Diaspora a Partner in Making India a Developed Country

by May 25, 2024Diaspora0 comments

Modi is being hailed for increasing India’s standing in the world and giving a new identity to the diaspora


Whether Indian Prime Minister Modi will lead the country for another term of five years will be known on June 4, the day results of the ongoing general elections are out. But one thing is for sure. He has already earned a name for himself and India , if the opinion of the influential Indian Diaspora in the United States is any indication.

This opinion or belief is that Modi has increased India’s standing in the world and has given a new identity to the diaspora.

The global Indian Diaspora is ready to be a partner in his goal of making India a developed country by 2047, Prem Bhandari , an eminent Indian-American community leader, has said.

“Since 2014, expatriate Indians are being seen with respect across the world. For example, during the crisis in Ukraine, carrying the Indian flag on a bus made it easier to cross the border. Beyond recognition, the Indian community is taken seriously worldwide, whether in America or Saudi Arabia, and all credit goes to Prime Minister Modi,” he said.

Observing that when the diaspora travel to India, they see the tremendous development and progress in all sectors in India, he said in the last 10 years the country has seen remarkable progress in the sector, whether it be infrastructure, roads, or new developments like bullet trains.

“As someone from Rajasthan, I can confidently say that under the leadership of PM Modi, the state will develop in the field of solar energy, similar to California in the United States,” he said.

Bhandari was recently in India and offered 500 kg of laddoos at the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. The “ladoo prasadam” has been sent to over a dozen countries and is being distributed among the expatriate community.

Recently, the announcement of the Indian Consulate in New York to operate 365 days a year, regardless of holidays, is a testament to this. For the diaspora facing passport renewal issues, especially those whose passports have expired due to visa violations, he urged the Modi’s government to ensure that every Indian, regardless of where they are, should have the right to renew their passport. “This is something I will work on,” Bhandari said. “We need to ensure that NRIs have the right to vote. Voting from abroad should be simplified and cost effective. I am hopeful that Prime Minister Modi will address this, making it easier for expatriates to participate in elections without incurring excessive costs,” he said.

Bhandari foresees a reverse trend where major companies, especially in health and IT sectors, will relocate to India, making it a preferred destination over China. “Modi’s leadership makes this possible, and I am optimistic about India’s bright future,” Bhandari said.

Similarly, Khanderao Kand, Chief of Policy and Strategy at Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS), Washington DC, has observed a paradigm shift in India’s stature at the global stage and it’s all-round development in the last 10 years under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership.

According to this head of an Indian diaspora think-tank, the global Indian community right now feel very proud to be an Indian.

“The Indian diaspora right now feels very proud to be an Indian and I think a lot of credit goes to the leadership of Prime Minister Modi in these last two terms. It really did a paradigm shift and infused confidence not just on Indian Americans but also people of Indian origin all over the world because they’re now getting respected,” Kand told the PTI news agency recently.

“India is not just strong, but India’s position on various issues is really appreciated. India is making awesome progress on the climate side. India is developing its infrastructure. Indian diaspora when visiting India now from airport to the infrastructure to education, they see remarkable progress. Definitely they have seen the movements like Make in India, Digital India, Startup India,” he said.

The Indian diaspora, he said, is in a unique position to comment on the progress of India and they can compare what is happening in the world affairs and world economy. India is the fifth largest economy of the world and now headed to be the third largest in the next few years. “Indian American feel much better about the progress of India and the future of India. We see that Prime Minister Modi’s government and under his leadership India can take to the next step and continue the journey,” he said.

“As Prime Minister Modi said that this (his 10 years of rule) has been just a trailer, the movie is coming. We are hoping to see that movie in 2047 when India will complete 100 years (of its independence) and we are eager to see India as one of the most developed nations based on a sound civilizational foundation and can provide a unique role model to the world based on the diversity, pluralism, equality and the values that were coming from the Dharmic foundation,” Kand said

It may be noted that as a think tank, the US-based non-profit organization Foundation of Indian and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS)’ objective is to engage the South Asian diaspora in the United States to further strengthen collaboration in education, science and technology, geopolitical and economic policy, terrorism mitigation, and people-to-people engagement.

FIIDs celebrates the deep and vibrant ties between the people of both nations USA and India to reaffirm and encourage others to embrace their shared values of freedom, democracy, pluralism, and equal opportunities for all citizens.

FIIDS is committed to pursuing efforts towards sustainable development and global peace, security, and cohesive existence.

FIIDS recognizes the foundational need to address vulnerabilities and threats faced by both the US and India. FIIDS reiterates that this should be prioritized and increased, including through dialogues, joint meetings, training, education, and sharing of best practices.

FIDS focus will be policy studies, analysis, thought discourse, and advocacy on a wide variety of issues pertaining to India and the Indian diaspora and how it impacts the US-India partnership.

Its particular focus will be on helping formulate the correct narrative around the growing influence of the US-India partnership in the 21st century.

FIDS says that its ‘goal is to ensure that as Indian Americans we can impactfully capture the proper fact-based issues that will contribute to a new phase in an aspirational way and a strengthened US-India partnership”.

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