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PM Modi community reception: ‘Successful applicants will be notified next week’

Preparations are on full swing for in Sydney’s Indian community, spearheaded by the IADF, to welcome India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a second time

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Some 20,000 people, we could safely say at this stage, will be heading to the Sydney Olympic Park on the evening of Tuesday 23 May, to get a chance to see India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Mr Modi will be in Sydney to attend the Quad heads of government meet with American President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and host Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

On the sidelines of this international event, Mr Modi will greet and address his countrymen, just like he did during a previous visit in 2014, and just like he does every time he travels overseas. Typically, these receptions have been mega events, garnering much attention not only among local diaspora but also the admiration of the host nations.

“Sydney has been lucky to get a second opportunity to host one of these grand receptions,” Rahul Jethi, a senior member of the organising authority Indian Australian Diaspora Foundation (IADF) said.

Preparations are on full swing at the moment at the IADF.

Multiple member organisations have sent in over 18,500 public applications from their members to attend the reception.

Attendees are expected from other states, including Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia, along with people from New Zealand, in a repeat of 2014.

If you’ve applied for a seat at the reception and are waiting to learn if you will be among 18,000 lucky attendees, you’ll have to wait until next week to find out, organisers have said.

Dr Nihal Agar, another senior member of the organising team and former president of the Hindu Council of Australia, who also expressed his delight at getting this second opportunity, told Indian Link, “We’ve received over 21,000 applications through partner organisations, with a further 4,000 applications registered after the opening of individual registrations. Unfortunately, due to the overbooking of the event, registration has now been closed to prevent disappointment.”

Dr Agar had spearheaded the 2014 reception, which finished as a spectacular success. He commended the work of nearly 100 volunteers this time round. “Different committees have been set up to coordinate various activities, including registration, ticketing, cultural, and media.”

Some of these volunteers bring valuable experience from their 2014 event, Dr Agar revealed, although many are newcomers.

“Security arrangements have been made to ensure a smooth event, including the Australian Federal Police as well as Indian personnel to ensure the Prime Minister’s and attendees’ safety,” Dr Agar went on.

“We’ve also sent out invites to other community leaders to the event. In a new initiative different from last time, we have made sure to include faith representatives across the board, this time round. Many Australian politicians and councillors will also grace the occasion.”

In case of overcapacity, he revealed, giant screens will be placed outside the venue to ensure that those who missed out on seats can still feel part of the PM Modi community reception.

A private meet-and-greet is also on the cards, more structured than it was last time, according to Dr Agar.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 2014 community reception in Sydney (Source: Twitter)

Many hopeful attendees have been wondering about the time of the PM Modi community reception, all prepared of course to take a day off work to see and hear from a worshipped prime minister.

Dr Agar answered, “We are awaiting final details from the Prime Minister’s office and the local authorities to confirm the exact time for the event to start. We expect at this stage that the cultural program will start at around 5pm. However, the Prime Minister is expected to speak at 6:30 pm.”

While it is unsure how long the Prime Minister will speak for, a safe bet may be a 40-minute address, going by previous diaspora receptions. He will no doubt be sharing his thoughts on various issues related to India and the diaspora.

We’re expecting a full repeat of 2014, with an adoring (and chanting) crowd, a prime minister in his full oratory element, and a very curious mainstream.

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Pawan Luthra
Pawan Luthra
Pawan is the publisher of Indian Link and is one of Indian Link's founders. He writes the Editorial section.

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