In what is being hailed as one of the largest ever receptions of a foreign leader in the United States, 'Howdy, Modi' — a rally organised in Houston, Texas to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the US — was marked by Donald Trump as a 'profoundly historic event', that was reportedly attended by over 50,000 people.
While Modi took centre-stage and spoke on a range of issues from Article 370 to even endorsing Trump with 'Abki Baar, Trump ki Sarkar', the US president also spoke about his "close friend".
The US media reacted to the first joint address by a US president and prime minister as Trump playing a "warm-up act" to Modi. Here's a look at how some of the international media organisations covered this massive rally.
The Washington Post
The Washington Post carried a report with the headline, 'Trump plays unusual role of warm-up act at massive Modi rally in Houston' marking how Trump was sidelined in the rally.
The Post further wrote: "The leaders of the world's two largest democracies took the stage together in Houston before a roaring crowd of tens of thousands of Indian Americans, where Modi delivered an unmistakable endorsement of Trump's presidency and cast their joint appearance in historic terms."
The New York Times
The New York Times in an opinion piece headlined, 'Don’t Mess With Modi in Texas', coined the rally as "a rah-rah Lone Star State show, boasting Indian-Texan cheerleaders". The article written by Roger Cohen discussed the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir at length. The article spoke about the political significance it had, saying how the US president 'chose to signal approval by standing side-by-side with the prime minister' on the Kashmir issue.
BBC covered the mega event with the headline: 'Howdy, Modi!': Trump hails Indian PM at 'historic' Texas rally. The article spoke about how Narendra Modi played 'personal-touch diplomacy' to perfection, with his trademark bear hugs. It also took notice of how Modi was the superstar in the rally, a rally with a size and zealous mass that Donald Trump 'loves'.
The article called the meeting a 'win-win' for both sides. It said: This rally has been called a win-win for both the leaders. For President Trump, it was a chance to court Indian-Americans for the 2020 presidential election race where Texas could emerge as a battleground state. For Mr Modi, a PR triumph and picture with the president of the United States may help him shrug off the criticism over his recent strong-arm policies at home.
Titled 'Howdy Modi': thousands of Indian Americans attend Trump rally', the Guardian went for a straight hour by hour coverage, discussing what each leader had said about India-US relations and highlighted key topics from the each leader's speeches.
They too described the event as one that the US president loves, by noticing how the event had the "feel of one of Trump’s campaign rallies, complete with a packed venue and a roaring crowd, and Trump treated it that way at times".
Qatar based television channel, Al Jazeera English, too took notice of Modi's remarks on Article 370 and wrote about the thousands of people, who stood outside the event venue in Houston, protesting against Modi over the alleged human rights violations in Kashmir.
Al Jazeera highlighted the similarities between the two leaders as people "who call themselves nationalists and are fond of fiery rallies" as the article discussed the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir and gave a brief break-down of events since 5 August. It also gave accounts of some of the demonstrators outside the event, who were protesting against the Kashmir lockdown.
USA Today article titled, 'The Trump-Modi bromance: What sparked it and what do each of them stand to gain?', drew resemblances from Modi' last visit to the US and called it as "prime minister's largest crowd since his rock concert-like rally at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 2014".
It too spoke about the similarities between the two leaders, saying how both were known for their 'brash styles, contempt for the news media and a predilection for 280-character missives to huge followings on Twitter.'
The Telegraph covered the event, taking notice of the two leader's 'fulsome tribute' to each other, and discussed their relationship. The article spoke about how they heaped praises on each other, with Trump describing Modi as “a great man, a great leader” and in turn Modi describing Trump as a “very special person” who “needs no introduction.”
Updated Date: Sep 23, 2019 12:00:31 IST