Calls for street in heart of growing Indian community to be renamed ‘Little India’ – as suburb braces for ‘Modi-mania’
- Push to name Sydney Street ‘Little India’
- There is excitement about the visit of the Indian Prime Minister
A street in Sydney could become a symbolic part of the Indian subcontinent if locals get ahead of an official visit from the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi next week.
Work is underway to rename Wigram Street in Harris Park, Sydney’s west, to Little India in recognition of its thriving Indian community.
Sanjay Deshwal, president of the Little India Harris Park Association, is leading the charge to get the new name.
“We can never replicate a great India, so we just take a piece of it,” Sanjay Deshwal told A Current Affair on Thursday night.
‘Why not make it a destination? A place to be a Little India in Australia.”
Work is underway to rename Wigram Street in Harris Park (pictured), in western Sydney, to Little India, in recognition of its thriving Indian community.
Relations between Australia and India are on the rise. It was something that was limited to cricket, curries and cinema (but the) time has come… to solidify it with a place like Little India in Australia.”
Mr Modi arrives in Australia on Tuesday despite the Quad leaders summit to which he was originally invited being called off.
That Sydney meeting was designed to bring together Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, US President Joe Biden and Japanese leader Fumio Kishida to discuss security and trade issues.
However, Mr. Biden backed out at the last minute, as did Mr. Kishida.
However, Mr Modi is still on his way to Australia and will refund Mr Albanese’s visit to India in March.
The leader of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata party is guaranteed more than a rock star reception with over a million Indians coming to Australia.
Charter buses and even ‘Modi-express’ planes have been booked to bring crowds of Sydney benefactors to visit from Melbourne and other cities.
A street in Sydney could become a symbolic part of the subcontinent as locals anticipate an official visit from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (pictured with Anthony Albanese) next week
Excitement is mounting in Sydney’s northwestern suburb of Harris Park ahead of the Indian Prime Minister
More than 20,000 people have already secured their seats for Wednesday’s community reception for Mr Modi at the Sydney Olympic Park stadium.
Mr Modi will also visit Wigram Street and Mr Deshwal hopes to lay the foundation stone for the area to be renamed Little India.
This would be the first ‘monument of its kind’, Mr Deshwal enthused.
“That will be for people to remember as a milestone, or as an Australian-Indian symbol of friendship,” he said.
The many Indian restaurants and shops in the area are already decked out in India’s national colors and posters welcoming Mr Modi are hung on fences.
Deshwal said Mr Modi’s visit should be seen as an open invitation for others to travel to Harris Park and experience all the cultural delights on offer.
“We want the people, Australians, to see and enjoy first hand the smell, flavors and colors of India here,” he said.