By Sandeep Datta
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to visit Australia for the G-20 summit in Brisbane in mid-November, efforts are on to ensure his charisma overwhelms the Indian diaspora there like at New York’s Madison Square event.
Expected to be participated in by over 15,000 people, the Sydney event is being hosted by the Indian Australian Community Foundation (IACF), a coalition of diverse Indian-Australian organisations, to welcome the Indian prime minister.
“The Sydney event is the only community address that Prime Minister Modi will be delivering during his Australian tour. It holds significance as it is occurring when an Indian prime minister is visiting Australia after 28 years,” Ramyavaran Ramaswamy, one of the main organisers from IACF, told in an interview.
“Within three days of opening registration, over 250 community organisations have registered to be a ‘Reception Partner’ for the event. In many other senses, it will be bigger than the Madison Square event of the US,” he added.
Modi would be participating in a two-day G20 Summit starting Nov 15. It will be followed by the community reception in Sydney on Nov 17 during which Modi will address the Indian Diaspora. He will address a joint parliamentary session in Canberra the next day.
IACF will organise the event with the support of hundreds of groups representing the Indian diaspora’s broad spectrum of cultural, linguistic and charitable organisations, Balesh Singh Dhankhar, the IACF spokesperson, told in an interview over phone from Sydney.
“The huge enthusiasm of Indians living in Australia for Prime Minister Modi and the much talked about Modi Wave in elections has encouraged us to organise such an event in a short period of time,” he added.
The event will be participated in by members of the Indian diaspora, top members of the Australian polity and eminent personalities from different areas like academics, business and sports, said IACF chairperson Nihal Agar.
“Though we have got less than a month’s time to prepare, we are working hard across many areas in seeking sponsorship to ensure a successful event. The Madisan Square organisers are believed to have got over two months time for their arrangements.”
Then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had visited Australia in 1986.
Modi’s visit follows Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Indian tour in September when the two sides sealed the historic deal to sell uranium to India.