The online registration portal has been launched by the Indian diaspora in various countries where Modi is set to visit to ask the public to register for an address by Modi to the diaspora. The mega Modi event in Nairobi is set to be held on July 10 while South Africa’s reception is hosted on July 8. Click here for link
The committee is headed by Ramjibhai Patel. Committee member Manu Chandaria appealed to the Indian community to register themselves and motivate at least 10 of their friends and relatives as well. “Let our numbers show our strength,” Chandaria said.
The BJP’s overseas arm is more certain of a successful event in Kenya given that the Indian diaspora, which includes a significant number of Gujaratis, continues to have strong links with India. According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), there are 80,000 people of Indian origin in Kenya, including 20,000 Indian nationals. Indians went to Kenya in the 1950s.
In comparison, the South African-Indian origin community is more sizeable, numbering 1.5 million, about 3% of South Africa’s population. Unlike the Indian diaspora in Kenya, the South African-Indian origin community has tenuous links with the country of their ancestors. They have found good representation in South Africa’s governance structures and are zealous about their South African identity.
Historically, the major part of the Indian origin community reached South Africa from 1860 onwards to serve as field hands and mill operatives in the plantations in Natal. Most of these initial migrants were from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and some from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
A second wave of Indians came around 1880. These were the “passenger Indians”, called such because they paid their fares as passengers on board a steamship bound for South Africa. These were Hindu and Muslim traders from Gujarat.
The ‘Karibu Kenya Modiji Organising Committee’ says it is an organisation promoting Kenya-India relations for communities, by communities. The committee “pays tribute to the deep ties between India and Kenya, highlighting the formidable contribution made by members of the Indian diaspora in all walks of life in Kenya.”