Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given a warm welcome in the United Arab Emirates and Sultanate of Oman during his visit this month. Narendra Modi, who had earlier toured UAE, was traveling to the Sultanate of Oman for the first time and was received with thunderous applause.
In the UAE, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of a Hindu temple coming up in Abu Dhabi. Thanks to the promise given by the UAE rulers to the Prime Minister during his last visit that land would be provided to the Hindu community for building a majestic Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.The Government of the UAE kept its promise, allocated land and the foundation stone laying ceremony was inaugurated by the Prime Minister at the Dubai opera house through video conferencing.
This has come up as a major diplomatic and political move on the part of the Prime Minister and the NDA Government as this is a strong message to the world that India practices what it preaches and that we can make friends everywhere and anywhere without compromising on the basic tenants and principles. The Government of the UAE reciprocated to the gestures and signals given by the Government of India and this has resulted in friendship being developed between India and UAE. The United Arab Emirates which is home to a large number of expatriate population of the country with special emphasis on Kerala has always given respect to the Indian work force.
The Prime Minister visited the war memorial of UAE at What Al Karama and paid tributes to the martyrs of the UAE. It was also a rare honour to find India becoming a guest of honour at the World Government Summit in Dubai and made a tremendous speech under the theme “Technology for development”.
The Prime Minister signed five major contracts with the Government of UAE including obtaining 10 per cent shares for Indian Oil consortiums in the Offshore oil deposits of UAE which can be considered a landmark deal with several overtures to it in the days to come.
Prime Minister, on his first visit to Sultanate of Oman, spoke to the Indian community and highlighted achievements in technology sector his government has done in India and how a simple product like the LED which was costing Rs 350 prior to 2014 has come down to cost Rs 40-45 apiece. resulting in the heavy usage of LED leading to savings of crores of rupees in electricity bills. The Prime Minister also said that the Government of India has in this year”s budget pitched for the Ayushman Bharath policy resulting in the insurance coverage of 10 crore household resulting in around health insurance coverage of 45 to 50 crore people, which indeed is a major move aimed at social security.
The Prime minister in his address to the Indian community also said that his government was trying for Minimum government and Maximum governance and said that each Indian is working for the development of the country day in and out for a New India where the poorest of poor is going to get his dreams mature.
He said that this was his idea of governance and dream for the country. He also said that abolishing unnecessary laws, making procedures simpler, listening to people’s problems sincerely and taking action on them are in the culture of his governance.
The Sultan of Oman His Highness Qaboos bin Said al Said provided the Sultan Qaboos Sports complex for Narendra Modi to address the Indian community which is considered in international diplomatic circles as a rare honour to a visiting head of state. The Prime Minister also lived up to the expectations of his host and addressed the Indian Diaspora with due respects to the host nation and how that country was providing everything for the Indian community there in Oman which was also taken well by the hosts and the international diplomatic community closely watching the new poster boy of India, Narendra Modi.
The show of camaraderie and the respect showered upon the host nations by Narendra Modi is seen as the culture of India and Modi can well be termed as the best brand ambassador of the country even though he never admits that. Sultan Qaboos in his address appreciated the role played by the “honest and hardworking “Indian nationals in the building of the nation of Oman which in itself is a feather in the cap of the Indian expatriates for all the hard work that they had put up.
It can be seen that the other than the contracts signed between India and the middle eastern countries, the trip of the Indian Prime Minister to these Arab nations and the respect showered on him by the rulers of these Kingdoms has come down well with the millions of Keralite expatriates in these countries. These expatriates who have toiled hard in their adopted countries is the single source of revenue to the otherwise beleaguered Kerala economy and the money orders and bank drafts these expatriates are sending back home is the lifeline of Kerala without which the state would have bled profusely.
These expatriates have seen the warmth and the camaraderie that the rulers of their adopted land had showered to the Indian Prime Minister and they know that the shrewd Arab leaders will not have given such a respect and honour to the visiting Indian Prime Minister until and unless they had found that he is useful to them in the geopolitical and business point of view.So these rulers want to showcase that they are in good terms with Modi and India and naturally this has gone down well to the Indian expatriate population comprising mostly of Malayalees who feel their status being elevated in their adopted nations and among their peers from other countries. This feel of de jauvu for the toiling expatriates who has spent most of their major part of their lives working in these Arabian countries is the major success of the visit of Indian Prime Minister. Another major point is that how these Arab rulers who are strict practitioners of their faith had the magnanimity and love to donate land for a Hindu temple has also proved that they can understand what Narendra Modi and his Government stands for and that he is a true statesman and who can get things done through love and friendship. India emerging into a major superpower is now a very important player in the geo-strategic politics of the Asian peninsula and no nation worth its salt does not want to be left out in this new emerging India which is practicing what it preaches.
Over and above the visit has boosted the self-confidence and morale of the Indian expatriate community comprising mostly of Keralites and they have seen in close quarters as to how their Prime Minister is respected and loved in their adopted lands. They have already communicated this message back home which is an important mileage for the Prime Minister in the state of Kerala and already several voices have started singing in praise of Narendra Modi.
(The writer is a Thiruvananthapuram-based freelancer)