Pravasi Bharatiya Divas: Visas For PIO?

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Pravasi Bharatiya Divas: A Day To Remember The Indians Outside!

pravasi bharatiya divas, pio, nri, people of indian origin, jan 9 2015

Today is the mark of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, an event which literally translated means the day of the traveling Indians. In other words, a day to mark and pay homage and recognize the contribution of Indians living overseas. When we talk colloquially about citizens of a country, somehow the people from Indian origin are usually left out – may it be voting, planning on the governmental policies and so on. That doesn’t necessarily mean that their contribution is not relevant or important to the country. It sure is as important if not more compared to the contributions of a citizen of the country.

Why this day?

gandhi pravasi bharatiya divas9th of January marks the date of Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa in 1915. A significant day in Gandhi’s life, the day after which he decides to stay here and live up for the values of his life. We all know his contributions and the Title of Father of the Nation certainly stands tall! We can see the relevance here in picking this day as the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, it makes perfect sense to mark this day on the day of one of the greatest Indians whose contributions have been momentous both in the country and outside. One can never forget the contribution of Gandhi while he was in South Africa and how those experiences shaped him to create the difference he envisioned for the country.

What is special this year?

This year, the event is pretty special. It was 1915 when Gandhi came to India and it marks the passing of an exact 100 years. We couldn’t have asked for a better day to announce or define policies relevant to the people of Indian origin elsewhere. Over 4,000 delegates have arrived for the event which spans over three days from 7-9 January each year.

pravasi bharatiya divas modi speech, pbd 2015And something special is expected this year. If you recall, Modi made  one hell of a speech when he was in US – Modi Madison Square Garden Speech where he talked about the Indians in US and other countries and how they have contributed for the development of local economies and hence in turn India. These people have been the ambassadors of the image of the country and they sure have done a great job at it.

To mark their contributions, Modi announced permanent visas for people from Indian Origin. This means that no more standing in queues, nor calling the passport office to fix an appointment, no more of those hassles. As promised life is going to get a little easier for the pravasi bharatiya or the traveling Indian!

Theme of 2015 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

The Theme for this year is Engaging Diaspora: Connecting Across Generations. This event is aimed at enhancing networking and reinforcing commercial linkages.

Well this is the era of Globalization. There is no way a single country can sustain on its own, without partnerships. The one and only way ahead is intelligent collaborations and who better to collaborate with than the representatives of the country who live and breathe the values of a nation?

What is the point in Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and this year’s announcement of Permanent Visas for PIO?

Well! Every public announcement or a legislation should bring about a few changes and of course a few advantages with itself. Here are a few:

Makes it easy for travel to India.

With the growing trends in economy, the role of the government is decreasing and the responsibility is increasing. In other words, the role of the government has shifted over from mundane functions to policy making which certainly is the sign of progress.

 – A sense of belonging.

You may argue that it is just a gesture and need not mean anything. Perhaps not. But let me refresh your memory, that India as a country does not offer dual citizenship. In other words, once you take a naturalized citizenship of another country, you lose the citizenship here. The permanent visa is certainly an optimistic sign – a hope that says you still belong here and you can come back any day and we shall welcome you with open arms when you want to touch base with your roots.


The history books say that the real patriots are the ones who fought for the freedom of the country. Current day businesses say that the real patriots are the ones who work for the benefit of the people in the nation, uplifting of the local economy. But in a very close way, the PIO’s play a very strong role for development of the country’s economy. Maybe through their investment or being an ambassador or being a venture capitalist. They sure play a role and sometimes more than a cacophonous resident here.

Well these are a very few to point out and I am sure I have missed many. I would love to make the list bigger, I am very much eager to hear your thoughts 🙂

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