With postponement of video conference with MoS External Affairs General V.K. Singh a surety, Queensland and Victoria chapters of OFBJP Australia took out time to celebrate the occasion of Modi Government’s 2 years with BJP supporters, neutrals and media.
A sudden withdrawal by the Minister could be misunderstood as a snub to the audience. Nothing of that sort happened. On 11th June, at 2:15 pm, healthy crowd had already entered the venues in Brisbane and Melbourne. Despite the absence of star attraction, this was no mundane gathering. They were all watching, and cheered every time a face appeared on the giant screen of arguable the most popular political figure in India – Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
How vital Indian diaspora in Australia is considered by the BJP government is reflected by the fact that despite his strenuous busy schedule, the minister V.K. Singh addressed the Indian diaspora by a video message citing his inability to interact live.
He said, ” Modi Government is the first government to come up with report card of its performance. The major focus of the government has been poor peasantry and farmers of India and they would continue to remain top priority.”
This was also the first time Chai Pe Charcha was hosted by two cities simultaneously at the same time and the Indian diaspora in the two cities interacted with their counterparts on myriad of issues concerning India. Another first – it was the first mainstream OFBJP event organised by the newly formed team in Queensland headed by Nikhil Reddy including key members Gurudutt and Ashutosh and other Karyakartas. Their excitement on this occasion was palpable.
It all kick-started with the glorious Indian national anthem sung by Saregama fame Pramod Tripathi. Goes without saying that music is ubiquitous with an Indian event. The gifted and acclaimed artist treated the Melbourne audience with patriotic numbers. That had set just the right tone for a magnificent afternoon to follow.
The General Secretary of Victoria Chapter – Jay Shah had prepared a presentation on the performance of Modi Government. So detailed and all-inclusive of facts and figures the presentation was that the media personnel present was seen to be taking notes of the figures. The presentation was jointly delivered by the team of Nikhil and Gurudutt in Brisbane and Kushagra and Jay in Melbourne.
Among many milestones of Modi Government, the information that arguably drew the most cheers from the audience was when this information was furnished to them – 21.81 crores accounts have been opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna. The Prime Minister initiated scheme unambiguously focussed on poor citizens enables them to open a bank account with zero balance. When it was told to audience that Rs. 37,617 crores had already been deposited the reverberations of the cheers were so loud, they could be heard in both cities over a thousand miles away!
Seventy-five minutes later, at 3.30pm, the two key speakers – Balesh Singh, OFBJP National President and Chirag Trivedi, Chapter Head – South Australia arrived. They both joined the video interaction from Sydney and Adelaide respectively. The President made statements to the audience and appreciated the level of enthusiasm by the audience and efforts of Karyakartas. Chirag Trivedi suggested to have more of such events on a regular basis.
Chalapati Rao, an ex Indian army man now an academician in Australia delivered a presentation on Nuclear Supplier Group and enlightened the audience with the nitty gritty of the group and the international politics beneath it. He emphasized on how along with nuclear energy alternative sources of renewable energy were worthy options for India. From Melbourne, Devang Jasani engaged in a vivid discussion with Chalapati Rao on the topic. The audience was the beneficiary. It was edge-of-the-seat, riveting stuff.
No report card of a government is complete unless inclusion of media’s
opinion. The Editor of a respected newspaper of Melbourne – The Indus Age, Vinayakk Kolaape articulated his analysis from the standpoint of Australian media. He delivered a talk based on deep scrutiny of Modi Government’s policies and actions. What is reassuring that verdict from Australian media is – Modi Government has been delivering a respectable performance so far. With 3 more years to go, based on the current performance media expects Modi Government to be able to deliver and meet the expectations of Indian people.
BJP is famous for their dedicated and disciplined Karyakartas who work in unison towards a common goal. This event highlighted the spirit of co-operation and hard work of Karyakartas in both cities. The jubilant faces of key Karyakartas in Melbourne – Devang , Suresh, Bharat, Vineet, Nilay, Arpita, Aditya Pal, Chekitan, Jignesh, and in Brisbane – Dr. Anil, Suresh, Jyoti, Joginder and Mayur post the event was culmination of the toil they put in from several weeks to pull this magnificent event together.
How important was the event for her, I asked a ecstatic guest in Melbourne and she said, “ I was thinking about it for over a month.” Three weeks later we still think about it.
by Kushagra Bhatnagar