Though NRIs (non-resident Indians) do not have the right to vote in Indian elections, they can surely impact the Indian elections in a big way. Affluent people belonging to this section have been known for funding Indian political parties, especially during the time of elections. Their opinions are also highlighted by the media in India and other countries and it does matter to Indians. They also have their relatives living in India, who are influenced by the opinion of their NRI relatives including those pertaining to political matters.
There has been a demand from many NRIs to give them the right to vote in Indian elections, but it has not been granted so far. Recently concluded Prawasi Bhartiya Diwas in Varanasi (Kashi) witnessed a huge gathering of Indians who are currently living abroad.
Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi addressed the ceremony and assured that he was making genuine attempts to attract investments and making plans for a better future of India. He used this platform to indirectly hit back at Congress, disclosing it to the audience how funds meant for the poor have been misused by the corrupt Congress government for last several decades.
He said that NRIs are brand ambassadors of India and he they have brought a great name to India in the whole world. He urged the attendees to convince at least 5 families in their acquaintances to visit India as this would promote tourism in India. He also talked about India being a major center for pilgrims.
A new centralized passport system will be created, which will link Indian consulates and embassies all over the world with passport service. Efforts are also being made to come up with chip based e-passports.
Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Kumar Jugnauth was the chief guest in this function; he said that Mauritius will host Bhagavad-gita and Bhojpuri festivals soon.