Over 50,000 people packed the NRG Stadium in Houston recently for an event with President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The “Howdy, Modi!” rally, mostly consisting of members of the Indian diaspora, is the largest event in history for a foreign leader on American soil.
Throughout the event, the relationship between the leaders of the world’s two largest democracies was warm. Modi, taking the stage to rapturous applause, introduced Trump as “my friend, a friend of India, a great American president.”
Trump expressed a similar sentiment, praising Modi as “one of America’s greatest, most devoted, and most loyal friends.”
Modi stated that every time he has met with Trump, the president has been “warm, friendly, energetic and accessible.” Modi added, “I admire him for his sense of leadership and passion for America.”
“This atmosphere is unprecedented and extraordinary,” said Modi. “When you talk of Texas … everything is on a grand scale. I’m seeing a new history being made, and a new chemistry also.”
Issues addressed included the two countries’ fight against Islamic terrorism and the increasing interconnectedness of their economies.
“India has never invested in United States like it is doing today, and I want to say it is reciprocal because we are doing the same thing in India,” said Trump. “Prime Minister Modi, I look forward to working with you to make our countries even more prosperous.”
Reflecting the intensifying dispute between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region, Modi alluded to Pakistan’s harboring of terrorists.
“Whether it is the 9/11 attack in America or the 26/11 attack in Mumbai, where are its conspirators found?” Modi asked. “The time has come for a decisive fight against terrorism and those who support terrorism. I want to stress here that President Trump is standing firmly against this.”
Modi followed his remarks by asking the crowd to applaud Trump for the “firmness he shows in the fight against terror.”
The event ended with Modi extending a special invitation to Trump.
“President Trump, I want you to come to India with your family,” the prime minister said. “Our friendship will take our shared dreams and our vibrant future to new heights.”