Community prioritises issues for PM Modi


By Neena Badhwar


The Indian community is excited about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s forthcoming visit to Australia in November. There is so much hype surrounding the visit, especially the Sydney segment, that there is no other topic to discuss other than the public event organised by the recently formed Indian Australian Community Foundation (IACF) on November 17 at the All Phones Arena at Sydney Olympic Park.

On official agenda there are important matters for the two prime ministers to engage in, such as the recently signed nuclear deal during PM Tony Abbot’s recent visit to India, bilateral trade, countering terrorism, forging cultural ties between India and Australia. But the Indian community is so keen to meet Mr Modi who is proving not just an idea person but an action PM that India has been blessed after a long time.

It is the same with the NRI community all over the world as was evident at Madison Square Garden in New York where Mr Modi won everyone hands down. Sydney, too,  is preparing for a similar reception, a first time event when an Indian PM will address a large audience in a public meeting. Many have already registered with more scampering to get in the arena just to take a peek at their favourite leader who will speak to them in Hindi. The organisers are even trying out for telecast rights of the event so that the rest of the community also gets to hear Mr Modi live.

The Indian Down Under (TIDU) asked a few from the community, picked randomly, ”˜what is the one most important thing they would like to say to Mr Modi if they got an opportunity to meet him in person and got to speak to him’. Following are their questions:

Pic 1 - Surinder Jain












Surinder Jain asks: Modi Ji, every NRI who has visited India, and every Indian, has been, more than once, felt insulted, felt humiliated and got short changed in India  due to corruption. We applaud the zeal with which you are tackling head on the problems of garbage and governance. When will we see a similar zeal in eradicating corruption.

Pic 2 - Gargi Shah with Narendra Modi 2








Gargi Shah:

गार्गी शाह जो कि सिडनी में रहती है, ने कहा, “अटल बिहारी वाजपाईं जी मेरे मामा हैं. उनके कहने पर नरेंद्र मोदीजी ने आरएसएस ज्वाइन किया। नरेंद्र भाई मेरे घर पर कई महीने रहे थे और मैंने उनकी बड़ी सेवा की थी. अब जब वे प्रधान मंत्री बने तो मुझे बहुत ॠुशी हुई पर साथ में बड़ा दुःख भी हुआ कि उन्होंने एक बार भी मेरी सुध नहीं ली जबकि मैं जिस समय ऑस्ट्रेलिया आ रही थी तो वे मुझे एयरपोर्ट पर मिलने तक आये थे .”


Pic 3 - Santram Bajaj 1










Santram Bajaj says to Mr Modi, “I congratulate you  on what you’ve done so far. Campaigns such as  Clean India – including toilets in villages,  Health Assurance  for all, Bringing Black   money back , ‘Make in India’ and improving relations with China and Pakistan are very good. You must continue and  follow them up  as most of the times. These type of ‘promises’ don’t see the light of the day  and remain on paper only.”

“Another point, while in Australia, I would like you to talk to PM Tony Abbot and the NSW Premier about the inclusion of Hindi in school syllabus. This way you will be promoting the language we all love.”

Malli Iyer - 2010












Malli Iyer: “Dear Shri  Modi, I commend  the priority you have assigned to  “Swachh Bharat” campaign.  In my view, the  “Swachhtaa” needs to be enhanced and enlarged to include  “a clean sweep of  hearts and minds” as well as  “corruption has become endemic for the last 4 or 5 decades.   It might seem like a monumental task, but you have made an excellent beginning to create the awareness.   I am sure, I speak for the large majority of Indians in India and abroad in wishing you Godspeed and total success in your endeavours. May  Bharat Maata’s blessings be with you”¦.”

Pic 5 - Richard Baxter with  grandaughter Sienna












Richard Baxter, Lithgow: “Mr Prime Minister, a very warm welcome to our county, Australia. As you may be aware, Australia has now the largest migration group, people from your country. Also Australia’s indigenous citizens have DNA which link them with origins from India.  With our two countries embracing across the Indian Ocean, what other measure can you envision that would bring our two countries even closer…….?

Pic 6 - Chander Shekhar Chawla

Chander Shekhar Chawla, Norway: “I am a NRI, living in Norway, for the last 40 years. I have been working in the software industry for more than 30 years. I see that India is doing well in the IT segment, but feel that there still is a lot to gain through people like me. How does India plan to reach out to me? See me as a long term asset and give me the initial kick-start to start a win-win joint venture with India?”

Pic 7 - Raman Bhalla small







Raman Bhalla, Liberal Candidate for state elections next year:

“India showcases one of the best cultural and natural resources in terms of tourism. However, in export earnings, India ranks very poorly to attract the tourists. The new government has focussed on manufacturing for jobs creation. It is the tourism sector which should be the focus point with the aim to provide jobs opportunities and earnings with such a natural competitive advantage.  What has the government been doing to make India number 1 destination in the world?”

Pic 8 - Akshay Darji











Akshay  Darji, NSW,  HSC Hindi Student 2014, IABBV Hindi School, says, “I remember reading somewhere once Mr Modi Ji had said, “Ki achhe din aayenge”. So  my questions to Modi Ji is:


  1. In Modi ji’s election campaign he stated that “He’ll bring back the Black Money from the Swiss bank within 100 days, but now it has been more than 100 days so I wanted to ask”¦. When will you bring back the Black-Money from Swiss bank so that it can help India reduce poverty?
  2. In Indian culture girls are given a status of a Devi or a Goddess. I believe the girls should have rights to education, rights to stand for themselves, right to live life as well as their safety is of big concern. Mr Modi, what are you doing about it?”
  3. A suggestion: Modi Ji you want to make India, skill India, but if you really want to make skill India you have to change our ITI Syllabus and use the syllabus from a developed country.
  4. Modi ji, How are you going to improve India’s economy? While I believe that India is a great country culturally and multiculturally still many people there live under the poverty line.


  1. Pic 9  - Sheba Nandkeolyar










Sheba Nandkeolyar, AIBC President, “Dear Prime Minister, You have shown the light at the end of the tunnel to millions of NRIs around the world   like me, who are passionate about India and would like to contribute in every possible way to this NEW INDIA. Please do keep introducing radical changes to fast track India’s development and make it a leading nation as it was centuries ago. We wish you the very best and we will do all that it takes as business leaders based outside India to support your initiatives.”

Pic 10 - Ambika Asthana












Ambika Asthana: “I’m an actor based in Sydney for 10 years. I visit Delhi often during holidays. If I had the opportunity to interact with Narendra Modi, I would like to ask if the new government will be proactive in making cities like Delhi more safe for women and what steps they would take to achieve this?”


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