Houston’s residents came together on September 23 to condemn the dastardly attack on 18 Indian soldiers by armed terrorists near Uri in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Indian-American protesters assembled in front of the consulate of Pakistan and denounced it for sponsoring terror globally. The protesters stood under the hot Texan sun holding placards that displayed “Pakistan – Ivy League of Terrorism” and “Pakistan stop exporting terrorists”. They also shouted slogans for freeing Balochistan from the violent occupation of Pakistan.
The protesters lauded the action of Congressman Ted Poe, the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, along with Congressman Dana Rohrabacher who have introduced a bill to designate Pakistan as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.
Signatures are also accumulating for a petition created on the White House petition page for the same
Large numbers of Indian-Americans also turned up at India House on September 25 to mourn the deaths of soldiers at Kashmir. Vipin Kumar, Executive Director of India House, an ex-army man reminded the audience that the reason civilians were leading normal, comfortable lives was that soldiers were braving adverse conditions without enough food or sleep as they guarded borders. “Our soldiers sacrifice their today for our better tomorrow,” he said. No eye was dry when pictures of the bodies of the dead soldiers coming home were shown on a big screen. Two other ex-army officers recounted the challenges of working in a war-zone. Calls of “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and “Vande Mataram” reverberated as everyone present acknowledged the immense debt to the motherland.
In the past, Greater Houston’s Indians have played a big role in mobilizing support for Narendra Modi during the elections in 2014. Dussehra, Diwali and Janmashtami are also celebrated on a grand Texan scale in Houston.