SYDNEY: The Indian diaspora in Sydney is awaiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's quick-fire, high-energy visit Monday.
Modi, the first Indian prime minister to visit Australia in 28 years after Rajiv Gandhi, got an enthusiastic welcome from the Indian community in Brisbane Sunday after the two-day G20 talks got over.
In a redux of New York city's reception of Modi at the Madison Square Garden, over 16,000 members of the Indian disapora are set to pack the Allphones Arena at Olympic Park to hear Modi at a community reception Monday.
About 5,000 more are to watch the evening event on big screens outside.
Modi will be on a six-hour visit to Sydney before proceeding to Canberra later at night.
On Sunday night, more than 200 Modi fans left Melbourne for the Allphones Arena on a specially chartered train called the "Modi Express".
"Modi fever grips Sydney," the Sydney Morning Herald said in an article.
"The city will get a dose of Modi-mania on Monday when the Indian prime minister makes a quick-fire, high-energy visit," it said.
It quoted Sydney-based Indian dance teacher Purvi Desai as saying that she and her students will give those arriving at the reception a traditional Indian welcome -- rose petals and a 'tilak' on the forehead.
"Desai, who like Mr. Modi hails from the Indian state of Gujarat, admires Mr. Modi for the sense of hope he has brought the country she left as an 11-year old," the daily said.
"I think he's brought a lot of discipline and a can-do culture to India. I'm really excited that we are welcoming an India leader," it quoted her as saying.
The organisers are hoping to outdo the Madison Square Garden in New York.
"However, there will be Modi-dissenters at Allphones Arena along with admirers. About 500 members of the Sikh community, and other minority Indian religions, are expected to stage a peaceful demonstration," said the Sydney Morning Herald.
"Karandeep Singh Chadha, a spokesman for the protesters, says many religious minorities do not feel safe in India because hardline groups associated with Mr. Modi have an agenda is to make India a Hindu nation by wiping out other cultures, religions and ethnicities," it said.
The Indian Australian Community Foundation (IACF) is organising the event.
The event would be streamed live at www.youtube.com/PMvisitaus.
The hashtag for the event is #ModiInAustralia.
On Sunday, Modi attended an event to unveil a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Roma Street Parkland in Brisbane and later attended a civic reception hosted by Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk.