“Howdy Modi”: “Hello” To the Butcher of Gujarat


There were tons of hopes, fears, qualm and speculations conjecturing on a single event. Given the circumstances, understandably, it was channeling excessive excitement. So when on the closing hours of the evening of 27th, once a man dawning all blue took to the podium of United Nations general assembly session 2019, it finally hit the crescendo. Prime Minister Imran Khan rose to the occasion. He came, he spoke and he plundered. If you are one Narendra Modi, it was not a pretty sight for you.

In the backdrop of worsening Pakistan India relations, which after 5 August 2019’s unilateral action of revocation of the Article 37A by BJP led government, hit a new all-time low. Pakistan’s initial response to this blatant assault on Kashmiris was of awe but later it started to become structured and the situation escalated quickly with the expulsion of Indian diplomatic staff, an increase in border skirmish between the two countries and most importantly PM Imran Khan’s uncanny verbal barrage of criticism of Modi and his dark Hindutva agenda. An agenda based on the racial purity, an agenda similar to that of the Nazis.

Considering the calamity of the situation, anticipation was that at this year’s UNGA session something big is about to happen. Something rudimentary in nature, which in a long time never happened before. So general realization was that something has to give. And it did. One cannot remember when the last time somebody was called Hitler from a United Nations podium.  Therefore, everyone who has an iota of interest in South Asia affairs was longing to see what Premier of Pakistan has to say on the largest forum of international leaders. Though most delegations “opted” to be absent during Prime Minister’s speech but it didn’t matter, Khan had the floor & millions were watching.

PM Khan raised the significant global issues concerning developing countries like climate change, money laundering and presence of tax havens in the western world, but the crown jewel of his speech was his stance on growing Islamophobia in the west and an aggressive posture on the issue of Kashmir. In his speech, there was no sweet wrapping or half measures when it came to highlighting either West’s double standards about hate speech or their silence of the Indian atrocities in the occupied region and exposing the diabolical design behind it i.e. RSS and Hindutva.

There are some questions such as, Ok speech was good, now what? What immediate impact it had on the world? Did they all rose up to stop Muslim atrocities across the globe? Did they feel ashamed on their silence on the plight of Philistine, Kashmir, and Rohingyas? Answers to these question are, No it will not make an immediate impact, no, it will not liberate Kashmir immediately, No, west will not change their ways overnight. However, what this speech does is that for the first time in decades someone from the Muslim world pleaded their case to the West in their own frame of references. That is something.

In BBC 4’s Speeches That Shook the World, poet Simon Armitage said a speech should appeal not just to the head, but also to the heart and guts. What Prime Minister Imran Khan said in United Nations had all these qualities, As Ones who listened to Khan’s speech with open mind, felt their heart and souls touched by it and of course, Modi was the one who was gutted. PM Khan’s objective was to strip the façade of secular India and unclothe the filthiness of Hindutva masked behind a market of 1.2 billion. Hindutva, a supremacist ideology that is reigning India, an ideology, Narendra Modi is the living manifestation of.

Hence, it is safe to say that on a world stage, PM Khan was successful in achieving his objectives. With all darkness of his past, Narendra Modi was badly exposed. Now the world can recognize the real Modi, they will remember that; not on 22 September but on 27th, not in Huston, Texas but the actual “Howdy, Modi” event was held at UNGA in New York where Khan said “Hello”. 

Ahsan Malik is an IT professional with a passionate & candid version of his own on national and international issues relating to Pakistan, he tweets @MohdAhsanMalik and can be reached at m.ahson.malik@gmail.com

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