My Interview with Dr A M Gondane, Indian High Commissioner Canberra – on “soft power” and diaspora

The High Commissioner sees great potential in the Indian diaspora in Australia.

“The Indian diaspora here is very active and each diaspora brings its own culture. India has several sub-nationalities.  They bring their culture to Australia. It will mature over time and you will see multifaceted manifestation in the diaspora, the best of the best emerging.

“Similarly, the Indian diaspora will fuse with the Australian culture and this fusion could be transported back to India.  It would be very interesting. Australians will not only embrace English content and Hollywood but may be Australia will embrace, make and watch Bollywood films and something wonderful will come out and would be very good for both countries. We would be happy to facilitate in all ways as this is important. There should be movement, it should not be static, it should not remain in one place, failure does not matter,” he said.

Talking about Indian culture, Dr Gondane said: “India culture in Australia is not jazzy or upfront like Hollywood – but in a soft way it is very good and longer lasting.

“Music, fashion, literature, cuisine, poetry, dance, academic exchanges – we should mutually make each other better through this soft power. Soft power relations are very encouraging” Dr Gondane said.

One of the High Commissioner’s favourite themes is that India is changing fast – so fast it is hard to keep up with.

“To comprehend modern India is difficult even for Indians! India is changing rapidly while trying to keep its moorings intact.

“More visits of business and people between the two countries will be very good, especially if they are perceptive to imagine modern India; I encourage people to go for whatever time they can. The changing dynamic can be utilised for expansion of Australian businesses, ably guided and chaperoned by the Indian Diaspora.

“Buddha said – one principal of life which is constant is change. Change is constant, everything is susceptible to change, whether it is life, material things or ideas – all are subject to change,” Dr Gondane said in conclusion.


Pictured – the Australian World Orchestra performing in Chennai during its second tour of India – “soft power’ diplomacy at work under the leadership of the Chairperson of the AWO, Harish Rao.

‘Kithana acha he Modi!’ Morrison wrote in Hindi, which means “how good is Modi?”

The Australian Prime Minister took to Twitter on Saturday to share a cheerful selfie with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi — a fellow world leader attending the G20 summit in Osaka.

‘Kithana acha he Modi!’ Morrison wrote in Hindi, which means “how good is Modi?”.

Indian PM Modi replied in Aussie style – “Mate, I’m stoked about the energy of our bilateral relationship!”


This relationship could be a key to a successful Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership deal of 15 countries in our region – big step forward.

The personal connections of leaders can go a long way to overcome bureaucratic hurdles. Long may their relationship flourish!!

Let’s hope PM Modi and PM Morrison meet lots and do deals

Now, this is the kind of photo I would like to see a lot more of.

Australian PM Scott Morrison (left) and Indian PM Narendra Modi in discussions.


This is vital for Indian Ocean strategic issues plus our trade and investment relations.

Here’s a very nice irony – Australia and India have really struggled to agree a Free Trade Agreement but one outcome of the Trump trade war on China is that the 15 countries in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (Including Australia and India) are now motivated to do a deal – they are talking fast, negotiating hard and could come up with a sweeping deal this year that reduces the need for direct talks on an Australia-India FTA.

Thanks Donald.