Parliamentarians of Indian Origin meet in Delhi next week

Venkat Raman

Auckland, January 3, 2018

Three Parliamentarians of Indian origin and a Mayor will be among the New Zealand delegates attending the first ‘Person of Indian Origin Parliamentary Conference’ on January 9 and 10, 2018 at New Delhi.

New Zealand Delegates

A Press Note issued by the Indian High Commission earlier today said that Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Dr Parmjeet Parmar (both National List MPs), Priyanca Radhakrishnan (Labour List MP) and Kapiti Coast Mayor K Gurunathan will attend the two-day Conference, representing New Zealand.

The Three MPs were born in India while Mr Gurunathan, a former journalist is of Malaysian-Indian origin. Although not a Parliamentarian, he is an elected Member of a Local Council and head of a local government – the first for a person of Indian Origin in New Zealand.

The High Commission Press Release said that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the Conference.

“This Conference, the first of its kind, is in recognition of the contribution made by the Indian Diaspora to both country of their origin as well as to the country of their residence. The Government of India appreciates the role played by the Indian Diaspora in New Zealand in building friendship between India and New Zealand as well as between the peoples of these two countries,” it said.

Global attendance

Dnyaneshwar Mulay, Secretary, Consular, Passport & Visa, a newly created post at the Ministry of External Affairs told a meeting of Indian Association of Foreign Affairs Correspondents in New Delhi on December 21, 2017 said that more than 125 Parliamentarians of Indian origin will attend the Conference.

“There are 285 Parliamentarians of Indian origin in other countries- 70 of them are Prime Ministers, Speakers and Ministers,” he said.

People-Centric Diplomacy
NDTV quoted Mr Mulay as saying that the Indian government has made its diplomacy people-centric.
“The government’s interaction with the Indian Diaspora has been ‘transformational.’ There are more than 31.2 million People of Indian Origin all over the world,” he said.
He said that there were four segments of the Indian Diaspora – those in the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) numbering 8.5 million; about 1.7 million people who went as indentured labourers to various countries; Indians with Indian passports living overseas; and ‘floating Indians’ including students and people living in other countries on short-stay and for research.


Photo Caption:

  1. Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi
  2. Dr Parmjeet Parmar
  3. Priyanca Radhakrishnan
  4. K Gurunathan (Picture Courtesy: Kapiti Coast District Council/Facebook)

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