Indian Prime Minister Narendra and US President Donald Trump, on Sunday, addressed the “Howdy, Modi!” rally in Houston, while thousands of protestors gathered outside the venue to highlight the escalating humanitarian crisis faced by the people of Kashmir, who have been under curfew for the past 50 days.
Scores of protestors, including Sikhs, Kashmiris, Pakistanis, Indians, and Americans of various ethnicities took part in a mammoth anti-Modi demonstration, staged out the NRG Stadium. The protests demanded an end to the “racist Modi regime” and called India to put an end to the heinous human rights violations in the occupied Himalayan valley.
The air of Houston is filled with Modi-Hitler slogans.
Modi is a Hitler.
— PTI (@PTIofficial) September 22, 2019
Butcher of Humanity
Protestors included members from Houston’s Sikh, Kashmiri, Jewish, and Pakistani communities, while scores of Indian Americans and prominent human rights groups, also came out to record a strong protest against the barbaric lockdown imposed on the disputed territory of Kashmir.
A Sikh lady amongst the protestors said that Narendra Modi, the “butcher of humanity” is not welcome in America.
Top story: @PTIofficial: 'The butcher of humanity is not welcomed by the people of Houston or America. Racist Modi needs to know that he has no standing anywhere across the globe. #RowdyModi ' pic.twitter.com/SJInheW1Zs, see more https://t.co/Bvez6d65MT
— Pakistan Weekly News (@PakistanWeekly) September 23, 2019
Protestors of all gender, race, age, and color came out on the streets, carrying placards and banners with slogans demanding an end to Modi’s racist regime, and highlighting the brutalities of the Hindu supremacist government in India.
"The people united will never be defeated" ~ @FriedrichPieter
and others drum up a lively beat, while a placard at the back says, "We won't give up"#AdiosModi #UnjailKashmir #KashmirBleeds #HowdyModi #Houston pic.twitter.com/CS5NWjgAG6
— Shehla Rashid شہلا رشید (@Shehla_Rashid) September 22, 2019
Ali Amin Gandapur, the Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs & Gilgit Baltistan, also joined the protest alongside the Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora. Speaking to the Voice of America, Gandapur said, “I am here in a personal capacity. I have been here for the past three days, and had multiple meetings with people from the Pakistani-American community.”
I was there. I was part of the AJA/IAMC protest. It was diverse and dynamic and even had the founder of Houston Black Lives Matter. The other groups were less diverse as far as I could see.
He added, “I am immensely proud of all the communities who have come out to launch a protest in support of the 70-year long struggle of Kashmir on the day when Modi is here to address a rally. They are sending a message to the world that we want peace, we want justice to the world.”
ہمارا اقوام عالم سے مطالبہ ہے کہ کشمیر پر اقوام متحدہ کی قراردادوں پر عمل کروایا جائے اور ان قرارداودوں پر عمل کروانے تک ہماری تحریک جاری رہے گی۔۔وفاقی وزیر امور کشمیر و گلگت بلتستان علی امین گنڈا پور کی ہوسٹن میں وائس آف امریکہ سے خصوصی گفتگو۔۔۔#RowdyModi @AliAminKhanPTI pic.twitter.com/aVW2rSFcNN
— PTI Azad Kashmir (@PTIAJK_Official) September 23, 2019
The Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs said that these protestors are sending a message to the world that we are rejecting the ideology of Modi, RSS, and the Nazi party. He said, “They are sending a message to the US President Trump that we are your people, we voted for you and we want you to stand with justice in the world, we want you to stand with peace in the world.”
The protest was also joined by scores of Americans, and human rights organizations in Houston. A member of the Houston United Front against Fascism shared that her organization is at the event to declare that “Modi is not welcome here, Trump is not welcome here, and we stand against genocide, and systematic oppression.”
She said, “Even though I myself, I’m not Indian, I’m not Punjabi, and I’m not from the Kashmir region, but I can recognize when this needs to stop.”
You don’t have to be Kashmiri, Indian, Punjabi, Muslim, or Hindu to protest against Fascism. This young lady is braver than the elected officials, including democrats, who attended the despicable “Howdy Modi” rally #AdiosModi pic.twitter.com/MTxDXyeY3x
— Sumbz (@a_sumbel) September 22, 2019
Pakistani & Khalistani Flags
Pakistani, Kashmiri and Sikh diaspora poured out from other US states and Texan cities to attend the protest, and a mammoth crowd of over 30,000 protestors gathered outside the venue of Modi’s “Howdy, Modi!” rally.
An Indian protestor, sharing an eye-witness account with GVS, said that the protest was a dynamic event, and it was dominated by people from all walks of life who had stepped out to raise their voice for the Kashmiri struggle for freedom.
The Indian protestor said, “I was there. I was part of the AJA/IAMC protest. It was diverse and dynamic and even had the founder of Houston Black Lives Matter. The other groups were less diverse as far as I could see.”
He added, “The only negatives were that some people (who were carrying flags for Pakistan and Khalistan) took exception to our carrying Indian flags. Overall it was a truly incredible event and I was really proud to be among such committed activists.”
The protestor continued, “One of the sadder consequences of the blows rained by Modi-Shah on the status, dignity, and very existence of the people of Kashmir is the virtual obliteration of the already shrunken space for a positive view of the idea of India as a constitutional democracy among Kashmir’s people. The presence of Pakistani flags or pro-Pakistan sentiments among a section of the protestors is understandable in that context.”
— PTI Peshawar (@PTIPeshawar) September 22, 2019