Udayavni Special

‘Howdy, Modi’ event in Houston to showcase influence of Indian-American community

PTI, Aug 28, 2019, 4:10 PM IST

Houston: “Howdy, Modi!”, the event to be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here next month will showcase the influence of the Indian-American community, the organisers said.

Filling the giant stadium to capacity, Indian-Americans from all walks of life, along with their mainstream American friends will attend the mega summit and celebrate their tremendous success and the deepening US-India economic and political ties, the host Texas India Forum (TIF), a Houston-based non-profit body, said.

“Howdy”, short for ‘How do you do?’, is a friendly greeting commonly used in southwestern United States.

A history-making audience of over 50,000 people have already registered for the event to be held at the sprawling NRG Stadium on September 22, the organisers said.

The crowd turnout is expected to be the largest for any Indian Prime Minister and the largest for a democratically elected foreign leader in America.

The event will showcase the strength and clout of the Indian-American community, dubbed by policy makers as the as “model” immigrants, highly educated and successful community in the US, the organisers said.

“The Indian-Americans are not just an educated and wealthy community today but have fast become an organised, powerful voting bloc with a unified voice, and national political and policy aspirations. The impact of the community today is palpable in American politics and business,” said Gitesh Desai, spokesperson for the event.

“The rise of Indian-Americans today is intricately woven into the rise of America,” said Desai.

The “Howdy, Modi!” event has been broadly supported by organisations representing various communities in India as well as leading social service organisations, charities, university alumni groups, professional societies, and religious organisations.

According to Pew Research, median annual household income for Indian Americans in 2010 was USD 88,000, much higher than for all Asian Americans (USD 66,000) and all US households (USD 49,800).

Sixty-eight per cent of the India-born immigrants have college degrees. Indian-Americans also form the second largest group of physicians after non-Hispanic whites (3.9 per cent) according to the 1990 survey.

“It is a testament for their passion for India, their success in the United States, the power of the community to come together, and their contribution and hopes for the US-India bond to continue to prosper in future,” said Rishi Bhutada, spokesperson for the event.

This will be Modi’s third major address to the Indian-American community after he became the prime minister in 2014 and the first after his re-election in May.

The previous two were at the Madison Square Garden in New York in 2014 and the Silicon Valley in 2016. Both the events were attended by more than 20,000 people.

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