oppn parties Howdy Modi: Diplomacy And Outreach

News Snippets

  • US House of Representative Foreign Affairs Committee chief, Elliot Engel, says "Chinese aggression" against India in Ladakh shows China is "willing to bully its neighbours"
  • Cyclone Nisagra expected to hit Mumbai with wind speeds of 100 kmph. The city placed on red alert
  • Monsoon hits Kerala, IMD says northern India too will get "good" rain
  • Moody's downgrades India's sovereign rating to Baa3, bringing it at par with other rating firms.
  • If the middle seat is used on flights, the passenger must be given a wrap-around cover in addition to mask and face shield, says the DGCA
  • The Union Cabinet approves many schemes for farmers, MSMEs and street vendors that were announced in the Covid-19 economic package
  • List of banned foreign items at Army canteens withdrawn after it was found that several Indian firms were also on the list
  • India and China seem to be headed for a longer stand-off at the border as the troops of both sides bring in heavy weaponry
  • The Centre has asked ISPs to block WeTransfer, which is now not available in India
  • Major shake-up in West Bengal BJP, those who switched to the party from the TMC given important posts
  • With 7573 new cases on Monday, India's total Covid-19 cases inch towards the 2-lakh mark
  • MSP of Kharif crops raised to increase the income of farmers
  • In a setback for aviation firms, jet fuel price has been increased by 48 percent
  • Terrorists strike on the outskirts of Srinagar, kill 2 BSF men
  • Alluding to the border dispute with India, Nepal PM says "Indian virus" is more dangerous than the Chinese or Italian virus
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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.