New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his ‘Howdy, Modi’ mega-event in Houston highlighted the Kashmir issue and said Indian has bid farewell to Article 370 as it was blocking the development of people in Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

“Article 370 had deprived people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh of development. Terror and separatist elements were misusing the situation. Now people there have got equal rights,” he said.

He said that the right time has come for a decisive battle against terrorism and against those who promote terror. “I want to stress on the fact that in this fight, President Trump is standing firmly with India,” he said.

“Be it the 9/11 in the United States or 26/11 in Mumbai, where are the conspirators found? Time has come for a decisive battle against terrorism and those who encourage terrorism,” he further added.

He said India is challenging the mindset of some people who believe that – nothing can change. “Now we are aiming high and we are achieving higher,” he added.

Talking about the importance of various languages in India, Modi said these languages are the important identity of the democratic society of the country.

“Our various languages are an important identity of our liberal and democratic society. For centuries our nation has been moving forward with dozens of languages and hundreds of dialects. Diversity is the foundation of our vibrant democracy,” he said.

He said on October 2, when India will celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, India will bid farewell to open defecation. “In the last 5 years, we have bid farewell to 1,500 archaic laws,” he said.

He said ‘ease of living’ is as important as ‘ease of doing business’ and for that empowerment is important. “When the common citizen is empowered, then the nation moves forward on the path of social and economic development,” he added.

Talking about the recent announcement on corporate tax slash, PM Modi said when he met the CEOs of energy sector all of them looked excited by India’s decision to slash corporate tax.

“I met CEOs of energy sector yesterday, they all looked excited by India’s decision to slash corporate tax. They gave feedback that this decision has sent a positive message in not only India but among global business leaders, this will make India more competitive globally,” he said.

At the beginning of the event, PM Modi was given the key to Houston after his arrival at the NRG Stadium. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner presented a large and golden cut-out of the key to PM Modi just after he reached the stage for the mega event. The key was given as a gesture of recognition of the unique relationship shared between India and the US.