‘Little India’ Harris Park, Sydney: Push to rename Wigram Street ahead of Narendra Modi visit

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‘Little India’ Harris Park, Sydney: Push to rename Wigram Street ahead of Narendra Modi visit

A Sydney street could become a symbolic part of the Indian subcontinent if locals have their way ahead of an official visit by the nation's Prime Mini

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A Sydney street could become a symbolic part of the Indian subcontinent if locals have their way ahead of an official visit by the nation’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi next week.

The push is on to change the name of Wigram Street in Harris Park, in Sydney’s west, to Little India, in recognition of it’s thriving Indian community.

Little India Harris Park Association president Sanjay Deshwal is leading the charge to get the new name.

‘We can never replicate a big India, so we only take a slice of it,’ Sanjay Deshwal told A Current Affair on Thursday night.

‘Why not make it like a destination place? A place to be a Little India in Australia.’

The push is on to change the name of Wigram Street in Harris Park (pictured), Sydney's west, to Little India, in recognition of it's thriving Indian community.

The push is on to change the name of Wigram Street in Harris Park (pictured), Sydney's west, to Little India, in recognition of it's thriving Indian community.

The push is on to change the name of Wigram Street in Harris Park (pictured), Sydney’s west, to Little India, in recognition of it’s thriving Indian community.

‘Australia-India relations are on the rise. It was something just limited to cricket, curries and cinema (but the) time has come … to cement it with a place like Little India in Australia.’

Mr Modi is arriving in Australia on Tuesday despite the Quad leaders summit, which was the event he was originally invited to attend, being called off.

That Sydney meeting was intended to bring Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, US President Joe Biden and Japanese leader Fumio Kishida together to talk about security and trade issues.

However, Mr Biden pulled out at the last minute and so did Mr Kishida.

Mr Modi however is still on his way to Australia and will be repaying the visit made by Mr Albanese to India in March.

The leader of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is guaranteed to get more than a rock star’s welcome with over one million Indians calling Australia home.

Charter buses and even ‘Modi-express’ planes have been booked to bring throngs of well-wishers for Sydney the visit from Melbourne and other cities.

A Sydney street could become a symbolic part of the subcontinent if locals have their way ahead of an official visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi  (pictured with Anthony Albanese) next week

A Sydney street could become a symbolic part of the subcontinent if locals have their way ahead of an official visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi  (pictured with Anthony Albanese) next week

A Sydney street could become a symbolic part of the subcontinent if locals have their way ahead of an official visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi  (pictured with Anthony Albanese) next week

Excitement is building in the north western Sydney suburb of Harris Park ahead of Indian Prime Minister

Excitement is building in the north western Sydney suburb of Harris Park ahead of Indian Prime Minister

Excitement is building in the north western Sydney suburb of Harris Park ahead of Indian Prime Minister

Over 20,000 people have already secured their seat at Wednesday’s community reception for Mr Modi to be held in the Sydney Olympic Park stadium.

Mr Modi will also visit Wigram Street and Mr Deshwal hopes he’ll lay the foundation stone to rebrand the area as Little India. 

This would be the first such ‘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. 

Already the local area’s many Indian restaurants and shops are being decked out in India national colours and placards welcoming Mr Modi have been hung on fences.

Mr Deshwal said Mr Modi’s visit should be seen as an open invite for others to travel to Harris Park and experience all the cultural delights on offer. 

‘We want the people, Australians, to see first hand and enjoy the smell, flavours and colours of India over here,’ he said.

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