Modi in 24k Gold and Nice Cow Art

At Pravasi Bharthi Vikas in Singapore!

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 24-karat gold and some nice cow art (no pejoration intended) caught my attention at the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) event at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore today.

I did not register for the two-day event that kicked off yesterday. I did not find the agenda inspiring enough, with sessions on Assam, trade, legal framework, Yoga and Ayurveda being a deterrent.

Also, Ministers Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari speaking in Hindi will only make me seethe.

Cow Art

However, I decided to gatecrash into it this afternoon, the second and final day. I did not see any big crowd there, most of those who were there must have been delegates from India as well as from the other ASEAN countries.

Perhaps those who had registered will show up at the gala dinner today. I think I should have registered as the cost was only S$150 for the two-day even, including lunch, dinner and snacks. Late realisation, but with a heavy North focus it will not have been meaningful for me.

Indian CX Platform

Programmes on Make in India and digitisation may have been interesting. I noticed a booth on a made-in-India Customer Experience (CX) analytics marketing platform. It was unmanned when I visited it. So were most other booths.

The one that remained open was a gold art showcase with portraits of leaders, current and past — Modi, Gandhi and Lee Kuan Yew. That appeared to be a business run by a Singapore Indian.

Gold art

Also on display were framed landmarks and national symbols such as the Golden Temple and the Merlion.

I doubt NRIs in Singapore will have had the patience to endure two days of boring discussions. That is, of course, a sweeping statement! How can I say so without attending most of them? I only briefly attended a healing session today, relying on the agenda for my assessment!


Among Indian States the focus appeared to have been on Assam, with some attention to Andhra, with the participation of chief minister Chandrababu Naidu.

This year’s PBD marked the silver jubilee of India-ASEAN relations.


G Joslin Vethakumar

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Filed under India, Pravasi Bharthi Vikas

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