San Jose, Sep 28 (IANS) Hoping to recreate the magic of New York’s Madison Square Garden on the West coast, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the San Jose’s SAP Centre to address a mammoth crowd of Indian diaspora.
The organisers have promised that Sunday night’s Silicon Valley reception would rival that of the New York event where the people of Indian origin gave him a rock star like reception.
More than 45,000 people had registered for free passes for the event at the 18,000-seat SAP Centre. The rest will be watching the event on massive television screens that have been put up outside.
As at the Madison Square Garden, Modi will address the people from a rotating stage at SAP Centre with comedian Rajiv Satyal and actress Ashvini Bhave hosting the event.
SAP Center is an indoor arena located in San Jose that is also called Shark Tank and home to San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League.
Its capacity is similar to that of Madison Square Garden Big Apple that houses the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League.
A colourful cultural show with traditional Indian dance performances and songs by singer Kailash Kher was held inside the giant stadium as people awaited Modi’s arrival.
A short film “Namami Gange” was also shown to spread the word about Modi government’s ‘Clean Ganga’ mission.
Outside a group of colourfully dressed people from his home state held aloft a poster saying “Kem Chho. Gujarati Samaj of Sacramento welcomes PM Modi”.
“PROUD Gujju. Modi Loves Dhokla and Thepla,” read another hand-written poster.
Modi came to the event after a busy day starting with a townhall question and answer session with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company’s Menlo Park headquarters.
“We had a great discussion about India’s future, the value of social media and the importance of family,” Zuckerberg posted on his Facebook after the event.
Modi then went to Googleplex where he talked with Google CEO Sundar Pichai about the transformation in technology as he grew up in India.
“Technology has become a huge power for democracy. And I can see the benefits of this technology through the Narendra Modi app,” he said.
Modi also attended a roundtable on renewable energy and addressed the Startup-Konnect programme showcasing India’s start-up ecosystem to potential partners in Silicon Valley.