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Indian election becomes a hot topic among overseas Chinese

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At a potluck for the Indian diaspora at a community center near Washington, D.C., the dishes ranged from chana masala, a chickpea curry popular in northern India, to idli, a rice cake from the south.

What Guests Say Indian election Some people praised Prime Minister Modi’s Economic achievements. Supporters candidate Challengers to Modi’s party have criticized him for ignoring minorities and democratic norms.

“What is the vision for India in 2024?” the host, Somu Kumar, a manager at a cloud computing company, said recently of that winter dinner. “It got a lot of people excited to talk about it.”

India has 35 million expatriates, a population roughly equal to that of the Delhi metropolitan area, but Nearly one billion Voting closes on Saturday for those who are eligible to participate in the six-week voting process. Foreign Indians are also not allowed to cast absentee ballots under India’s election laws.

But India’s major political parties have strongly supported the diaspora, many of whom are among India’s political and business elites, and voters in India want to know what they think.

“When a person is abroad, people are interested and believe that what he says is right,” said Adapa Prasad, chairman of the U.S. unit of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party. As a result, he said, about 10,000 BJP volunteers are able to reach tens of thousands of voters in the United States alone.

This spring, Indians around the world have been holding parties and rallies for their favorite political parties. Many Indians abroad are proud of India’s rise and associate Modi with it. Many recent events have supported his bid for a third term.

The Indian government said the United States five million Indians held rallies in support of Modi at Times Square, the Washington Monument, the Golden Gate Bridge and other landmarks. Some pro-Modi posters read: “Save India.”

Pro-Modi groups have also set up phone banks and held other events. Last month, in suburban Chicago, Modi supporters wearing BJP saffron tassels lit a bonfire next to a Hindu school as part of a sacred fire ritual. India’s Hindu majority is a key constituency for Mr. Modi, who has been accused of lying about his political career. Normalizing Hindu nationalist policies In a country that was born as a secular republic.

In Australia, a convoy of cars flying saffron flags stretched for miles through Sydney in April. In Germany, Modi supporters who own restaurants in Berlin and Munich have been hosting parties for BJP supporters, said Arun Varma, an entrepreneur who founded an e-commerce brand in Germany.

In the UK, people have flocked to Hindu temples, mosques and churches to pray for Modi’s electoral success, said Neil Lal, president and director of the Indian Council of Scotland and Britain.

“The election is a hot topic on everyone’s lips,” Lal said in London.

Over the years, Modi has actively sought the support of overseas Chinese, in part because Sports stadiums are full Rallies are held around the world. study Research by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington think tank, found that most overseas Indians support him rather than his rivals.

Milan Vaishnav, a Carnegie political scientist who studies the Indian diaspora, said Indians living abroad are a fringe force in Indian politics, and their campaign contributions, while hard to quantify, are small compared with the billions of dollars raised at home.

“But the gathering of the diaspora has helped the BJP project a globally popular image,” he said.

The BJP is not the only party active outside India. Overseas branches of its main rival, the Indian National Congress, organize events, distribute campaign posters and help run columns in newspapers. The Ajjalil Party, part of the Congress-led parliamentary alliance, also has overseas members who run phone banks and spread propaganda. Friendly Memes About its candidates.

Kumar, a civilian supporter, said there is growing concern among the diaspora about Modi’s possible third term in office. He said diaspora members who are concerned about India are worried about the recent Marginalization of religious minoritiesthis Assassination of separatists and Imprisonment of opposition politicians.

Some of those who attended his dinner were staunch supporters of Modi, many of whom played cricket with him. Others were once Modi supporters but now question whether he should be re-elected.

“I hope this will benefit India as well,” Kumar said.

In addition to the major political parties, independent activists living abroad have also criticized the government in a way that is difficult to do in India, where the Modi government has Suppression of dissent and jailing opposition leaders.

One of the activists is Suresh Ediga, an Indian expatriate in New Jersey who organized a conference on electoral reform and A fact-checking blog for Indian politicians.

“Independent institutions have collapsed under Modi,” he said. “That’s more worrying than anything else.”

While many overseas Chinese actively participated in the campaign, others took a more hands-off approach.

Lion Hina Trivedi is a well-known social worker in Gujarat, India, where Mr Modi was born. Served as Chief Minister She kept in touch with him from 2001 to 2014, having known him for decades and seeing him on his trips to Washington. She said she is now more invested in the American community after living in Chicago for more than 45 years.

But she still urged Indians she knew to return home and vote, recalling her father’s advice: “Never forget India.”

“You should go,” she told them. “Your voices matter.”

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