Despite reports of heavy rains and flooding in Houston, Texas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set address over 50,000 Indian-Americans in the city's NRG Stadium on 22 September at the 'Howdy, Modi!' event.
The event is being hosted by the Texas India (TI) Forum. United States president Donald Trump will be in attendance, making it the first time that the two leaders will meet outside Washington DC and New York. "It will be a great opportunity to emphasise the strong ties between the people of the United States and India, to reaffirm the strategic partnership between the world's oldest and largest democracies, and to discuss ways to deepen their energy and trade relationship," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said.
A special gesture by @POTUS, signifying the special friendship between India and USA!
Delighted that President @realDonaldTrump will join the community programme in Houston on the 22nd.
Looking forward to joining the Indian origin community in welcoming him at the programme.
" Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 16, 2019
Modi be addressing not only the largest ever live audience for an Indian prime minister in North America, but also for a foreign dignitary in the US, apart from Pope Francis. US House majority leader, Steny Hoyer, Indian-origin Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, senator Ted Cruz, US representatives Al Green and Sheila Jackson along with Texas governor Greg Abbott will also attend the mega event
'Howdy,Modi!' is a free event that got sold out on 21 August. University students, however, continued to enrol till 29 August as part of a special allotment. The summit is supported by more than 1,000 volunteers and 650 Texas-based Welcome Partner organisations.
The event, with a tagline 'Shared Dreams, Bright Futures', will kick off at 8.30 pm IST and 10 am local time at the NRG stadium and will be streamed on Narendra Modi's YouTube channel.
This is the third such event to be attended by PM Modi ever since he took over the office of the Prime Minister in 2014. In September 2014, Modi had hosted a massive gathering of over 19,000 people at the Madison Square Garden in New York. Next year, another mega event was hosted at San Jose.
The event will include a cultural program and an address by PM Modi. A 90-minute cultural program titled 'Woven: The Indian-American Story', featuring 400 artistes and community members from Texas and across the US, is going to be performed to celebrate the contributions of Indian-Americans to the cultural and social landscape of the United States.
Official statement from the Texas India Forum: We can confirm that @POTUS will be addressing #HowdyModi on Sept 22 with @PMOIndia at @nrgpark.. @narendramodi @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/Cqy6Ppb3bp
" Texas India Forum (@howdymodi) September 15, 2019
Two original songs have been written for the event, which will trace the journey of the Indian-American youth. 27 groups are performing at the event. The 'Howdy, Modi!' event will be three hours long, according to NDTV. The event will have simultaneous English translation available for everyone to listen to at the stadium via their smartphones.
The NRG Stadium is one of America's largest professional football stadiums, and is home to the Houston Texans franchise, and held the Super Bowl in 2017. The local weather department said that there might be a possibility of rain caused by the tropical storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. There may be heavy rain in parts of Texas and Louisiana in the coming days, it said.
Modi will travel to New York from September 23 to 27. On September 27, the Prime Minister will attend the United Nations General Assembly, along with other world leaders. While in Houston, Modi will also hold a roundtable meeting with CEOs and top executives of US energy companies.