18,000 turn up to see Modi at Indian diaspora event

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeting the audience at the special event for the Indian diaspora yesterday.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeting the audience at the special event for the Indian diaspora yesterday.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi so loves an audience that he seems continually on the stump.

Last night, a rapt audience of about 18,000 greeted him at a special event for the Indian diaspora at the Singapore Expo.

Most were expatriates from India while a few had made the trip from neighbouring countries and even the United States and India.

Dressed in a white traditional Indian outfit, Mr Modi did not disappoint the crowd, which had waited patiently for over three hours. If they had difficulty seeing him, they could turn to five giant screens.

Organised by the Singapore NRI Forum - NRI is short for non-resident Indian - the event reached full capacity more than a week ago, but organisers were still receiving requests for seats, said Mr Satyamurthy Vamaraju, chief coordinator of the event.

PRAISE FOR SINGAPORE

Now Singapore is also helping other countries to build themselves. I congratulate Singaporeans and Singapore.

PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA MODI

Speaking in Hindi, Mr Modi continued for more than an hour on the theme, "The world is one family", and offered his vision of a self-confident India.

Singapore permanent resident Priyanka Ranade, 33, who works in a wealth advisory firm here, said she is a fan of Mr Modi's. She had not only registered herself for the event, but also got seats for her parents visiting from India.

Mr Modi concluded his speech by saying Singapore had been built by many. "Now Singapore is also helping other countries to build themselves. I congratulate Singaporeans and Singapore," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2015, with the headline '18,000 turn up to see Modi at Indian diaspora event'. Print Edition | Subscribe