Connected to India brings you an exclusive interview with Dr Vijay Chauthaiwale, head of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) foreign affairs cell, ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Singapore.
Dr Chauthaiwale, a PhD in Microbiology and erstwhile Vice President, Discovery Research, of Torrent Pharmaceuticals, is the key man responsible for organising the Indian PM’s NRI outreach. He has driven efforts to reach roughly 31.7 million expatriates and people of Indian origin around the world. He is responsible for the logistics involved in the PM’s visits and rallies overseas as well as advance planning and groundwork for the trips and vetting overseas NRI organisations.
In the interview, Dr Chauthaiwale talks about PM’s upcoming visit to Singapore and his itinerary, which includes a keynote address at the Shangri La Dialogues, unveiling a plaque commemorating the scattering of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes at Clifford Pier, the NRI voting process during the general election next year, BJP’s NRI outreach policy over the years and other related issues.
As the pointman for the Party’s interactions with Indians abroad, he offers a unique perspective on the BJP’s focus overseas.
“The PM wants to make the diaspora a part of his overall development agenda, and wants to have them as informal ambassadors of our country. Accessibility and encouragement to come back to India for the diaspora and helping people of Indian-origin who are disconnected from their roots as Indians are areas the Indian government is focusing on,” he said.
He also said that the issue of NRI voting is being considered by the Election Commission of India. “A lot of things need to be sorted out,” he said. “I am hopeful that this will happen despite a lot of logistical challenges. It will be unprecedented.”
“Our efforts are to interview the right people and ask the right questions on behalf of the 31.7 million Indian diaspora across the world. Dr Chauthaiwale, at the helm of BJP’s foreign affairs cell, has answers to a lot of things Indians abroad are curious about. This interview answers some of them,” said Himanshu Verma, Founder and CEO of Connected to India.
“This also marks the commencement of a series of articles, which will cover subjects like Aadhar card, OCI card, real estate, concerns of NRIs with business interests back home, problems concerning Indian origin labour, increasing restrictions on spouses of H1-B visa holders, secular restrictions on religious symbols in schools and other issues the diaspora is facing,” he added
The conversation with Dr Chauthaiwale highlights Connected to India’s coverage of the Indian political landscape and its commitment to ensuring that Indians abroad are kept apprised of the latest developments from our homeland. Visit our website for more stories, features and videos related to the diaspora.
The interview is available on the Connected to India website and YouTube channel. We welcome comments, analyses and critiques on our Facebook, Twitter (@connected2india), Instagram (@connectedtoindia) and other social media accounts. For more information, contact us at [email protected]
About Connected to India
Connected to India is a Singapore headquartered online media company. With a team of experienced journalists and freelance writers we cover developments around Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Indian diaspora from Singapore, Malaysia, US, UK and Dubai. Our engaging content includes subjects like entertainment, business, politics, SMEs, travel and tourism and lifestyle. Our idea is to showcase and present the extent and impact of Indian soft-power the world-over. We are working towards becoming the largest aggregator of NRIs/Indian diaspora across the world. Our digital, branding and content strategies are working in tandem to make this a reality.