Prosperous Diaspora Has Increasing Influence in India’s Domestic Politics

On November 13 at London’s storied Wembley Stadium, globalization met traditional politics from another continent. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, making a state visit to the UK, received a warm public reception and song-and-dance extravaganza. The gathering of some 60,000 British Indians selected through community organizations had a serious purpose – build a database of overseas Indians to help reelect Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, in 2019. The party’s 2014 landslide win was supported by many non-resident Indians. Building on that success, BJP’s central office has focused on bolstering its Overseas Friends of BJP arm to induct the diaspora into reinforcing its machine with internet skills and generous donations to the party through meticulous planning and implementation presented as spontaneous exuberance of overseas Indians for Modi.