Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Engaging with Indian Diaspora during foreign tours is Modi's important foreign policy

Narendra Modi has undertaken a 3-day visit to United Kingdom, which is to be followed by a two-day visit to Turkey. As usual conforming to Modi's style, there was a grand welcome by UK's Prime Minister and on 13thNovember. Modi addressed a 70,000 strong Indian Diaspora at the Wembley stadium. Indian news channels have already deputed their senior journalists/correspondents to cover this visit.
The hype of Modi's visit is very much visible there despite BJP's Bihar loss. Yes like any other country, there are some critics also, who displayed 'Modi not welcome'. But in a democracy such oppositions are always there, it is to be seen how Narendra Modi converts even this small scale opposition into an opportunity.

However my point is something different. All political opponents are very critical of Modi's frequent visits. Some even call him the NRI Prime Minister. Rahul Gandhi said post Bihar election results that Modi should focus in governance instead of carrying out foreign tours.
Here one thing to be noted is that most of his political opponents are very critical of Narendra Modi's style of addressing the Indian Diaspora than his visits. No one can complain that Modi is on a vacation during his foreign visits; rather everyone is assured that he is serving national interest over there.

Earlier Congress was of the opinion that BJP is mobilizing crowds for Modi's address on foreign soil. They even went to the extent that Indian crowds were airlifted from India to Madison Square Garden to present Modi as a rock star. No Indian Prime Minister has ever created such euphoria among NRIs. Some even asked that why Modi is involving the Indian Diaspora in his foreign visits? Will they vote for Modi in India? This article is meant to prove why Modi's involvement with the Indian Diaspora is very important in the context of national interest.
It's a well known fact that people from all over world live in the United States. Similarly it's also a fact that Indians are found living in almost all the countries of the world. In many countries Indians have a sizable population, capable enough to influence politics of those countries.
Internal politics is largely guided by domestic politics particularly in America, Europe and Australia etc. In America there are typical lobbies that work in the interest of the countries they are engaged for. Both Israel and China have very strong lobbies that are managed purely by money power. Even Pakistan had a strong lobby in America before 9/11. However that lobby became ineffective post 9/11 because of suspicion of terrorism.

India never had a lobby in any country. It doesn't have huge sums of money to spend on creating such lobbies nor did it ever find supporters in most countries that would do something positive for India. That's where Modi has innovated the way to unite the Indian Diaspora in such countries, who would work as a lobby for India. Narendra Modi realized the power of Indian Diaspora and thus started using them to the countries benefit.

In 2014 at the Madison Square Garden, not only people of Indian origin, but many American Congressmen and senators too attended PM Modi's address. Did those senators/Congressmen come to listen to Modi? Not at all. Rather they came there just to impress the Indian Diaspora, who was to vote for them.

Just see the recent Canadian elections. It is the people from Indian Diaspora on whose votes Justin Trudeau of the liberal party came to Power in 2015 elections. During UK elections too Prime Minsiter David Cameroon addressed many rallies particularly for Indian Diaspora, just to get their votes. In some rallies he also promised that he will ensure Narendra Modi's visit to UK as early as possible, if he gets elected again. That means the Indian Prime Minister became an election topic in UK general elections. See the result. A conservative party got a majority in UK elections for the first time after 1992. Isn't it the strength of Indian Diaspora?

In the upcoming American elections of 2016, will also see many issues of Indian interest, as those will be referred to get votes from Indian Americans. Donald Trump, who is already a probable candidate, openly supports India while accusing Pakistan as a terrorist country.

That's exactly the reason why Narendra Modi is so serious about engaging the Indian Diaspora. Because this is the most important Indian Diaspora who will work as a lobby not only to improve the relations of India with their adopted country but also influence the policy of their adopted country towards India.

Thus Indian public as well as the opponents of BJP must realize that Narendra Modi is doing a very good job for national interest while he is abroad. He is not holidaying over there. If his acts are criticized for petty political reason, then I would say that for those people politics has became more important than national interest.

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