NEW YORK: The Modi mania seems to have swept the 3.2 million-strong Indian-American community. Emotional bonding – this is how Dr Bharat Barai, the president of Indian-American Community Foundation (ICAF), has evoked the burgeoning appeal of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi among the third largest immigrant community in the US.
“The prime minister has created an emotional bonding with Indian-Americans,” said Dr Barai, a well-known doctor who has spearheaded the initiative to organize the spectacular community reception for the Indian leader at the iconic Madison Square Garden in the heart of Manhattan.
The sense of connect was visible in throngs of Indian-Americans who gathered in Manhattan to welcome Mr Modi as he touched down in New York September 26 to begin a five-day visit to the US, which is expected to revitalize what President Barack Obama has called the defining partnership of the 21st century.
Conjuring up soaring expectations of Indian-Americans from the new prime minister, Dr Barai stressed that Mr Modi has struck a chord as the Indian community in the US sees him as “a self-made man” who once sold tea at railway station in Vadnagar in Gujarat and has now risen to head the world’s largest democracy. His record as the chief minister of Gujarat, which registered a steady 10 per cent plus GDP growth for over a decade, and the economic reforms undertaken by Mr Modi as the prime minister has already made him hugely popular among the Indian-American community. “Most NRIs feel an emotional bonding with Prime Minister Modi. They want Indians to have the same high standard of living as that of Americans,” Dr Barai said in response to a question from India Writes Network, www.indiawrites.org. “He symbolizes inclusive development. His success will be a success of every Indian,” he underlined.
This Modi charisma will be reflected in the public address of Mr Modi at Madison Square Garden on September 28, where around 20,000-odd Indian-Americans will be listening in to him. This will be the first time a foreign leader will be accorded a public reception on this scale, Ronen Sen, India’s former ambassador to the US, told www.indiawrites.org in Delhi.
In a first of sorts, senior US Senators and Congressmen will also be part of the audience. Marking the ascent of Indian-Americans in the arena of politics and government, Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, and Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina, will be among those who will be present at the one-of-a-kind event at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
Indian-Americans’ Modi bonding: Stage set for Madison Square Garden show
- Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.
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