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Modi unifying force for highly fractured Indian diaspora: Chauthaiwale

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Indian diaspora is "highly fractured" but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become a "big unifying force" for it, BJP overseas affairs department head Vijay Chauthaiwale said on Wednesday, asserting that events like 'Howdy, Modi!' boost the stature of Indians living abroad and work as part of soft diplomacy for the country.

Speaking at a programme "Howdy, Modi! Unwrapping the Wrapped & Leveraging the Gains" organised by Public Policy Research Centre, he said there are over 1,100 Indian organisations in a city like London or over 500 in Texas but they come together for such events because of Modi's appeal.

Chauthaiwale has been a key figure in organising Modi's addresses to big meetings of Indian diaspora abroad.

Community leaders get actively involved in these meetings as they are told that they are behind it not the government of India or the BJP.

These events have no funding from either the government or the BJP, and are financed by donors at the local level, he said.

"Diaspora is highly fractured and rarely come together. They have done so because of Modi's appeal... Modi has become a big unifying force," he said.

Over 50000 people had attended 'Howdy, Modi!' in Houston in Texas on September 22, with US President Donald Trump also speaking at the event.

Chauthaiwale also rejected the criticism that Modi indirectly endorsed Trump for the next US presidential election by referring to the slogan 'Abki baar, Trump sarkar' used by the US leader during his successful 2016 campaign.

He said Modi had merely referred to Trump using the slogan at a Republican Hindu Coalition rally. The prime minister was not endorsing any candidate, he added.

Public Policy Research Centre Director Vinay Sahasrabuddhe said the bond of informality Modi has been able to create with world leaders will pay rich dividends in the long runs.

These are days of "indianisation" of global and India in its small way is making impact, he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, October 09 2019. 21:25 IST