SJS students say “Howdy!” to Indian Prime Minister


Rahul Rupani

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to crowds at NRG Stadium.

Mehak Batra and Rahul Lal

Crowds began to gather at NRG Stadium as early as 7 a.m. until some 50,000 people had arrived. Cheers of “Modi, Modi, Modi!” echoed the stadium as South Asians performed cultural dances to classical Indian music. 

A handful of students turned up at the so-called “Howdy Modi” event on Sept. 22 which featured Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and included a subsequent rally for President Donald Trump. At the same time, a counterrally run by the city’s Pakistani population occurred which opposed Modi’s historic advocacy for Hindu nationalism. 

“It was a great celebration of Indian nationalism and American nationalism,” senior Ishan Shah said. “It was special to see them come together and blend.” 

Freshman Rohit Reddy said he was shocked at the size of the Indian-American crowd in attendance but also proud. More than 150,000 Indian Americans live in Houston. His reaction upon learning about the rally, he said, “He’s coming to Houston. It’s my city.”

The event showcased Houston’s ethnic diversity. 

“It’s a milestone,” Reddy said. “It has shown how Houston has grown as a city and how diverse it has become through immigration.”