamallapuram
  • J&K administration lifts the ban on entry of tourists in the Valley, but it remains doubtful how many will visit without being able to use mobile phones and internet
  • After Sena asks members to support the BJP candidate in Kalyan, 26 party corporators and 300 members resign setting off a crisis
  • The Centre sets up a 12-member committee to suggest systemic changes in the GST structure to improve compliance and collection, prevent misuse and evasion and rationalize rates and slabs
  • In line with the RBI outlook on the Indian economy, rating firm Moody's also downgrades growth forecast from 6.8% to 5.8% this year, saying the economy is experiencing a pronounced slowdown
  • HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh says the financial system in India does not offer foolproof security for misuse of the savings of the common man
  • Shivinder Singh and Malvinder Singh, promoters of Ranbaxy and Fortis, arrested for their role in Religare Finvest scam
  • Supreme Court says marriage can be dissolved if it has broken down irretrievably
  • DA of Central government staff hiked by 5% to 17%
Sourav Ganguly is the new president of BCCI, says conflict of interest is a big concern
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Howdy Modi: Diplomacy And Outreach

By A Special Correspondent

Prime Minister Modi has made it a habit to engage the Indian diaspora in all countries he officially visits. But the Howdy Modi event in Houston, USA assumed importance due to two reasons: one, it was to be the largest gathering of Indian-Americans to be addressed by a visiting Indian Prime Minister and two, it was to be attended by the President of the United States.

Modi had his compulsions: he needed to galvanize support for his government's policy on J&K and wanted to engage the politically-powerful and economically-strong Indian-Americans for the country's development. He was successful on both counts. The more than 50000-strong crowd cheered him on wildly when he spoke of terror spawned by a neighbouring country making it difficult for India to develop J&K.

Trump had his own compulsions. Indian-Americans have fast emerged as a powerful group that no presidential candidate can ignore, both for votes and campaign funding. Trump is facing a reelection in 2020 and by accepting Modi's invite for the event, he signaled to this group of Indians that he was with their country. (That he later chose to once again meddle in J&K, with Imran Khan by his side, by saying that he was ready to mediate if both countries agreed is another matter).

But the event achieved a lot. It showed the world that Narendra Modi's charisma was still intact with the diaspora. It showed that Donald Trump was still willing to show full support for the Indian position on J&K. It also showed that the Indians in America were solidly behind the government on its policies on J&K. The only discordant note was struck by four of the five Indian-origin Democrat members of the US Congress who chose to give the event a miss, highlighting their party's stand.