It is not common that the two heads of states of jointly address a large gathering- both of them cashing in on a diaspora which advocates strong ties between the two countries. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President of the US Donald Trump received a warm welcome at the NRG Stadium, packed with 50,000 Indian-American community waving tricolor and star- stripe flags, wearing Modi t-shirts and dancing to the tunes of Bollywood. Trade and other issues are on the verge of being resolved with the two countries looking to synergize the full potential of the relationship including in the area of counter-terrorism and Pakistani role and complicity which has been proven beyond doubt, opine experts.
According to Prof Rajan Kumar, School of International Studies, JNU, “The event underscored the growing confidence and muscle of the Indian diaspora in the US. Back home, such events dazzle the Indian audience who have come to believe that no previous leader projected Brand India, as well as Modi, does. The image of Modi on a foreign stage with the most powerful leader of the world sends a strong signal, and helps him in obscuring the critics who portray him as a centralizing and polarising leader.”
Modi delivered a characteristically passionate and witty speech, underscoring his achievements in economic reforms and connecting people to gas, electricity and bank accounts. He received ecstatic applause and a standing ovation when he commended Indian legislators for abrogating Art. 370.
“Yearning to court Indo-American votes, Trump praised the Indian American community for their hard work and promoting American values. He harped on lowering down the unemployment rate and taking strict measures against illegal immigrants. The significance of joining hands against terrorism was stressed by both the leaders,” Kumar adds.
In the opinion of Ambassador Anil Trigunayat, “The US industry would surely welcome the recent reduction in the corporate tax bringing to a globally attractive level especially as several US and Japanese majors are looking to relocate or diversify their base and India could be a viable and dependable base. This was the pitch PM Modi highlighted in his address to the huge and gigantic Diaspora in the US. The fact that President Trump chose to be at the event shows the immense clout Indian -American community has acquired across the political-economic knowledge spectrum. Trade and other issues are on the verge of being resolved with the two countries looking to synergize the full the potential of the relationship including in the area of counter-terrorism and Pakistani role and complicity which has been proven beyond doubt.
Trigunayat, Distinguished Fellow VIF, adds, “Houston is the energy hub of the US therefore meeting of PM Modi with the CEOs of major US Oil companies is a clear indication that India considers the US as a viable source of energy and related investments in this sector to ensure India’s energy security. We have begun to import energy/LNG and shale oil and gas from the US that has emerged as a major competitor to other traditional suppliers.”
Expressing his views, Prof Ajay Dubey, JNU, says “Big reversal of situation where invisible foreign hands like the US were feared in elections in India. This time it was ‘Ab ki bar Trump Sarkar’ directly and probably real worrisome for Democrats in coming US elections.
It also took the Indian Diaspora diplomacy to an unprecedented level. Jews will be worried to lose their lobbying ranking soon. Indian Diaspora across the world was told that India and its missions are there with renewed briefing and resources to help diplomats to address the concerns of Diaspora, points out, Dubey.
Diaspora through this historic unprecedented grand event not only spoke of their support to India but also to the US government that India cannot be just ‘self-appointed’ global power’ aspirant and the US has to play its supportive role, he adds.