BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Photos by Vinod Sharma, SFA Productions
Atlanta, GA, June 6, 2019: “Modi ji ek vicharadhara hain, (Modi ji is an ideology, trend of thought). He is a movement,” stated Dr. Vasudev Patel, organizing secretary of the Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) at the BJP victory celebrations held at the Impact Hall in Global Mall on May 26, 2019.
“I bow to the 1.3 billion people of India. If someone is victorious, it is India. If someone is victorious, it is democracy. If someone is victorious, it is the electorate,” newly re-elected PM Modi said in his addressed to the nation at the BJP headquarters post his monumental mandate.
Even as BJP supporters in India burst out into celebrations with slogans, dance and laddus, so did the very many supporters of BJP across the world including US, UK and gulf to name a few.
Having campaigned for nearly four months from a different country thousands of miles away, the Overseas Friends of BJP-USA (OFBJP) celebrated the party’s victory with much patriotic fervor, complete with Vijayrath (rally), Deep Prajwalan (Lighting of the lamp), accompanied by Shankh naad ( conch) and chanting of shlokas by Pandit Gyan Prakash ji, thunderous slogans, speeches, sumptuous food with laddus served individually to each person at the table. Vikas Nahata anchored the event with Josh, unlimited.
“We got the best CEO for our country” said Shiv Aggarwal, Owner, Global Mall.
“We are all ambassadors of Bharat. OJBJP volunteers have made 14 Lakh phone calls to India. We all took vacations from our regular jobs, spent own money for the trips to campaign in India,” said Patel, who landed to the event directly from his trip back from India.
OFBJP workers implemented various programs such as “Chowkidar Marches,” “Chai Pe Charchas,” call-A-thons, car rallies, a flash mob dance, snow mobile rally, “Ghar Ghar Modi,” “Sampark Abhiyan” among others, encouraging Indian Americans to support Modi and to boost the party’s image in India.
“Modi ji has made us proud to be Indians anywhere in the world. He won because he addressed basic issues such as bathrooms and cleanliness and that is what mattered to citizens, “said Sneha Mehta, Global Indians for Bharat Vikas (GIBV), adding that volunteers of GIBV had made phone calls to India at 4 am in the morning.
“Be tuned with Modi ji and support all his programs,” urged Nanda Chatla.
While most chose to express their joy with words, one volunteer chose the poetic route. Dance performances by students of NNKB, coordinated by Sandeep Savla and dancers from Telangana entertained the audience. The event was put together by Vasudev Patel, Rajeev Menon, Vikas Nahata, Amit Kumar, Nanda Chatla, Venkat Gaddam, Sridhar Venkat, Vinod Sharma, and Vinay Boppanna.
TV Asia, the largest India-oriented TV operation in the US, had held a marathon overnight coverage of the Indian elections for its viewers across the US.
In Atlanta, OFBJP organized an overnight vigil to watch the results at the Gokuldham Hall in Buford, GA. A victory celebration was held at Adda Sports Pub & Eatery in Suwanee on Thursday, May 24th evening which was well attended by over 60 community members despite the short notice.
What evokes this international frenzy and sense of victory across the seas, when most are not even eligible to vote in India? “Modi ji was a breath of fresh air to the national level politics when he became the PM 5 years back. No other Prime ministers could achieve what Modi ji achieved in his 5 years. He is a true World leader and make us extremely proud of our culture and heritage and that’s the reason we are so excited about his victory,” replied Rajeev Menon.
Congratulatory wishes poured in from all corners, including President Donald Trump who tweeted “Congratulations to Prime Minister @NarendraModi and his BJP party on their BIG election victory! Great things are in store for the US-India partnership with the return of PM Modi at the helm. I look forward to continuing our important work together!: #DonaldTrump, President USA.”
The unprecedented saffron sweep across the largest democratic podium stands testament to a an irrevocably changed India, while the unequivocal support garnered by PM Modi and BJP from the diaspora across the globe adds new dimensions to the evolving political landscape in India.