January 2015 \ Interviews \ Interview—MOIA
"We will use technology for constant dialogue with Pravasi Indians"

Mr Sunil Soni, Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, speaks to India Empire's Editor and Publisher, Sayantan Chakravarty on a range of issues concerning the Indian Diaspora and the PBD 2015

By Sayantan Chakravarty

What do you think will be the major takeaways from the forthcoming PBD?

As I said earlier, what we are trying to do is focus on Gandhiji’s return. And Gandhiji is the first Pravasi as we call him. He was the best Pravasi which we had so far who came back and changed the fortune and history of this country, and even transformed this country socially. So that is the message that we would like to convey. And one more thing that he did, even PM talks about it, that instead of a normal person coming from abroad, criticizing a few things in India, and going back, Gandhiji instead of criticizing started those changes which he thought were required in this country. So that is the message we like to convey to everybody. So everybody can contribute in some way or other. Somebody could come back to India and somebody could send back something to India. People can contribute, instead of complaining what India does not have. That is the major takeaway I would like to get out of this event. That is from their side, and from our side also whatever issues are there, we are trying to see that they feel comfortable about those issues. What is possible like OIC card, PIO card getting merged, we should facilitate. We should also feel, it is a two way process, it cannot be a one way process where we want them to give something to the country, and the country cannot look after them well. So we should understand their requirements to the extent possible. We should try to meet them. Second takeaway will be that, to understand what they want, and to the extent we can accommodate their aspirations, make them feel happy about the country.