Even as he dined with the Who’s Who of America in the USA, and a few days later with the Who’s Who of the Commonwealth in Trinidad and Tobago, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spent significant moments with members of the Indian community in both countries. It was evident that the diaspora, proud of India’s new-found status in the world economic order, and the country’s leadership role in geo-politics, is keen to accelerate its efforts to establish closer ties with its motherland. It is clear that everyone is looking for a win-win situation, and the Indian side too is leaving no stone untured in making itself completely accessible to the diaspora. The PM’s interactions made it quite apparent that he was willing to remove all red-tapes when it came to the Indian diaspora.
The visit of the PM, significant in many ways to both countries, came at a crucial time—barely a month ahead of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in New Delhi in January 2010. The timing in terms of ensuring more attendance at the PBD could not have been better.
Singh’s charisma was not lost to the popular American President Barack Obama who hosted a grand presidential state dinner in his honour, the first he and Michelle Obama held for a visiting head of Government. The dinner guests, barring a gate-crashing couple, were handpicked by Obama and his team. Among those who took their positions at the tables at the White House were the most successful and sought after Indian Americans in the USA.
At an Indian American community reception hosted on November 25 by Meera Shankar, Indian Ambassador to the US, the PM described his visit as “fruitful and stimulating.” He invited PIOs to take advantage of modern technology and a flexible policy regime in India to build a true intellectual and business partnership between Indians and Americans.