A significant milestone in a government’s term arises when they have completed half of its tenure. This is a pivotal point as the government have had spent reasonable amount of time in office for the electorate to fairly assess its performance. Simultaneously, it provides an insight of how the future holds for the country during rest of the tenure in office. Modi Government is no different on this parameter as it completed 2.5 years in office on in November 2016.
BJP government has taken many important strides for the betterment of lives of ordinary Indians. Several of these initiatives don’t boost TRPs of mainstream media. As a result, their attitude towards covering several of Modi Government’s policies and educating masses on such policies is fraught with ignorance to sometimes deliberate indifference.
Hence, members of OFBJP Team Victoria have taken the onus on themselves to research and analyse government’s public policy, schemes and its impact on Indian people to appraise the Indian diaspora in Australia who would transfer this information to their friends and family in India.
On 27th November 2016, OFBJP Australia – Victoria Chapter organised a community information programme ‘Modified India at Mid Term’. Just how vital OFBJP considers its enabling role of apprising Indian diaspora of Modi Government’s initiatives can be gauged by the fact OFBJP team members from across Australia – Mr. Balesh Singh, Mr. Chirag Trivedi, Mr. Shanmugapriyan Rajaramn, Mr. Sachin Chaudhary, Mr. Chirag Parikh, all drove from Sydney and Adelaide to attend the event.
OFBJP Australia is growing at a rapid pace. This has brought new projects, challenges and expectations from the community. This has also provided opportunities for existing and new budding Karyakartas to take up more responsibilities and share workload. The event provided a perfect platform for the National President to share how OFBJP acknowledges efforts of Karyakartas by inviting Kushagra Bhatnagar to become a Member of Political Advisor Group. To fill the void left in Victoria, Jay Shah and Devang Jasani were invited to step up as Victoria Chapter Head and General Secretary respectively. In addition to that Shanmugapriyan Rajaramn was invited to fill the role of General Secretary of NSW. All the invitations were humbly accepted by the respective Karyakartas.
Things took off when OFBJP Australia received a video message from Mr. Vijay Chauthaiwale, Head of Foreign Cell, BJP from Delhi. In an inspiring 8 minutes video he connected himself with the audience by appreciating the positive role Indian diaspora have played in Australia. He emphasises how BJP considers NRIs as true ambassadors and respects their contribution in creating brand India through their hard work and good behaviour in their respective countries.
The opening address by Kushagra Bhatnagar set the tone by touching on the unique role of Indian diaspora in the current information age. He explained how Pakistani establishment has been aggressively pursuing factually incorrect and malicious propaganda campaign against India, falsely accusing India of violating United Nation’s Resolution on Kashmir. The actual fact being India’s position on legal accession on Kashmir has always been endorsed by United Nation.
On the contrary, it’s been Pakistani establishment, blatantly violating United Nation’s resolution on Kashmir. However, it has rarely brought in people’s collective consciousness by India and this where Indian diaspora can play a crucial role in correcting this false narrative by educating themselves with the facts and spreading the correct information and help form constructive and correct opinion about India on Kashmir issue with the Australia-India stakeholders.
This was followed by Team Victoria delivering a presentation disguised
in the form of quiz. The quiz encouraged audience participation and enabled Team OFBJP to furnish Modi Government’s achievements in a palpable way. They apprised audience with Modi Government’s initiatives ranging from empowering women entrepreneurship by providing very low interest rate loans to soil report card for farmers; from opening bank accounts for millions in rural India to plans for installing bullet train and many such steps.
Among other government’s step, detailed information on demonetisation move after Modi Government scrapped 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in an attempt to flush out tax evaders holding billions of dollars’ worth of ‘black money’ was provided. The two high-denomination notes make up 86% of India’s currency, and their removal has sent shockwaves to income hoarders. Prime Minister Modi’s one stroke has left them with just two options – come clean or subsequently get caught by tax officials.
The meticulously compiled information about Modi Government’s schemes and plans by Jai Shah and Devang Jasani with ample contributions from Mr. Suresh Pawar, Mr. Uday Chandran and Mr. Ravi Thacker raised enough inquisitiveness among community members in audience to undertake independent research on Modi Government’s performance.
The occasion was graced by a keynote speaker – Mr. Balesh Singh, President – OFBJP Australia, who touched a chord with audience when he addressed the emotional dilemma faced by several Indians living overseas, which is – whether to continue living in adopted homeland or return motherland to serve India. He provided some tactical points on how Indian diaspora can invest their intellect and resources to serve both Australia and India in a positive and constructive way and get rid of emotional dilemma. A case and opportunity in point is Clean India Mission he is part of, is a wonderful opportunity for NRIs to play their part and contribute in building toilets across India.
Another guest speaker – Mr. Chirag Trivedi, Chapter Head of South Australia, provided ideas on how to make a tangible difference in shaping up lives of children by helping them with their educational needs.
The vote of thanks was provided by Mr. Shanmugapriyan Rajaramn and Ms.Deepika Chandra who thanked and acknowledged the guests for taking out their valuable time on a Sunday evening.
Icing on the cake was Mr.Nawal Mudgal, flagbearer of Indian arts, culture and entertainment in Melbourne, who in with his soothing voice enthralled the audience with some patriotic songs.
The Indian tradition of ‘Chai’ (Tea) and ‘Bhojan’(Dinner) post ‘Vichar-Varmarsh’ (Discussion) was duly followed by serving delicious tea and savouring meal of Dal-Bati prepared by OFBJP Karyakarta – Vijay Patel ably supported by Suresh Pawar and Pratik Patel.