PRIME Minister Mr. Anthony Albanese of Australia likened the reception Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi got at the Sydney stadium to a reception a rock star would get. That was possible obviously because of the strong emotional connect Mr. Narendra Modi has been able to establish with the vast Indian diaspora spread all over the world. The connect is personal in a way, and also patriotic. That Mr. Modi has been able to arouse the sentiment of the Indian diaspora to such an extent, is the tribute not just to him or millions of members of the Indian diaspora, but also to the ancient Indian culture whose memory the Prime Minister has been able to bring up in popular mind. By any standard, this is a rare phenomenon not seen elsewhere in the world.
Of course, the Indian diaspora has been making significant contribution to socio-economic and political life of host countries. Most Indian leaders often advised the Indians settled abroad to identify themselves with the local community and culture completely. But it was Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi who first took the step to establish a closer connect with the Indian people in different countries. He described the diaspora as an India away from India. He also created many facilities to help the Indians abroad, thereby drawing the Indians abroad closer to the idea of a larger, socially unified India.
The Indian diaspora was quick to grasp the idea and went many steps forward to meet the Prime Minister’s idea half-way through. From that point on, the relation ship between the diaspora and the Prime Minister kept getting stronger, thicker, closer -- which explains how and why Mr. Narendra Modi gets a rock-star-like reception wherever he goes all over the world. For the Indians in every country, Mr. Modi’s visit is like a festivity nobody would like to miss. There have been Indian Prime Ministers who never bothered to establish such a connect between them and the Indian diaspora in different countries in the world. There were Prime Ministers who would visit a country, complete the official programme, and return to India or proceed to other countries -- with no place or space for connecting with the Indian community in the particular country.
Mr. Modi changed all that almost in a flash. Not only did he change India’s approach to the diaspora but also changed the way the Government looks at the Indians settled abroad. He asked them to come forward to help India grow stronger and richer in every which the way. He appreciated the conditions that may have forced them to leave the country in the first place, no matter the specifics. And most important, Mr. Modi refused to be judgmental about those reasons. He accepted and respected the reasons why those crores of Indians left the homeland in the first place and made other countries their home. This was the most critical of points that drew the diaspora closer to the Prime Minister.
The most important of the facets of the Indian diaspora is its efforts to keep the cultural connect alive with India. In socially difficult conditions, the Indian people settled abroad often follow basic tenets of Indian culture and history. That was a tough task. Yet, the Indian people in different countries tried to keep their connect with their roots alive. Mr. Narendra Modi was quick enough to notice that and extend his hand of assurance that India would always be with them in whatever condition. The diaspora responded equally warmly -- which is reflected in each of the public meetings the Prime Minister has wherever he goes in the world. The Indian diaspora, thus, deserves every possible accolade for having evolved into another India in different parts of the world and making great contribution to the host countries’ growth.