Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday addressed over 50,000 Indian-Americans in Houston, Texas at the 'Howdy, Modi!' event. At the mega function, which was also attended by US President Donald Trump, PM Modi highlighted his government's welfare programmes in India. He also talked about India's decision to scrap special status to Jammu and Kashmir, saying that now people of the state have the same rights as other Indians. Pakistan, which has opposed India's move in Kashmir, also came under a sharp attack in PM Modi's speech. Without naming the country, he said that they have made hatred towards India the centre of their agenda. "They support terror, they harbor terrorists. Not just you, the whole world knows who these people are," PM Modi said. PM Modi arrived in Houston on Saturday on a week-long tour to the United States. The next big thing on PM Modi's agenda is the bilateral meeting with President Donald Trump on Tuesday.
Highlights of PM Modi's speech at 'Howdy, Modi' event in Houston, United States:
Good morning Houston, good morning Texas, good morning America. Greetings to my fellow Indians in India and around the world. Friends, this morning, we have a very special person with us. He needs no introduction.
His name comes up in almost every conversation in the world on global politics. His every word is followed by tens of millions. He was a household name and very popular even before he went on to occupy the highest office in this great country.
From CEOs to Commander in Chief, from boardrooms to the oval office, from studios to the global stage, from politics to the economy and to security, he has left a deep and lasting impact everywhere. Today, he is here with us. It is my honour and privilege to welcome him here in this magnificent stadium and magnificent gathering.
And I can say is that I had a chance to meet him often and every time I found the friendliness, the warmth, the energy of the President of the United States of America, Mr Donald Trump. This is extraordinary. This is unprecedented.
Thank you President Trump, thanks a lot. Howdy, my friends?
This scene, this atmosphere...it is unimaginable.
And when it comes to Texas, everything has to be bigger and spectacular. The spirit of Texas is reflecting here today. This giant human surge is not limited to arithmetic. Today, we are witnessing a new history being made and a new chemistry too.
The energy of NRG is witness to the growing synergy between India and the US.
President Trump coming here, different representatives - Democrats and Republicans - and saying so much for me, wishing me, it is a grand salute to the Indians living in the US. It is a salute to 1.3 billion Indians.
So if you ask me Howdy, Modi? My answer is: Everything is great in India.
Friends, our American friends must be amazed by what I said. President Trump and my American friends, all I said was 'everything is fine'. But in a few different languages from India, which are a symbol of liberal and democratic society. In our country, different languages have co-existed for thousands of years. And not just languages, different cultures, appearances have made our country diverse.
Unity in diversity is our heritage, it is our specialty. It is the proof of our vibrant democracy. This is our power, our inspiration. Wherever we go, we take the principles of diversity and democracy along with us.
Many of you participated in the biggest festival of democracy, the 2019 general election. 61 crore voters participated in the election. The highest number of women voters voted in this election and the highest number of women have been elected. Why did it happen? No, not because of Modi. It happened because of Indians.
Patience is the identity of Indians but now we are impatient for India's progress.
We are challenging ourselves, we are changing ourselves. Today, India wants to go ahead at a greater pace. Today, India is challenging those who believe nothing can change. In the last five years, 130 crore Indians have achieved things which no one could have even imagined. We are aiming high, we are achieving higher.
Today, rural sanitation is at 99 per cent. Cooking gas connections used to be 55 per cent, within 5 years, we have brought it to 95 per cent. In just 5 years, we have given gas connections to 15 crore people.
Today, they say data is the new oil. When it comes to oil, you people of Houston know it very well. I will even say data is the new gold. Industrial Revolution 4.0 is all about data. Today, the cheapest data is available in India. Today, 1 GB data costs just 25-30 cents in India.
We have bid farewell to Article 370. Article 370 had kept people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh away from progress and rights. Terrorists and separatists were using it to their advantage. Now people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have the same rights as every Indian.
Both houses of parliament debated this for hours, and it was telecast live. Even though we don't have majority in the upper house, but still both the houses cleared the motion with two-third majority. I request you to give a standing ovation to the lawmakers of India.
What India is doing has troubled some people who can't even manage their own country. They have made hatred towards India the centre of their agenda. They support terror, they harbor terrorists. Not just you, the whole world knows who these people are. Whether it is the 9/11 attack in America or the 26/11 attack in Mumbai, where are its conspirators found?
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. I want you to give a standing ovation to his resolve as well.
We are going to spend $1.3 trillion on infrastructure. India's growth rate has averaged 7.3 per cent in the last five years. This has never happened before. For the first time there is low inflation, high growth.
I hope to have some positive results from my talks with President Trump over the next few days. While he calls me a tough negotiator, he is a master of the art of the deal.
Mr President, I invite you to come to India with your family.