MODI’S Magnetic Qualities
The 13th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas was attended by over 3000 NRIs, a record turn-out affirming Narendra Modi’s ability to attract people. Though the most written about Prime Minister, his mystique remains. Asked, most NRIs came because of Modi and his concern for the Diaspora.
The announcements that all CIOs and PIOs will have life-long visas and the differences between the two—CIO and PIO—is being abolished were a fulfilment of Modi’s promise given to Indians living in both the US and Australia. Both for Gujaratis and non-Gujarati NRIs, attached significance to the fact that the Diwas was being held in Ahmadabad to mark the Centenary year of the arrival of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India in 1915. Remembering such details is Modi’s penchant. Priti Patel, MP from Leicester, and exchequer secretary to the UK treasury, who came with a delegation of 10 MPs, was in special focus and most sought of.
What struck the NRIs was the arrangement for their food and other refreshments at the venue. The ones who had attended earlier Diwas were “stunned” at the magnificence of the decorations and illuminations near and in the venue. “The fact that we can taste food from different parts of India is the biggest and pleasantest surprise. We are thoroughly thrilled. We will never forget this Diwas. It’s the Modi Touch,” said an NRI from the UK. How right he was!