Here is what Indian expats in Oman want from Modi in second term as PM
May 25, 2019 | 7:50 PM
by Times News Service
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. -File photo

Muscat: Indian expatriates living in Oman hope that they will be able to vote from overseas in the next elections, after Narendra Modi’s BJP once again swept to power.

Counting for the Indian Lok Sabha elections ended on 23 May, with a clear win for the Bharatiya Janata Party, which will continue to stay in power as the ruling party.

Suresh Nair told Times of Oman, “For a few years now, we have hoped to contribute to the Indian elections from here in Oman. There are many other expatriate communities that live here in the Gulf and their embassies set aside one day for them to come and vote. Announcements are also made well in advance so that they know when they can come. We would be most appreciative if the Indian Embassy could also do this in the future.”

Non Resident Indians (NRIs) in Oman are also keen to see the same levels of safety in India as they enjoy in the Sultanate.

“When we step out of our houses here, safety is not something that we have to think about,” added Ashish Sharma. “It would be nice if we had a similar reassurance when we moved back to India, which many of us NRIs here in Oman, the Gulf and other places will definitely do at some point.”

Concerns over provisions for NRIs who return back home seemed to be a recurring theme among Indian expats in Oman.

John Kurian, who has been living in Oman for 20 years, hoped that NRIs would be able to receive a pension when they return home, so that there will be money for them to use on immediately returning.

“Many people assume that if you live overseas, you are earning a big salary, but that is not always true,” he explained. “Many NRIs and other foreign workers from other countries do struggle to make ends meet here, and we come here in the desire to give our families back home a better life. If we could also receive a pension after spending most of our lives overseas, it would greatly help us back home.”

Rashid Shaikh added that it was difficult for NRIs to adjust to life back in India, particularly when it came to finding work.

“Many of us here in Oman and the Gulf come to one company and stay there for a long time, but the economic downturn in the region means many of us have to go back at short notice,” he told Times of Oman. “Many of us reach out to friends and family members looking for connections, but if there were some way to streamline the process of getting work, that would be a welcome boon for expats.”

Other expats congratulated the Narendra Modi government for retaining power, and hoped that India would benefit from his role as Prime Minister.

“It is a grand victory, but I am a supporter of anyone who does a good job. Modi has done a great job, and for the next five years, the world is going to watch us... wait and see the performance growth,” said Vijay Handa.

“This is going to be fantastic, and the good thing is that this party is now coming all over India. This party had its presence all over India, because Modi is not looking at left or right political alignment, he just wants the processes to be right. 550 million people are getting benefits directly now, which never had happened before, so the corruption is going to get eradicated in India.”

Ramakrishnan Venkataraman added: “The good policies of Modi were welcomed and appreciated by the real people. The people showed the world who is the boss, the ultimate authority in a democracy, the world’s biggest one.”

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