Apart from the popularity in his native country, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wields considerable influence among the members of the Indian diaspora spread worldwide as his monthly radio address -‘Mann Ki Baat’- has become a hit among them.
The popularity of this programme can be gauged from the fact that it is being aired in about 150 countries. Though the address is telecast live in Hindi, a translated version is also broadcast in English. Moreover, excerpts of the speech are also broadcast in other languages including Urdu, Russian, French and Chinese.
Amlanjyoti Mazumdar, External Services Division Director of All India Radio (AIR), says, “We reach out to listeners in 150 countries through our radio broadcast in Hindi and general overseas service (English). The huge Indian diaspora across the globe has the right to connect to the prime minister of their parent country.”
He added, “There is a huge response to Modi's address every time it was broadcast, and we have received a number of messages, mostly from African countries where a large number of people of Gujarati-origin live. Listeners also send in their responses from the Gulf countries, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.”
He also said that when the government's move to demonetise currency notes was being criticised by a section in India, the initiative was "applauded" by listeners abroad as a step to combat corruption.
Mazumdar said one of the reasons for the huge response was that the prime minister had "a large fan following".
Moreover, Narendra Modi has also emerged as the most followed world leader on the photo-sharing app Instagram with 6.9 million followers, ahead of US President Donald Trump.
Mazumdar said people across the globe can also log on to the All India Radio’s website to listen to Modi live.