Appointed as chairman of Congress’ overseas department, Sam Pitroda today said in the next few days the party will outline a plan for Indians abroad to join a movement to help spread Gandhian and Congress ideas. He said the party’s overseas unit proposes to build, manage and maintain a robust platform to encourage, engage, mobilise and empower Indians living abroad and will outline the plan soon. “Overseas Indians could help spread these Gandhian and Congress thoughts. They could also help start a new national and global conversation,” he said.
Pitroda also said that overseas Indians could be the party’s ambassadors to promote Congress values related to democracy, secularism, inclusion, social justice, freedom nationalism, non-violence and peace, the world over. “Overseas Indians exercise substantial influence on family, friends and communities all over India. “They could also be a catalyst for substantial change in India and abroad. They need a robust global platform to connect, collaborate, cooperate, communicate and network,” he said on Twitter.
The overseas Congress department chief said there are over 30 million overseas Indians across the world who have strong social, economic, cultural and family ties with India. “They are active in business, trade, NGO, entertainment, cricket, religion. They are equally interested in India’s rapid development and willing to offer help and support. Like people in India, they also want to improve governance, reduce corruption and poverty, create jobs, innovate and increase opportunities and growth,” he said. Pitroda also said they sent USD 70 billion in remittances to India every year.
He said the Congress has a great tradition of working with overseas Indians. He said many founding fathers of the Indian independence movement were overseas Indians like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhai Patel, Subhas Chandra Bose and others. “Their worldview was reflected in their strong fundamental values and broad inclusive vision for India. Gandhiji and his thoughts are more relevant today for the world then ever before,” he said.
“The world is at a crossroads and can benefit from Gandhian thoughts and Congress ideology related to truth, trust, non-violence, sacrifice, simplicity, peace, love, inclusion, gender equality, environment, decentralisation, concern for poor and minorities, bottom-up development as opposed to top-down, are all timely global issues of importance,” he said.