HOUSTON (Diya TV) — For world leaders, shaking hands with President Donald Trump has become a practice akin to the elaborate military drill on Wagah border. Not so much for Prime Minster Narendra Modi. The Trump-Modi camaraderie of banters, hugs, and viral hand-slapping is one more reason that the 50,000 strong crowd is excited to witness the historic ‘Howdy Modi’ community summit on September 22.
A community summit is just that: leaders of the community, politicians, corporates and all supporters of a common cause coming together to collaborate and celebrate. With the tagline ‘Shared Dreams, Bright Futures,’ the event will promote relations that go beyond the ‘America First’ and ‘Make in India’ policies that have often strained diplomatic encounters between the two countries. There couldn’t have been a better venue than Houston, Texas, for all purposes of this event
Slick for Oil
As the second largest state in the U.S., by population and GDP, Texas has significant trade relations with India. India is Houston’s 4th largest trading partner—just behind Brazil, China, and Mexico. The biggest exports from Texas are chemicals, petroleum, and coal. With constantly rising all prices, energy security is a major concern for the Prime Minister. Tellurian, natural gas company headquartered in Houston, is one of the major sponsors of the event.
Indian Diaspora’s ‘Shared Dreams’
The greater Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth areas have a thriving Indian American community with influential presence across various sectors of the economy. It is a significant voting bank for the Republican governed state to influence for the 2020 elections.
“At a time in the world where there is so much disunity, I think promoting unity between people and cultures in the world is a great thing,” says Robert Adams, a cross cultural training consultant and YouTuber (Chai & Coaching) Over 150,000 Indian Americans live in the Houston metro area alone. Socio-cultural ties are a dominant way in which the community preserves its heritage while away from India. The cultural events preceding Modi’s address will showcase performances executed entirely by the Indian American community.
Indian Students, the ‘Bright Future’
Several Indian student associations in the US have partnered with the organizers, Texas India Forum, for the event. “The atmosphere in UT Dallas is pretty electric at this point. 6 to 8 buses will be leaving Sunday morning.” says Anirudh Ashok, a student at UT Dallas.
Regardless of political outcomes, this community summit is historic in the ways it will determine a new narrative that emerges about the world’s largest democracy on a platform offered by the world’s oldest democracy.
“Today’s youth is very aware of all the politics. My friends who were not involved in politics have started reading more and realize that Mr. Modi is doing great things for the country,” says Ashok.
Many individuals and groups have chosen to ignore or protest the event. But for those who will be a part of this momentous event, and for Trump and Modi, the show must go on, literally.