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The Significance Of Modi’s Saudi Trip

Narendra Modi, whose humble origin as a “chaiwallah” (tea-seller) has been much-publicized in the past two years, will do a ‘chai-pe-charcha’ with Indian workers in Riyadh during his maiden visit to Saudi Arabia early next month.But unlike in the past when he engaged with huge gatherings of Indians in public???including addressing them in different stadiums???he will not be able to do so in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi law prohibits any assembly of people for political reasons. And it is obvious that the Saudi leadership will not allow such a gathering for a foreign leader.Hence Modi has decided to visit a worker’s mess in Riyadh when he travels to the Saudi capital between April 2 and 3 for a ‘ chai-pe-charcha’ with Indian labourers living there. The engagement will help the Prime Minister problems the workers have been facing in the country. This will be highlighted by him during his engagement with the Saudi leadership on ways to improve the condition of the Indian workers.The Indian Prime Minister has often done the tete-a-tete over a cup of tea to engage with world leaders, including, US President Barack Obama. But this time he will do so with Indian workers on a foreign soil.Modi is also scheduled to visit a Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) Centre in Riyadh where large number of Saudi women are being trained on Information Technology and related issues of computer science. The TCS Centre had less than a hundred women enrolling there when it opened a few months back. But now it has several thousands of them and is one of the most popular training institutes in the country.However, Modi’s engagement with Indian workers in Riyadh is politically significant. Since he became Prime Minister in May 2014 Modi has gone out of his way to seek out and engage with members of the Indian diaspora during his foreign travels. But most of them have been from the well-to-do Indian community. A significant section among these has also been friends or members of the BJP outfit abroad. T



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