More than a thousand Indian-Americans and Indians living abroad, crowded into the Royal Albert’s Palace in Fords, N.J., to celebrate the massive re-election victory of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the day he was sworn-in for a second term as the leader of that country May 30.
That was just one of numerous similar events held around the United States before and after Modi’s swearing-in, with jubilant groups of supporters who had given time and effort into campaigning for him long distance and some by traveling to India.
According to the president of the Overseas Friends of the Bharatiya Janata Party – OFBJP-USA, Krishna Reddy Anugula, not only have similar celebrations been held around in New Jersey but also as far south as Tampa, Florida, and Chicago, as well as Washington, D.C., and Houston.
“We are also planning to hold meetings and seminars around the country over the next few months and years – “New India 2022: Vision of Prime Minister Modi’,” as well as victory celebrations in Los Angeles, Detroit, Boston, New York, and Austin, and other cities, Anugula told News India Times.
At the Royal Albert’s Palace event, several prominent members and leading supporters of Prime Minister Modi abroad, began celebrations by laying flowers at the statue of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel that stands in the grounds of Royal Albert’s Palace.
In their speeches, they praised Modi’s accomplishments and extended their support. Apart from Anugula, the speakers included Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media and ITV Gold, Padma Shri H.R. Shah, chairman and CEO of TV Asia, Shobana Patel and Albert Jassani of Royal Albert’s Palace, Dr. Ila Sukhadia, pediatrician from Staten Island, Kanubhai Patel, chairman and managing director of Amneal Pharmaceuticals, leading volunteers Ganesh Ramakrishnan and Yelloji Rao, former general secretary of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh.
Anugula congratulated Modi and his closest advisors and the volunteers in India and U.S., and detailed the work of the OFBJP-USA over the last few months, and its plans for the future in areas of community welfare in the U.S., as well as U.S.-India relations.
Video messages were played on the screen from Union Minister of State for Home Gangapuram Kishan Reddy, as well as Gajendra Singh Shekhawat who has also been appointed head of the newly created Jal Shakti (water power) ministry in Modi’s cabinet. They thanked Indians living abroad for their support and promised them that Prime Minister Modi would work to exceed their expectations.
“We may be living elsewhere but India is in our thoughts all the time,” said Dr. Parikh in his speech congratulating Prime Minister Modi. “This is a crucial moment for Bharat and for us, as Indian-Americans. The values that we want in America are the same as those that we want for our ancestral land,” including – security and victory over terrorism, an economy that will life everyone out of poverty, protecting the rights of minorities, climate change, and women’s rights, Dr. Parikh said.
Jayesh Patel, former president of OFBJP-USA, dwelt on how big and important the Modi victory was and that India would be moving forward.
Certificates of Appreciation were given out to 150 volunteers of OFBJP-USA in New Jersey.
Earlier in the week, a victory parade on Oak Tree Road in Iselin, N.J. May 27, transformed Little India into a scene from India, where a political rally was taking place amid businesses owned and operated by Indian-Americans lining both sides of the street. A Modi look-alike led a procession where a line of cars carried Modi supporters waving flags and shouting slogans like “Har Har Modi” and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” followed by those on foot, including a few children.
Several speakers addressed the rally, including New Jersey businessman Hirsh Singh, candidate for the U.S. Senate from District 2, running against incumbent Sen. Cory Booker; Dr. Parikh, and Rajyalaxmi, a staunch BJP supporter and activist who was involved with others in organizing the parade.
Rajyalaxmi, who goes by that single name, said there was no other leader like Modi, and noted the slogan – Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, which roughly translated stands for – support of everyone, progress for everyone, and trust of everyone.
She told News India Times it was not because of so many volunteers that Modi won, “But it was the common people, the woman selling bhaji on the street, or the father pulling a rickshaw, who feel that their son or daughter can be PM of India.”
“These people stood in 108-110 degrees temperature to press that button to vote for Modiji. This is the metrix of the heart of bharat,” Rajyalaxmi said.
Hirsh Singh, speaking at the victory parade, said U.S.-India relations are even more important now than ever before. “Prime Minister Modi didn’t just win, but won with a huge mandate and with most amount of seats … So right now it is so critical that our U.S.-India relations are on the upswing and we are looking forward to that.”
Dr. Parikh, speaking at the victory parade, said, “Our friends, brothers and sisters of India, have elected a great leader who is very strong, very versatile, who has a very good vision, and not only a good vision, but also knows how to implement that vision. We wish you all the best from all the NRIs from the U.S.”