India

Who is Madi Sharma? How did an ‘international business broker’ gain access to PM Modi for EU delegates’

Who is Madi Sharma? How did an ‘international business broker’ gain access to PM Modi for EU delegates’ :- As 23 members of the European Parliament headed to Kashmir on October 29, speculation grew around the person who had arranged the visit as it was neither an official delegation from the European Parliament, nor was the delegation visiting on the invitation of the government of India.

Who is Madi Sharma?

According to Bill Newton Dunn, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party in the United Kingdom, the trip had been organised by the International Institute for Non-Aligned Studies which describes itself as a “think tank for the Non-Aligned Movement”.

According to the reports, Madi Sharma’s NGO, Women’s Eco-Nomic and Social Think-Tank (WESTT), was instrumental in facilitating EU MPs’ trip to Jammu and Kashmir to assess the ground situation post Article 370 repeal. The invitation letter was released by another Liberal Democrat member of the European Parliament, Chris Davies, who said he would not “join a PR stunt”.

On her Twitter account, Sharma describes herself as a “Social Capitalist: International Business Broker, Education Entrepreneur; Speaker.”

International business broker’ gain access to PM Modi

Madi Sharma is a member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), a consultative body of the European Union. “She is a business ambassador for Nottingham and a business champion for the East Midlands,” reads her profile on the EESC website. Her NGO WESTT lobbies to raise awareness on key issues but never for commercial gain, her website says.

Meanwhile, her letter, dated October 7, promised a three-day visit: “The meeting with the Prime Minister is scheduled for 28th October, with a visit to Kashmir on 29th and a press conference on 30th.” It added that “flight and accommodations will be covered and are sponsored by the International Institute for Non-Aligned Studies”.

The International Institute for Non-Aligned Studies was founded in 1980 by Dr. Govind Narain Srivastava, “a scholar and journalist” whose name is the only one listed on the institute’s website under the leadership page. Srivastava, who died in 1999, also established the New Delhi Times, a newspaper that claims to have a “wide global readership”.