Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Sydney: Prime Minister Narendra Modi being welcomed by the Indian community upon his arrival, in Sydney, on Monday, May 22, 2023. (Photo:IANS/Twitter)IANS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has significantly bolstered India's global standing and given a new identity to its diaspora, according to Indian-American community leader Prem Bhandari. Bhandari, who heads Jaipur Foot USA and serves as the president of the Rajasthan Association of North America (RANA), praised Modi's leadership in transforming India's image internationally and positioning it as a potential third-largest economy by 2030.

"Over the past 10 years, under Prime Minister Modi's leadership, we are on the path to becoming the third-largest economy in the world before 2030," Bhandari told International Business Times. "He has given the Indian diaspora a new identity."

Global recognition and respect

Bhandari emphasized that since Modi's tenure began in 2014, expatriate Indians have experienced increased recognition and respect globally. He highlighted how the Indian flag on a bus facilitated border crossings during the Ukraine crisis, underscoring the newfound respect for Indians worldwide.

"Since 2014, expatriate Indians are being seen with respect across the world. 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.

Development and progress

Bhandari also noted the tremendous development and progress in India over the past decade, citing advancements in infrastructure, roads, and new projects like bullet trains. "When the diaspora travels to India, they see the remarkable progress in all sectors," he observed.

"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 added.

Prem Bhandari delivers address at NY event
Prem Bhandari at an event in New York [Representational image]

During his recent visit to India, Bhandari offered 500 kg of laddoos at the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, which were distributed among the expatriate community in over a dozen countries. This gesture reflects the deep cultural ties maintained under Modi's leadership.

Diaspora-friendly policies

Bhandari expressed confidence in PM Modi's re-election, attributing his popularity to his diaspora-friendly policies. He praised the Indian government's responsiveness to diaspora concerns, including the recent announcement of the Indian Consulate in New York operating 365 days a year.

"The Indian government has been resolving the issues of the diaspora community, even based on complaints filed on social media platforms. This is because of the leadership of the prime minister," he said.

Addressing key issues

Bhandari highlighted ongoing issues like simplifying the voting process for non-resident Indians (NRIs) and making passport renewals accessible for all expatriates, regardless of their visa status. He urged Modi's government to ensure that every Indian, regardless of location, has the right to renew their passport.

"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 also predicted a reverse trend where major companies, especially in health and IT sectors, would 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 concluded.