Modi set the tone for his government by declaring that he would implement
And he has.
Most political analysts comment that he has given an edge to India’s foreign
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
In Mauritius, he visited Pari Talao ("Grand Bassin" in French) to perform a
religious ritual and also Beekrumsing Ramlallah Interpretation Centre museum of
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
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
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
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.