The result of the 2019 Indian general elections made waves not just in India but across the world, with people all over the globe paying close attention to party campaigns, the six week voting period and the eventual result. NRIs from various countries displayed high electoral enthusiasm, eager to be a big part of the polling process.
Approximately 70,000 NRIs registered as overseas voters in addition to the thousands of Indians living abroad who flew to India to campaign. The Congress even flagged off a special NRI bus to tour constituencies in Haryana and Punjab prior to the polls. Those who couldn’t come to India spent their time organising a host of political activities in their countries of residence.
The diaspora was an active participant in the Indian election process, not just through these campaigns and activities, but also through the significant financial role they played in funding various party campaigns.
For months leading up to the seven rounds of voting, the international arms of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress were organising political rallies, road shows, car rallies and other campaign events. In addition, supporters held canvassing strategy sessions and made phone calls to friends and family back in their motherland on behalf of candidates. They also actively took to social media to air their political preferences and express their support for candidates.
The global Indian community was undoubtedly keenly watching the Indian elections unfold and now that PM Modi is back in power for a second term, they are certain to have great expectations from the Indian government. This is what some members of the diaspora have to say about the future of the nation under Modi 2.0.
“India-UK relations can only grow further under Modi, since he understands the importance of the diaspora and has already made two visits to London as prime minister. The election result is the victory of the Indian voter. There was a lack of leadership in the opposition. There was no single identifiable consensus leader among the opposition parties, neither was there a common agenda. Besides, a major factor is the success of Modi’s communication strategy – through social media, radio, apps – to convey to the common man that he is an accessible prime minister, never mind the reality. His travels abroad also had a positive impact on people’s minds.”
“PM Modi will take India to the next level with the proposed investments in infrastructure, health care, and farming sectors. We should have an India that is friendly for…market and businesses at the same time, [while] uplifting poor people. What we have seen in the last five years [under Modi] is a big shift in terms of the way we think, the way we do things, and how we can change the country.”
"I wish the prime minister a successful second stint in office. Mr Modi has been an advocate of quality learning and stress-free assessment in schools, which is why his vision is a great way forward for institutions like us. Under his leadership, the education sector in India will grow by leaps and bounds in the right direction, and provide equal opportunity to all talented students in India."
“The Indian diaspora is emotionally connected to India after ages. I hope the election commission allows for NRIs to participate more directly in the democratic process. This is a landmark election. Indians have voted for continuity. Indians have voted to keep their borders safe. Indians have voted to reclaim their cultural identity. Modi 2.0 should be about reinforcing India’s cultural identity (across the globe). Vikas bhi, Viraasat bhi! The fact that NRIs feel the need to contribute to their motherland is a big deal. India is ready to leapfrog into the future. This will not happen through linear, incremental change. Hope the Government shows the ambition that many Indians are known for globally.”
“He hit it out of the park. PM Modi’s development agenda has resonated throughout the nation. We call upon the world to take note of the shift taking place under Modi’s leadership. Modi is a transformative, once in a lifetime leader, with clear views about security, the economy, and foreign policy. It is time to rethink US-India engagement and to build a stronger alliance between our nations.”
“The Indian Election results are as expected. Narendra Modi has been given more time to prove himself further. During his campaign last term, he had many dreams and visions for India. He has just been given more time to achieve this. Modi’s re-election also shows a more stable India. You achieve nothing by changing the government every five years. We are looking at a more stable India today.”