Indian-American supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi are eagerly waiting for his visit, his first after his resounding victory in the May general elections. Modi, who arrives in the U.S. on Sept. 20, is scheduled to address a rally in Houston, the following day. Organizers say that over 50,000 people have already registered for the event and several are still on the waiting list.
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There is a widespread support among the Indian-American community for India’s decision to revoke Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Along with abolishing a provision that allowed Jammu and Kashmir to have its own flag and constitution, the government also moved a separate bill to split the state into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Representatives of various Indian-American organizations joined in the euphoria over Narendra Modi’s re-election. While some lauded Modi for his development agenda, others said they hoped the prime minister focuses in advancing pluralism and religious freedom. Some minority groups expressed concern over Modi’s election, calling it a “threat to the Constitution of India.”
The Indian-American and Indo-Caribbean communities in the U.S. mourned the death of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who died Aug. 16 in New Delhi.
The recent brutalities against three young girls in India have once again rocked the country, with protests and rallies across towns and cities and college campuses. Holding placards and shouting slogans, thousands have taken to the streets to protest the gang-rape of 8-year-old Asifa Bano by eight Hindu men. The little girl was later killed in the Kathua region of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Overseas Friends of the Bharatiya Janata Party has welcomed the recent changes made in electoral laws by the Government of India to permit non-resident Indians to cast their vote in assembly and Lok Sabha elections from overseas.