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  • Progressives protesting against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit in Houston, Texas.

    Progressives protesting against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit in Houston, Texas. | Photo: Twitter / @Shehla_Rashid

Published 22 September 2019

It was the first time Narendra Modi, who heads the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, addressed a large crowd in the U.S., which is home to about 4 million Indian-Americans. 

The Indian far-right Prime Minister Narendra Modi endorsed the U.S. President Donald Trump for the 2020 Presidential elections during an event in Houston, Texas Sunday. 

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Modi and Trump shared a stage and showered each other with praise at "Howdy, Modi!" rally attended by over 50,000 people.

The U.S. leader hailed the India-U.S. relationship and the Indian-American community as he reached out to an ethnic group that voted overwhelmingly against him in 2016.

"You uphold our values, you uplift our communities and you are truly proud to be American and we are truly proud to have you as Americans," Trump the crowd.

Modi began his talk inside the NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans football team, with a loud, "Howdy my friends!"

In his remarks delivered in Hindi, Modi said that he was "impatient to take the country to new heights" and that "today the buzz word in India is development."

Houston is a rare Democratic stronghold in Republican-dominated Texas and serves as the economic anchor of a state that will be critical to Trump's 2020 re-election bid. Polls show tepid support by Indian-American voters, some 75 percent of whom voted for his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, in 2016.

It was the first time Modi, who heads the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, addressed a large crowd in the United States, which is home to about 4 million Indian-Americans including about 300,000 in Houston and nearby Dallas, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census data.

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Modi's visit to Houston comes ahead of this week's U.N. General Assembly in New York and amid a particularly tense time on the subcontinent.

The far-right PM has put Occupied Kashmir under lockdown since Aug.5 and arrested 4000 Kashmiris while abrogating its special status. His government stripped 1.9 million people of citizenship calling them “illegal aliens.”

Progressive Indian-Americans as well as other activists and liberals started a viral hashtag campaign #AdiosModi and held protests against his visit. ​​​​​​​

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