Indians in Dubai revel at country’s election landslide for BJP

Nearly 100 expats gathered at the Indian Club in Dubai on Friday morning to chat, eat and play games as the election results came flooding in.
Humit Bhatia, left, and Sanjay Bhayani gathered with others from the Indian expat community living in Dubai at the Indian Club in Bur Dubai yesterday to get election results as they unfolded in India. Antonie Robertson / The National
Humit Bhatia, left, and Sanjay Bhayani gathered with others from the Indian expat community living in Dubai at the Indian Club in Bur Dubai yesterday to get election results as they unfolded in India. Antonie Robertson / The National

DUBAI // Indian expatriates were overjoyed with the news that the Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Narendra Modi, won the election by a landslide, securing a majority in the 543-member Lok Sabha, parliament’s lower house.

Nearly 100 expats gathered at the Indian Club in Dubai on Friday morning to chat, eat and play games as the election results came flooding in.

“I was extremely happy with the results, Modi was our chief minister and now he will be our prime minister,” said Kiran Sangani, managing partner at Sangani & Co accountants. “This proves India’s recognition of democracy, and it is significant because the switch of power happened so smoothly.

“Today, the votes also came from the younger generation, which is so tired of the corruption in the country.”

Mr Sangani, who has been living in the UAE for more than 35 years, said Mr Modi was the right person for the job.

“He is the perfect person, and I think other parties were trying to discredit him. However, I believe that under his leadership, India will become stronger and become more stable, allowing people to invest in the country.”

Mr Mahendra Asher, senior partner at accountants Mahendra Asher & Co, agreed with his long-time friend, Mr Sangani, saying that the latest Indian election will bring prosperity to the country and its people.

“This is the victory of India, the victory of democracy. Modi is the father of the people,” he said. “We are looking for good governance with no corruption but with progress. People will want to invest in the country, and others will want to go back to their home country if there is stability.”

He said that those who tried to discredit Modi failed, adding: “Only small people talk about other people but big people talk about the issues at hand. Modi is working for all the classes in India, because India is one.”

Johnson John, who owns a trading company, said that India deserved a change after years of corruption.

“The mere fact that 30 of the MPs lost their seats shows the anger of the people towards Congress and corruption and how unhappy they were,” he said. “I send money home, and it is never enough. The cost of living in India has become too high.”

EL Goveia, general manager at Emirates Buildmat, said his country’s best interests should top any new government’s agenda.

“The previous ruling party had 10 years and they didn’t perform. I am happy BJP won, and if they also don’t perform, then there will be another change,” he said. “It is normal that some portion of the country is not happy with the election results, and to rule a country as big and diverse as India is not easy.”

“At the end of the day, all Indians want a better life, prosperity and for the corruption to stop.”

Mr Kamal Vachani, group director of Al Maya Group supermarkets, welcomed the verdict, saying he hopes the new government will introduce friendly policies for the Indian business diaspora both in and outside the country.

“I am looking for strong policies for promoting exports and especially food items including vegetables, fruits, meat etc,” he said. “Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) always attach high hopes with the government back home for everything and this is the same case this time as well.”

Saffiya Wahid, who is 24 and of Indian and British descent, said: “I think it’s awful that a country that promotes itself as secular has voted in a right-wing ultra Hindu leader.

“If you talk to most Indians, they would say there is no rift between Hindus and Muslims in the country but clearly this is not the case because they have voted for someone with a history of violence.

“The US didn’t let him in in 2005 or give him a visa and now he has been voted into power? In terms of religion, Islam and Muslims are being marginalised in the country, and I don’t think these election results will do anything positive for the community.”

Parvez Ansari, a business owner, added: “As a Muslim, you would be very disturbed because Modi is a man who participated in riots and has been involved in the killing of Muslims. Any Muslim would be disturbed.

“There are Muslim who have sided with him because, business-wise, his election may be better for India. He wants to get rid of bureacracy, and he wants things to move faster.

“At the end of the day, Modi was responsible for the killing of Muslims, something that had become a side issue, but I think it is enough to rule him out as a prime minister. I personally do not think that his election was a good thing.”

dmoukhallati@thenational.ae

Published: May 16, 2014 04:00 AM

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