Modi Victory in India Touches Off Celebrations Across Houston

BY SARITA MEHTA

HOUSTON: The elections in India were a highly anticipated event for the local supporters of the incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party who had canvassed for him through calls to Indian voters through specially arranged phonebanks.

When the final results came in on Thursday, May 23 showing the landslide victory of the BJP and another term for Modi, many supporters saw the results live on television channels beamed into several gatherings across town, like at India House and VPSS, among others.

The results touched off huge victory celebrations the following days at hastily arranged venues across town, at India House, the Gandhi District in Little India on Hillcroft and at the VPSS and some local temples even distributed ladoos.

Victory Speeches at India House
By 6pm on May 23, India House Houston became a hub-bub of commotion as many local leaders and the organizers of groups aligned with the elections gathered together including from the Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) and NRIsb4 Modi, I care for India, GIM2019, Mission ModiForPm, and others. India House Executive Director Vipin Kumar compered the event, noting that the celebration was on behalf of various Indo- American organizations adding the center’s motto “My house, Your House, Our house, India House.”

Jugal Malani, the President of India House said very enthusiastically,”India is saved with the phenomenal victory of Modi ji” and highlighted the significance of Modi’s historic return to power. Ramesh Bhutada, a noted community leader gave a speech, as did other leaders Dr. Virender Mathur, Dr. Durga Aggarwal, Sarojini Gupta and her husband Subash, Hitesh Desai and Vijay Pallod. Kokila Shah and her husband Ramesh, both of whom had been campaigning for the BJP in Gujarat were back to celebrate the victory.

Congratulating Prime Minister Modi on his stunning election victory, Indo American Chamber of Greater Houston President Swapan Dhairyawan said,” We firmly believe that the country will prosper under the strong and proven leadership of Modi and indicated that this historic win will further enhance trade and economic growth between our two democracies”. IACCGH, the voice of Indo- American business community, has been instrumental in facilitating commerce between the US and India for the last two decades.

“Modiji’s victory is not merely a political victory, but it’s a direction of India towards development, growth and better governance, for everyone, not just a selective few.” Said Dr K D Upadhyaya, President of the International Hindi Association Houston Chapter and a Director of the India Culture Center.

This was echoed by Parul Fernandes, also a Director of the ICC. “The victory of Modiji is the sign of the conscious and collective opinion of the Indian people for the choice of change for the progress and uplifting of India” Kiran Shah , also of the ICC Board added “This victory has change the politics of caste, religion and vote bank to development and progress.”

“The BJP’s landslide reelection in India is another win for religious nationalism. Narendra Modi is headed towards the World’s Top leadership. Women, we are in safe hands now,” said Sangeeta Dua, the Women Coordinator for the OFBJP (Houston chapter).

Col. Raj Bhalla, also with the ICC and formerly with India House, said “It is great to have a second term of the Government led by Narendra Modi, a selfless man who feels the pain of the poor and the need of the nation. Watch a stronger India economically, militarily and at the world stage.

Gitesh Desai, President of Sewa International Houston and the 2019 Pravasi Bhartiya Samman Award exclaimed “I am very excited about people who have voted for Modiji to continue at the helm of affairs for its progress at home and success in the fast changing world. There is no leader better than Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji with vision and mission to lead India in the 21st century.”

Shobendu Prabhakar a Jones Scholar from Rice University stated “The reason why Indian people elected Shri Modi Again in 2019 Indian Lok Sabha election include- his nation first approach, his humility, his good understanding of common people and genuine efforts to solve their problems, his long term vision for India, and the hope that he raised among Indian people”.

Dancing in the Streets of Little India
The Overseas Friends of BJP hosted the Modi Victory Party last Thursday evening, May 23 from 8 to10pm, just hours after the results were announced in Indian. On the day of, Masala Radio blasted an invitation for the entire town to come to the Mahatma Gandhi District to celebrate the victory of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Those present from The OFBJP headed by Achalesh Amar included Raghuveer, Madhu Adi, Umang Mehta, Sangeeta Dua and many other volunteers coming together with last minute permission from Harry Sahni to use his Hilcroft Plaza for the parking lot party. This Celebration was attended by over 1500 in the heart of Mahatma Gandhi District.

Sudha Singh said, “This is such a positive election result for the progress of India, I had to come out and celebrate! The food was so delicious!”

The Plaza’s Biryani Factory generously served complimentary Biryanis, while Chowpatty Chaat served mouth-watering bhel puri and pani puri right outside his shop! Tru India served over 2000 dosas to a never-ending line of revelers, and Bollywood Chaat served Modi chai and pakoras.

Masala Radio brought energy and excitement with their Radio Jockeys leading shouts of “NAMO AGAIN!” “JAI HIND!” “Har MODI, Ghar MODI!” with electronic lights and sounds by DJ Nish. People ate, sang danced, and even did a little Garba (a Gujarati folk dance relating to Modi’s humble Gujarati background).”

Umang Mehta who helped give away 1000 NAMO AGAIN t-shirts, said “I am so happy that so many people came out on one day’s notice! Only Masala Radio could draw such a large partiotic turnout in such a short time!”

Blessings for the Victory at the VPSS Haveli on Sunday
Over 350 people came to the VPSS Haveli for the Modi Victory celebration coordinated by Achalesh Amar, Madhukar Adi, Raghuveer Reddy and Umang Mehta on Sunday evening, May 26. Adi and Megha Raja emceed the celebrations which started with Vandemataram and lamp lighting by distinguished guests,

The core team of volunteers included Gitesh Desai, Diyvendu Singh, Nilesh Sahi, Sonal Singh, Shalini Kapoor, Kinjal Raja, Gopal Agarwal, Neeta Chada, Umang Mehta, Sangeeta Dua, Anant Samdani, Sharad Amin, Veena Ambardar and Rajesh Danyak.

Chief guests at the event were Linda Howell, Fort Bend Republican party chairman; Andy Meyers, Fort Bend County Commissioner; Avnish Kumar Singh, VP BJP Avadh Region, Uttar Pradesh; Dr. Bapu Reddy BJP MP contestant, Nizamabad; Craig Tuttle of Congressman Pete Olson’s office; and other distinguished leaders from various supporting organizations in Houston

Amar gave the full global campaign report including callathons from 5 continents, 20 countries and 60 cities. He also shared how they were able to influence voters on ground in key constituencies. Adi shared how the campaign efforts that include callathons, social media work, short movies were executed, and sincerely appreciated the volunteers for sacrificing their personal time for a greater cause to ensure being part of India’s transformation journey under the leadership of Modi.

“Unexplored Ayodhya”, a short movie made by a few Houstonians was released and Avnish shared few campaign reports from UP Avadh region A Vote of Thanks was given by Sahi on behalf of Houston OFBJP to all sponsors, supporters, VPSS management, and other distinguished leaders.

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