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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Shanghai | Coastweek

SHANGHAI China (Xinhua) -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Shanghai for a visit May 15. XINHUA PHOTO - PEI XIN


Prime Minister Modi: 'Rock Star' woos and wows Indian Diaspora

NEW DELHI -- During his first year in office Indian Prime Minister Modi has wooed and wowed the overseas Indians, writes Swami Anand Kul Bhushan Kulive Kulove Kulaugh.

The Indian Diaspora is a major constituency and support for Prime Minister Narendera Modi.

During his visits abroad since taking over the reins of the government a year ago, Modi has reinforced his rapport with overseas Indians in most of the countries he has toured.

Significantly, he built on the close and personal relations he had with many overseas Indians as the Chief Minister of Gujarat.

Attending to their long standing grouses, he offered them many sops.

During this period, Modi toured abroad to attract Gujarati and also overseas Indians’ investments to Gujarat.

After becoming Prime Minister, he promoted the entire subcontinent as an attractive destination for overseas Indians to visit, invest and contribute their skills and expertise.

Significantly, he has also addressed their long standing complaints about speedy short term visas, lifelong visas by offering Overseas Indians Citizenship (OIC), granting visas for Non-Indians spouses and visa on arrival facility for the American citizens and electronic arrival authorisation.

He merged Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and OIC to create a single category by removing the discrepancies and helping those whose spouses are of different nationality.

NRIs will not report to the police if they stay in India for long periods.

Visa applications can be made electronically and visa processing has been outsourced to issue faster and hassle free visas.

These benefits followed the intense lobbying for Modi before India’s general elections by overseas Indians in their countries of residence.

No Indians election has generated more interest among the 27 million overseas Indians than the latest one.

Overseas Indians seem to have a stake in Modi’s victory as they were fed up of the non-stop news of massive corruption scandals, lethargic government response and a docile foreign policy.


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum | Coastweek

BEIJING (Xinhua) -- TIME TRAVELLER: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum in Xi'an, capital of northwest Shaanxi Province. Modi has been on an official visit to China. XINHUA PHOTO - DING HAITAO


Modi set the tone for his government by declaring that he would implement proactive policies.

And he has.

Most political analysts comment that he has given an edge to India’s foreign policy.

His coming out appearance for overseas Indians happened in New York when Madison Square Garden overflowed with American ‘desi’ Indians as he was dubbed the rock star after his hour-long off-the-cuff speech that had everyone spell bound and rooting for him.

Here was the new face and dynamic energy of India as Modi urged them to help develop their mother or grandmother land.

This is not a new message from all former Indian leaders to overseas Indians but its smart packaging laced with homely anecdotes made a difference.

Instead of covering up for India as ‘a poor country’ as by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Washington, Modi declares India to be a young country with the youngest population and a 3D – Demography, Demand and Democracy – dividend.

And he goes on to promote his major new initiatives such as Clean Ganga, Swacch Bharat’ or Clean India, Toilets for All, Digital India, Smart Cities, Bullet Trains, among others.

Appealing to NRIs at a personal level, he invited them to join his numerous websites to suggest ideas and new projects for India’s progress.

In the same vein, he urged them to persuade at least five of their friends to visit India to boost tourism and employment in India.

A pattern of his speeches to NRIs has emerged: he starts off by hailing their success, their links with India and contribution to their country of residence and to India.

After all, they sent $70 billion to India in 2013.

Then he outlines his vision of India for all its major sectors: agriculture, manufacturing and services laced with facts, and goes on how they can get involved individually in India’s march forward.

Finally, he announces or repeats the benefits he has granted to NRIs.

No wonder he is a thundering success.

By April 2015, he had honed this technique so in April 2015 when he addressed NRIs in Germany, he was outstating with his overview of the Indian economy.

Before his first anniversary on 26 May, he was confident to take on the previous government and highlight its shortcomings.

Modi makes it a point to visit the local temples, gurudwaras and Buddhist shrines.

In Mauritius, he visited Pari Talao ("Grand Bassin" in French) to perform a religious ritual and also Beekrumsing Ramlallah Interpretation Centre museum of immigrants.

His test came in Canada where the Sikhs planned demonstrations against him but he overcame this hurdle by visiting the gurudwara where he was honoured with a ‘saropa’.

Starting off with Bhutan and Nepal, he went on to Japan, USA, Australia, Fiji, Seychelles, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, France, Germany, Canada and China, Mongolia and South Korea.

Between chock a block engagements, he always stops to greet overseas Indians as he halted his motorcade in a suburb of an Australian city to greet a lone Indian couple with their baby.

In Canada, he castigated the Congress government for lack of governance, corruption, lethargy and lowering India’s image abroad.

The reaction was vicious and swift as he was castigated for bringing up domestic politics on foreign soil. He weathered the storm as his ministers challenged the Congress on a parliamentary debate on corruption during their tenure.

While addressing Indians Shanghai, Modi raised a storm back home with his remarks that in the past, Indians were apparently ashamed of being born in their country.

Now you feel proud to represent the country. Indians abroad had all hoped for a change in government last year.

This created instant rage on the social media like Twitter and later in the media. Modi supporters and his ministers defended him.

The opposition Congress party lashed out at him as Congress spokesman Kapil Sibal labelled him as "NRI PM" and said he is "more concerned about NRIs than resident Indians."

Former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Yadav sneered, ""Narendra Modi is no more the country’s prime minister.

"He is an NRI."

During his first year, Modi has visited 19 countries, met over 50 heads of state and promoted investment in India with promises of many billion dollars in investment and new projects.

Africa has not yet come on his horizon as he has an enthusiastic community in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and a big Indian population in South Africa.


His African safari could come before the planned summit of African heads of state in Delhi this October.

After its elections, Britain is another priority trip for him to boost bilateral relations and to interact with the British Indians who hold him in high esteem.

In 12 months, Modi has wooed and wowed overseas Indians.



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