The rally in Houston, Texas on Sept. 22, called the Howdy Modi! was a momentous occasion. Islamic caps and turbans replaced the MAGA red caps. Thousands of cheering Indian Americans, women dressed in traditional garments danced to the beat of bhangra drums.
Spirits were high as people chanted “USA!” When President Trump appeared on stage with Indian Prime Minister, welcoming him to the rally, the atmosphere was electric. The football stadium that accommodates 50,000 was brimming over with cheering Indian Americans, there to catch a glimpse of India’s popular Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“You have never had a better friend as president than President Donald Trump,” Trump said as the crowd’s applause rose to a loud crescendo. “We thank you. We love you. I want you to know my administration is fighting for you each and every day.”
Modi was full of praise for President Trump, “His name is familiar to every person on the planet,” Modi said. “He was a household name and very popular even before went onto occupy the highest office in this great country … from CEO to commander in chief, from the boardroom to the Oval Office, from studio to the global stage. … He has left a deep and lasting impact everywhere,” he told his adoring fans reported Politico.
“It’s giving a message to the Indian community that Trump is a big friend of India,” said Rupesh Srivastava, a Michigan businessman and founding member of the Republican Hindu Coalition. “That message will definitely motivate people.”It was when the two leaders met at the G-7 summit in France in August, that Modi invited the president to attend the Houston rally with him.
“I’m very close to the folks from India,” the president told reporters on Sunday. “I love India, and I have a lot of respect and a great friendship with the prime minister of India, and he said, ‘Would it be possible to do it?’ And I said, ‘I’ll make it possible.'”
Following the Sunday rally, Modi tweeted on Sept. 23, it was a “watershed moment” between the two countries when the president appeared on stage, “The event was lively, showcasing the special features of Indian culture and accomplishments of the Indian diaspora,” Modi tweeted, sharing pictures from the grand event. “Moments from Houston that will always remain a part of my memory,” he wrote.
Indian Americans are among the fastest-growing group in the United States, and they have a high rate when it comes to voting.”These are your Indian American hotel owners, they’re your Indian American doctors, maybe retired doctors, who frankly like some of the president’s policies, right?” said Ohio state Rep. Niraj Antani, an Indian American Republican. “We are the most highly educated, highest-earning ethnic group in the country, so when we are talking about pro-growth policies, Republican policies work for them.”