AIR spotlight summary on “Persons of Indian Origin Parliamentary Conference”.
- The Persons of Indian Origin – Parliamentarian Conference is the first such conference to be hosted by India and it highlights the importance India places on the people of Indian origin. This highlights India’s policy which is seen as encouraging Indians who are living in other parts of the world to feel more Indian and participate more in India’s growth.
Role of People of Indian Origin
- We have more than 30 million people of Indian origin scattered all over the globe who are a very big asset for India, for India’s development, growth and prosperity. We have 124 members of parliament and 17 mayors from 23 countries who are of Indian origin which is matter of great pride for India. There are 3 prime ministers of Indian origin in Ireland, Mauritius and Guyana and 5 members of US congress are of Indian origin. This is seen as a huge representation of India across the globe. All these elected representatives can be like India’s ambassadors in their own parliament.
- We see that people of Indian origin are very committed for helping India in our policy achievements and requirements. During Nuclear deal with US, the US congress was approached through people of Indian origin, which had good response. This is the same in other parts of the world. In Canada the defence minister is of Indian origin; Nikki Haley the United States Ambassador to the United Nations is of Indian origin. So people of Indian origin have spread out in different countries and they are in influential position.
- People of Indian origin have been integrated with the local society. In most of the societies we see Indian values which are democratic, inclusive, religious freedom. The same values are accepted and there is no conflict with the national objectives of the country where People of Indian origin live and India’s national objective. So there is a great harmony and people of Indian origin fully integrate with the local community and work without any conflict, but still manage to retain their Indian culture, ethos and commitment towards India.
India’s Changing Image
- The international organisations like World Bank, IMF and Moody’s rating agency are looking at India today with positive perception. When we look at the global media still the coverage about India is about negative kind of issues like poverty, rail accidents etc. So it important that these parliamentarians of Indian origin fully appreciate and understand India’s progress and the initiatives taken by the government like 3 crore women who got LPG connection under Ujjwala scheme, the MUDRA scheme, Skills India etc, so that positive message is taken back by the parliamentarians of Indian origin to their country that India is developing, progressing and is on the right path. The conference is important to show that India has changed over the past few years and the old attitude of ‘Chalta hai’ is changing today.
- India gave a strong message that from reforms India is moving towards transform of Indian society. Reaching out to people of Indian origin about the policy changes the government has taken will help attract investments and FDI’s.
- In the recent time, the diaspora has become an important part of India’s foreign policy. The ministry of external affairs has been proactively engaged in dealing with Indians living in different countries who are facing problems with Visas, passports and social media is extensively used to reach out to people. This connection to the diaspora will eventually help India furthering its global image and its global ambitions like permanent seat in UNSC for which we need global support.
- If people of Indian origin have goodwill, it creates a very big reservoir of goodwill for India. In the ICJ elections we were able to defeat the British Candidate, which is first time a permanent member of UNSC could not get its candidate elected, because of vast majority of support in UNGA for India. So Indian diaspora is very important part of India’s foreign policy and they are playing a very positive role in putting forward India’s positive image.