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Post-Independence Indian Diaspora and Foreign Policy in International Relations: A Representation of Opportunities and Challenges


Post-Independence Indian Diaspora and Foreign Policy in International Relations: A Representation of Opportunities and Challenges


Sahabuddin Ahamed

Ph. D. Research Scholar

Department of English and Foreign Languages

Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya, Bilaspur




With the advancement of science and technology in the late 20th and the early 21st century, international migration has been a global phenomenon. It has retained an increasing pace of opportunities and challenges for those who are constantly crossing borders in search of a better life out of their past and present traumatic experiences.  Post-independence Indian diasporas have been a bridge between homeland and host land with its nature of unity in diversity. With the  aid of globalization and international relations, the influence of Indian diasporas has been more advanced in creating a mutual bond and a symbolic space between their homeland and host land. They  work as a catalyst force in the global economy that actively influencing and assisting homeland’s foreign policies and economics. With the aid of Indian Overseas communities, India exercises her own soft power policy to influence the world. Since the end of the Second World War Indian diasporic engagement in the developed countries helps India gain visibility of her representation. The present paper is an attempt to explore how Indian diasporas play a key role in retaining all kind of relationships with the homeland and creating a space of cultural identity in the host society and how they create a transnational space in relation to the Indian diplomacy. It will also explore the role of Indian government to take necessary measures by creating diverse policies in order to deal with diaspora affairs and keep on her expansive goals with the possible related consequences of economic globalization.


Indian Diasporas, Cultural Translation, Indianness, Foreign Policy, Governance    

“In an era of globalization, we are becoming diasporic.” - Stuart Hall

 “Everywhere was now a part of everywhere else.” - Salman Rushdie

 “Indian diasporas across the world are ‘permanent ambassadors’ of the country.” - PM Narendra Modi                                                                                                               

“Nations, like narratives, loose their origins in the myths of time and only fully realize their horizon in the mind’s eye.” - Homi K. Bhabha


Beyond the earlier traces (pre-colonial and colonial) of Indian diaspora found especially in the fifth century BC and the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the post-independence Indian diaspora has been a global phenomenon. After the independence of India in 1947, Indian diasporic process has affected each and every aspect of established disciplines of both homelands and host lands. Peoples from different backgrounds and different states are directed towards the developed countries including the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, Netherlands, France, Germany, New Zealand, and also towards the Gulf states. To come to these countries what needs for the diaspora people are talents, skilled labors, experienced professionals, tolerance, trust, and respect. Unlike the previous history of Indian diaspora, the contemporary diaspora forms a new scenario which is more firmed, advanced, and this act helps the migrants create their own space of plural identity and an invaluable diasporic community, while having a strong impact on every aspect of homeland and host land. With the rapid emergence of Indian diasporic artefacts, a new identity politics is found between these two communities-the host and the guest in order to mobilize their own ideological and discursive formations. It goes on through their utmost attempts, though through paradoxical representation and contextualization, sometimes solidary and sometimes peripheral. But the more attempts are to represent themselves and to gain an opportunity to influence the world and to be represented by others which has long gone repressed by the dominant hegemonic culture of the host countries.

     Merriam Webster.com Dictionary defines the word diaspora that is principally derived from the Greek word “diaspeirein,” which means “to scatter, spread about.” Diaspora primarily used to refer to Jewish diaspora, came to be used to contemporary situations that involve the experiences of migration, refugees, exiles, immigrants, expatriate workers, border-crossing, travel, creolization, hybridity, and ethnic communities. It also connects “multiple communities of a dispersed population” (Clifford 304).

     Since the late twentieth century, the term Indian diaspora is being used as a substitute for de  terriotorialised or transnational which refers to population whose origins or roots in a land other than in which it currently resides and whose complex web of relations cross borders and which plays the significant roles in the lives and societies of its adoption as well as the country of its origin. Such kind of diaspora is mainly developing through a dream of economic and cultural development or the reverse of the past in contact with a new culture, language and society. Diasporic people’s shared collective consciousness is certainly marked by an inescapable link with their past history and a sense of co-ethnicity. But in an ever-changing and ever-transmuting age, the earlier generational links with the past diasporic history has changed a lot, and there is an immense possibility of uncanny hybrid forms of diasporic experiences and livings in the First World nations.

     Indian diaspora has retained its socio-political, economic, cultural, linguistic, and ethnic heritage of unity in diversity. But the process is both hopeful and fearful for the growth and development of the homeland and host land. Despite many obstacles, the Indian diaspora has become an integral part of mutual relationship with their host societies and also become successful agendas in international affairs through diverse policies of national and international relations and still retains a bridge between homeland and host land from the negligible margin. In Some Reflections on the Indian Diaspora, Bhikhu Parekh mentions thatthe diasporic Indian is like the banyan tree, the traditional symbol of the Indian way of life, he spreads out his roots in several soils, drawing nourishments from one when the rest dry up. Far from being homeless, he has several homes, and that is the only way he has increasingly come to feed at home in the world “(106). Thus, in this way Indian diasporas have been a larger part of all kinds of regional, national, and international policies and relations.

Nature of Post-independence Indian Diaspora

     Since the end of the Second World War, Indians have been migrating across the globe for many decades. There are over 31 million Indian diasporas living in more than 134 countries (Rahman). India has been the second largest diaspora in the world that is only next to Chinese diaspora. Post-independence Indian migration communities were found to arrive to the UK during the early 1950s. Major trends of diasporic dissemination to the USA, Canada and Australia started after Indian independence. Most Indians were from north-western parts of India who migrated so far in search of better financial opportunities. The magnitude, solidarity, and diversity of Indian diasporas took place in those countries successively. The confirmation and solidarity of Indian communities have come through the aids of the Ministry of External Affairs. In 1961, the South African Government declared that Indians in South Africa were citizens and the Department of Indian Affairs were also set up. In 1965, in the USA, the amendments in the immigration and Nationality Act removed discrimination based on the migrants or outsiders. It established three criteria for prospective migrants to stay in the USA: highly qualified individuals, family re-unification, and political and religious freedom. In 1971 Canada officially pronounced multiculturalism as policy and promulgated the Multiculturalism Act. In 1973, Australia abandoned its white policy when in 1972 the Whitlam Labor Government changed the immigration policy that would completely be free from any discrimination on grounds of race, color, skin, ethnicity, or nationality. Most of Indians diaspora communities living abroad include the Punjabis, Gujaratis, Bengalis, Telegus, Tamils, Kannadigas, and Anglo-Indians. Within a post-independence context, Indian immigrants have influenced development in India and abroad through their negotiations and competence with other communities and they have their strong cultural bonds as Indians. From 1970s onwards the migrants were skilled and highly qualified professionals. They have retained their Indianness in foreign countries, concerning their ongoing skillful and difficult cultural translation and negotiation of the contested policies and practices that aim to improve their well-being in the socio-economic and political realms. Through the process of assimilation and acculturation in multicultural society, Indian diasporas have been successful in retaining cultural preservation and economic integration.

Globalization and International Relations

     Indian diaspora is both extensive and varied dispersing in about 134 counties of the world. The relationship of diasporic Indians with the homeland is getting stronger as a result of the revolution in further information and communication technologies and at the same time the Indian government has been encouraging linkages of diasporic Indians with India in a variety of ways. Return diasporas not only denote physical presence, but it can be through knowledge processing or entrepreneurial networks between home and host countries. Diaspora entrepreneurs with global experience and innovative ideas helps generate better livelihood and creation of the state development. As a country of origin, India is always trying hard to attract her diasporas’ talents and resources, while the host countries hope to increase the effectiveness of their developmental assistance and immigration and integration policies.

     From 1980s and 1990s onwards, diaspora relations come into existence through different technological innovations. Indian ethnic products like Hindi cinema, music, mango, snacks, cuisine, saree, created huge markets in different countries. Diaspora as a coherent and powerful discipline helps visualize the impact of international relations on world politics. Diasporas have a critical role in acknowledging the rights of the diasporas and the duties of state toward them. It is a kind of task to institutionalize the relationship between the nation-state and the diaspora (Raghavan 150). India constitutes her diasporas as governable subject. Her diasporas act as a community of knowledge bearing subjects dedicated to globalizing and marketizing national development. There have been many global efforts to make states think of themselves as members of an international community responsible for people beyond their own national borders. According to Kofi Annan “it is now time to turn to the evidence, and use it to build a common understanding of how international migration can bring benefits to it” (965). Along the many international organizations and bodies, Indian diasporas build their own networks of relations including South Asian American Organizations, Telegu Organizations in North America, Canada Indian foundation, British Indian Psychiatric Association, Global Organizations for People of Indian Origin, Global Indian Foundation, Indian Development Foundation of Overseas Indians, Thai-Bharat Cultural Lodge, Organization for Diasporic Initiatives,  and National Federation of Indian-American Association.

Spatial Representation: Cultural and Symbolic

    The subjective and discursive acts of identity formation have been integral to the shaping of Indian diasporic experience. Diasporic people across national boundaries and exchange the currency of their cultural codes for a new setting, and yet they till inhabit their “imaginary homelands.” They create “alternative”’ worlds by exchanging one tradition for another, one culture for another, and one home for another. One’s identity is not a fixed but a matter of “‘becoming’ and as well as of ‘being.’ It belongs to the future as much as to the past” (Hall 225). One’s anxiety is about loss and longing, about belonging and not belonging, about having and not having. They attempt to live in a world what they create and share with other communities-a kind of spatial representation in their existence caught between two places, two beliefs, two histories, two cultures, between old and new, and real and ideal.

    The Indian diasporas have contributed to the Indianization, Sanskritization and creation of an Indianized kingdom in several parts of the world beyond India proper as part of the Indo-sphere of greater India in changing Indian culture, cuisine, Hindi cinema and music, and the spread of Hinduism, Buddhism in the South Asia as well as in the West. In the UK, the main Indian ethnic groups are Tamils, Telegus, Bengalis, Gujaratis, Punjabis, Marwaris, and Anglo-Indians. Most diasporic Indians in the UK have settled in London, Leeds, Brimingham, Leicester, the Yorkshire, and the Southeast.  As Vertovec  found that “Hindu temples in Britain, like Muslim mosques and Sikh gurdwaras, have rapidly grown in number over the past two decades. Their role within the British Hindu population has been generally recognized as being of great social and cultural, as well as religious, value” (124). The diasporic communities in the western countries celebrate almost all national, regional, local and religious festivals. The major festivals of Indians which are celebrated with much fanfare in the UK are Holi, Diwali, Id, Rakhee, Navaratri. Makar Sankranti, Dasahra, Baisakhi, Janmasthami, Buddha Jayanti, and Ganesh Visarjana. Many religious groups like Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, etc. have been successful in transplanting their religious traditions and social customs in those foreign countries.

     Indians connect new developments in the global governance of migration with new patterns of national and transnational sovereignty and citizenships and new ways of constructing individual identity in relation to new collectives. They have a very key role in creating a coherent but decentralized system of global governance in the era of international migration. A kind of newness is found between domestic politics and international affairs as a major dynamic and global flows of ideas, money, goods, and knowledge. Even Indian diasporic writers like Jhumpa Lahiri, Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, Anita Desai, Kiran Desai, Meena Alexander, Vikram Seth, Arvind Adiga, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Rohinton Mistry, Shashi Deshpande and so on have played significant roles in shaping a bridge between the East and the West in a multilingual, multicultural and multinational fashion. They are assimilated by the host societies and also have worked and lived in a fundamentally dialogic relation to it.

Economic Influence

     With the changing nature of state policy and liberalization of state regulation, during 1990s it has helped migrant entrepreneur to invest and generate better development aspects. Indian return diasporas came to India post-1980s and set up new ventures in IT and healthcare. They are having considerable work experience and improved knowledge and skills, social contacts at the global scale and investment potentials with the help of social networks. Foreign direct investment (FDI) and information technology industry widely facilitated in India through overseas networks and trade expansions from developed countries after Indian economic liberation. According to the World Bank’s Remittance Prices Worldwide database, among countries India has retained its position as the world’s largest recipient of financial remittances with its diaspora sending a whipping USD 79 billion back home in 2018. With regard to the Gulf region, India receives remittances from Saudi Arabia USD 11.2 billion, Kuwait USD 4.6 billion, Qatar USD 4.1 Billion, Oman USD 3.3 billion, and UAE USD 13.8 billion in 2018 (Rahman). Indian doctors and health professionals are the backbone of the national health service in the UK and playing influential roles in many other countries such as USA, Canada, Australia. Not only in developing countries, but Indian healthcare professionals, particularly nurses, are also working in almost all parts of the world. Indian healthcare professionals as well as other Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origins (PIOs) have already made a valuable contribution to their homeland by establishing different health institutions. Indian diasporic communities send remittances back home and build different institutions while engaging in formalized knowledge and skill transfer and campaigning for the reform of legal institution that carry out transnational justice processes in the field of international development. For India, it  has been a successful transition from an inward-oriented economy to a more globally integrated economy. Therefore, they act as both individual and collective agents that are mobilizing socially, politically, or economically toward their homelands in which they do not permanently reside.

Indian Diasporic Soft-Power Policy

     From 1970s onwards the Indian diasporas have been an important source of foreign exchange for India. Besides economic remittance, there is the source of transmission of ideas, technology, knowledge, and skills through overseas diasporic groups that has an enormous impact on Indian subcontinent and that also marks their impact on Indian democracy. Indian diasporas work as a transnational community and their interaction with other communities becomes multidirectional. Indian diasporic community is considered as a “catalyst for economic development” in India and abroad (Rahman). India’s soft power policy is a tool to influence the tendency of other countries. In his article Rahman stresses that India’s foreign policy is primarily based on “its cultural legacy, historical linkages, geopolitical and economic considerations.” It comprises of economic dynamism, foreign direct investment, geographical and affirmative relations with neighboring countries that can lead to an increase in growth at national and international level, technological transfer, social and economic networks and all kinds of integration and cooperation. It has been highly very successful in Indian-American community, Indian-Canadian community, Indian-British community, and so on. It has been a powerful medium through which India exercises her power politics, foreign policy, cultural practices, diplomatic relations, its influence, and bilateral and multilateral treaties with other host countries. Indian diasporic engagement in those countries helps India represent herself and promote all kinds of social, political and economic relations. In developed countries Indian diasporas work more as a soft power agent in order to promote India’s image, culture, tourism, peace, solidarity, unity, brotherhood, power and prosperity. It is worth noticing that the Indian diasporas have transformed economies and occupied many prestigious places in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, Netherlands, and New Zealand. Their only diversities are to actively engage in obtaining long-term economic gains and enhancing India’s image abroad. However, such a policy will be more invaluable for India to keep up the pace of balance and dynamism of development with other countries in regard to international relations with the aid of her diasporic children.

Role of Indian Government

     Since the independence of India, Indian government’s relations with her diaspora were not so strong at official level. First prime minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru addressed overseas Indians in Singapore on 18 march, 1946: “India cannot forget her sons and daughters overseas. Although India cannot defend her children overseas today, the time is soon coming when her arms will be long enough to protect them.” His initial advice was toward them not to look back India to resolve their problems and to integrate into their host societies.

     It was only from during the mid-1980s, the Indian government and the diaspora have altered their prospective perspectives toward one another. In the US, for instance, there has been an expansion in the number of organizations that Indian diasporas had launched to foster linkages with their country of origin. Indian government initiated new policies and institutions to strengthen its bonds with the diaspora. Since 1990s, India started to become a state of brain gain out of brain drain. In the late 1980s, it created new bank accounts that allowed non-resident Indians to invest in their homelands. In 1999, it launched two new visa status cards for persons of Indian origins (PIO)and overseas citizens of India (OCI) which facilitated emigrants’ ability to travel in and out of India, invest in property and hold rupee bank accounts. The policy of overseas Indian citizenships provides a value addition in the citizenship status of the diaspora. Through OCI the diaspora practices the idea of dual nationality. Indian government believes that it has been doing what is required and cannot go beyond a point in the negotiation process.

     Indian state seeks to create a transnational network between diasporic populations that is nationalist in origin, character, and aspiration. There have been many other symbolic initiatives such as Know India Program, Study India Program, Tracing the Roots Program in order to familiarize the Indian diasporic youth the culture, tradition and customs of their country of origin. Indian government’s efforts have been so proactive to see things related to the skills and knowledge of the Indian diaspora so as to meet India’s development goals and facilitate investments of the diaspora. The Emigration Act, 1983, regulates the recruitment for overseas employment and departure of the intending immigrants from India. Realizing economic potential of diasporic communities for the first time Indian government turned to its diasporas in the year 1991. By offering India development bonds during the balance of payment crisis in 1991, the diaspora helped in raising USD two billion in 1992 and 1993. Again in 1998, during economic crisis following the international sanctions imposed on India due to its Pokhran nuclear tests. It once again turned toward its diaspora.

     In 2000, the Indian government appointed a high-profile committee to write report on the diasporas. In January, 2003, the Government of India inaugurated its first annual conference of Overseas Indian community, known as Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) or Overseas Indian Day or Non-Resident Indian Day. Since 2003, Pravasi Bharatiya Divas acts as an occasion to mark the contribution of the Overseas Indian community in the development of India (Ministry). The Prime Minister Narenrda Modi in his address at the Fifth Pravasi Divas said “we are one family. The whole world is our home.”

     In 2004, Indian government launched a cabinet-level Ministry for Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA). Its sole purpose was to strengthen transnational linkages with Indian diaspora. Apart from a member of G8, G20 and BRIC, India’s permanent membership to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) helps Indian leaders gain influence abroad. Chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, for instance, Chandrababu Naidu who earned praise in the West especially in the USA hosted by Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, and Bill Gates and also earned a Naidu Day by the government of Illions.

From 2014 onwards the Prime Minister Narendra Modi drew enormous support and praise from the overseas communities for his attention to the diaspora. He inaugurated the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra or Overseas Indian Centre in New Delhi and dedicated to the Indian diaspora. It aims to communicate the trial and tribulations as well as the subsequent evolution and achievement of the diverse Indian diasporas. In 2017, in Bengaluru, Modi’s declaration at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was that India will move from “brain drain to brain gain” and will have her only one dream of Bharatiyata. In 2015, the Ministry of External Affairs launched the e-migrate system that requires all foreign employers to register in the online database. During prime minister Modi’s visit to Australia in November, 2014, the Indian community in Australia launched an online campaign, appealing to him grant dual citizenship to overseas Indians. The petition has also sought granting Indian passports to overseas citizens of Indian heritage with full political and economic rights, granting of convenient rights to such dual passport-holding overseas Indians with Indian passports, which can be exercised either at consulate, high commission or embassy premises in their country of residence and through postal or online facilities. Moreover, it is obviously clear that through such government attempts India will achieve its potential economic benefits and play the role of global power in the world politics in the present scenario with the help of her diasporas.

Opportunities and Challenges for Indian Diasporas

     Indian diaspora has largely metaphysical and poetical notions and the processes of rooting into different cultures and routing out of a particular culture. It has mostly progressed through its continuously positive values and aims that have elevated its status in host societies. The diasporic population have become an increasingly an important factor in transmitting different foreign policies and the values of pluralism and democracy as well as their skills and knowledge that both homelands and host lands need. The duality of migrants’ perspectives is mainly found in their longing for the past, the homeland of their origin, though distant in time and space, and their real presence in the new lands, belonging to displacement, fragmentation and discontinuity. Indian diasporic writers have appeared as ambassadors of a new cultural resistance to the dominant culture and power relations in every literary expressions and styles and a contact zone while simultaneously facing problems challenge, discrimination. The writers like Jhumpa Lahiri, Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, Bharati Banerjee, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Meena Alexander and so on articulate more newer literary expressions and styles, especially in Britain they are popularly known as British Indian, South Asia, British Asian,  and Black British. They constitute and enter the very contemporary mainstream British literature and those who in the case of America in the mainstream American literature.

     There are many assumptions about advantages for the Indian diasporas in the host countries that include acceptance and realization of migrant presence, possibility of better life style, internationalization of literature, hybrid cultural expression, positive foreign policies abut citizenships and investments, negotiations among nation-states, human rights, and international relations about migrant artefacts. The opposite factors behind these advantages are break down of national identity, shift from dialogic to monologic policy, discrimination based on class, race, gender, color, and society, canonical status of dominant literature, hegemonic ideological power relation in every disciplines, violence, rape, murder, present and past trauma and pain, threat, indifference, imbalance, terrorism, and many other kinds of violence and disorder.

     The Nationality Act of 1948, passed by the British government, gave Indian diaspora the opportunities of being the citizens of Britain. Since then Britain has been the most natural destination for the migrants from developing countries. Apart from Britain, US Indians are still influential and directly intervene in social, political, cultural and economic affairs as well as in India. From the diasporic perspectives, many Indians still feel that while they enjoy full freedom and citizenships, they are excluded from the white-dominated sense of nationality and superiority. As Clifford argued that “diaspora consciousness is constituted both negatively and positively,” (311) and “diasporic experiences are always gendered” (313). It is often seen that many Indians are possibly prevented from exercising their own indigenous culture into the mainstream British or American values. In “Necessary Journeys” Caryl Phillips stated that though Britain has been a home to millions of migrants still it [Britain] is “a deeply class bound society, with a codified and hierarchical structure which locates the monarchy at the top, while a roster of increasingly marginal people as one filters down to the bottom.”

     Since 1990s, Indian diasporas has precisely been a powerful mechanism to reduce poverty and change consumption behavior in the rural areas in terms of financial remittances and investments. As a strategic opportunity for India, India was the top recipient of remittances in 2016, receiving USD 62.7 billion and in 2018 USD 79 billion. The rise of Indian diaspora economy has been a dynamic feature of the Indian economy as well as the global economy and its contributions to trade, investments, sustainable development goals, human resources, and human rights and labor mobility and entrepreneurships. Indian diasporas precisely achieve positive economic and political power that directly affect the foreign policy. Remittances, sent by the overseas community aid in the socio-economic development, in many fields of the Indian societies. It is often seen that for instance, in the field of science and technology: the establishment of Apollo Hospitals in different part of India, the NRI Academy of Sciences, Narayana Hrudayanalaya Hospitals in South India, Transnational Health Sciences and Technology Institute, Fortis Healthcare ltd., Doctor 2 Indian Healthcare (Pvt) ltd., Panacea Biotech and many others. In the wake of America’s IT led economic boom in the 1990s to which Indian professionals has made a visible, high profile and widely recognized contributions. Recently, transnational diasporic organizations help Indian diasporas boost their significance in the US through ties to the homeland, thus helping to preserve their identities. There have been many organizations such as Telegu associations of North America, Global Organizations for the People of Indian Origins, National Federation of Indian American Associations   and so on. These help them fight discriminations by securing representations in community in and political affairs.

      Recently, Indian government has created Indian cultural centres in many parts of the world as part of the Indian Council of cultural relations. Diaspora diplomacy helps India share good relations with the countries of adoption. It is Modi who received successive welcomes to New York (2014), Sydney (2014), South Africa (2016), London (2015), Kaula Lumpur (2015) and he called Indian diasporas the cultural ambassadors of India, reminding them they are a part of global Indian family and that Indian will not forget her children.

     The rising power of India and its role in especially in South East Asia has affected other countries and retained her strong position in that regions through her peaceful and mutual relationships. The large populations of Indian diaspora/migrants in Asian countries like Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and in South Africa and East Africa present an opportunity in nurturing diaspora policy through mutual bonds. The people of Indian origins are also found in Fiji, Guyana, Mauritius, Trinidad, Tobago, and Surinam. According to the report of the High-Level Committee on the Indian diaspora (2004), there are large number of Indian migrants in the least developed countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain Oman, and Kuwait. Yet there has been an increasing challenge   that the diasporic peoples often confront. Peoples of the developed countries often feel a threat to their dominant culture and society by such diasporic affairs. Sometimes anti-asylum policies of European Union are seen against the perceptions of an asylum influx. Even recently, the US President Donald Trump put ban on outside refugees and Muslims from the Third World countries. The Indian communities in the US are not audible enough to criticize the Trump administration’s impositions on the H-1B visa program that benefits Indians. The remittances, sent by the diasporic peoples may always not be used for economic purposes. For instance, Indian Sikh community causes problems for India due to its foreign funding for extremist movement like Khalistan that ultimately resulted in violent protests in the US, Canada, Britain and Australia. Sometimes the drama is found in the Indian government’s unwillingness to protect them. Besides European union, Indian diasporas of the US have been warned against their narrow policies or that threatens the coherence of US foreign policy or image in international relations and that promote the interactions and development of people outside US.  Therefore, it is unfair for them whether India will stand by them or not at all times of need. Indians in Britain perceive racial/ethnic alienations shaped by the socio-political and economic inequality, violence, policing, mob lynching, anti-immigration sentiments and British immigration and foreign policies. British society never treat them as an equal, but as second-class citizens of color and ethnicity. Despite the failure of being a single homogeneous community, Indians manage to retain their Indianness. They often venture into self-business when unable to find satisfying jobs, and find low-wage, discrimination, exclusion, racism, prejudice and inequality in employment. It is often prejudiced and imaginary about the presence of immigrants in Britain in the sense that they are responsible for all kinds of problems in Britain. But they challenge the UK to honor its international humanitarian obligations to grant their rights and opportunities. Their identities are constantly negotiated and integrated in the socio-economic, political and cultural sphere in Britain. As Brah pointed out the presence of the diasporic communities in UK:

the usage of ‘black’, ‘Indian’, ‘Asian’ is determined not so much by the nature of its referent as by its semantic function within different discourses. These various meanings signal different political strategies and outcomes. They mobilize different sets of cultural and political identities, and set limits to where the boundaries of a community are established. (130-131 )

     Associated Press in Houston stated that on September 22, 2019, Houston, Texas, Trump had praised the contributions of the Indian diasporic community in the US, saying he was truly proud to have them as Americans. He also said that “India has never invested in the United States like it is doing today” and also adding that “We’re doing the same thing in India”. Over 50,000 overseas Indians gathered at the NRG stadium to welcome PM Modi in Houston that is also known as “Howdy Modi” event. But the Brexit referendum on 23 June, 2016, has been seen as detrimental to the overall global economy as well as Indian economy. It would have highly impact on Indian trade, investments, and policies.

     More than 8 million Indian diasporic community live and work in the Gulf region, the vast majority of them are highly skilled and skilled workers and semi-skilled and unskilled workers (Rahman). Recently, the Indian diasporas face challenges in the Gulf when in July 2016, due to drop in oil prices and warfare,  Some Saudi Arabian companies had stopped providing food for ten days to its employees, who without their wages, were unable to obtain security and food elsewhere, leaving them in a dire situation. It was reported that more than 2,500 India workers had gone without food for ten days. Indian government rescued at least 4,500 Indians from the middle east. These workers are the source of remittances and contributing to the success and well-being of gulf economies. Despite this, the gulf’s Indian diasporas face serious other challenges to its labor rights. Even for the decades, it is often found that the Indian government’s response to them was insufficient and poor implementation. During the Gulf war crisis in the middle east, India had to spend millions of rupees in rescuing Indians from that totalitarian regimes in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Libya. Unlike Indian diasporas in the West, the migrants in the middle east often occupy the lowest socio-economic rung within host societies, have no access to citizenship or permanent residence.

     There are other problems such as the minimum referral wages policy attracts cheap labor from countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. There has been constant claim to have dual citizenship and voting rights from the diasporas from the Western countries. Recently, the Kashmir conflicts supported by Muslims in the West cause problems for India in international relations. Indian Gulf diasporas who contribute more in terms of remittances to India want more support and security from Indian government. In the last ten years different kinds of threat have been marked by the 2003 European Security Strategy that also have negative effects on the lives of Indian community in the west. The marked threats are terrorism, cyber-crime, organized crime, illegal border-crossing, internal conflicts within the communities, state failures, proliferation of mass weapons of mass destruction. Moreover, the harmony and stability of Indian diaspora mostly depend on the positive values and behaviors of the diasporas and the responsibility of the Indian government to them, and the mutual cooperation and humanitarian acts and the developments undertaken by the different international bodies.


     The above-mentioned discussions show that the post-independence Indian diaspora are highly affluent and visible in their significant presence in almost all parts of the world and their contributions to countries of origin and the countries of destination. Despite diversities among Indian diasporas, the overseas communities retain their cultural heritage and common Indian sensibility. They have had the growing connectivity with India and the idea of unity in diversity. With the aid of Indian government and many other international organizations/associations, they have been an increasingly important factor in international relations and paved the ways or India to come into contact with other countries. Having extended their multiple cultural identities, they have become distinct, visible and beneficial. It has been proved many times that historically India gets benefits from her diasporic peoples. With the aid of this ethnicity, India exercises her foreign policies of showing influence and gaining economic influx.

     Though in the past, Indian government’s response toward them was inconsistent and often poor implementation, but since 1990s, India has had taken positive measures in order to make her visible everywhere else and retain her status of “Vishwa Guru” in the present scenario. In some cases, India confronts different problems like separate movements like Khalistan movement supported by negative campaigning and foreign funding for it, mass protests for Kashmir issues against Indian government’ acts abroad, the hierarchical cast systems and customs among the Indian associations, regional diversities, and the faction within the Indians etc. These factors likely help annihilate the image/status of Indianness and the influence of Indian foreign policy. For instance, in February, 2018, Canadian PM Justin Trudeaus’ visit to India was partly based on the strong support for the mostly Khalistan movement backing by the Sikh community in Canada and UK. Another problem arises when youths are born and brought up within European countries, they cannot imagine India as their cultural heritage and national identity. Since European Union’s economic crisis over the decades, India has been alternative to European countries only through her bilateral and multilateral treaties and exchange of experts between India and the European Union. As Cohen rightly suggested that “they[diasporas] want not only the security and opportunities available in their country of origin and co-ethnic members in other countries” (518).

     The increasing Indian diasporic artefacts are no longer regarded as unfortunate in the way that were once in the past, but simply as circumstances which can benefit nations. It will help nation-states change their negative understanding about the diaspora and embrace the notion of diaspora and its multiple roles in cultural translations and global economic benefits rather than see them as a sort of problems or threat. In the last few years, advisory panels with eminent NRIs and PIOs members set up by the department of biotechnology and the Ministry of information technology have catalyzed technologies and investments in India and led to several IT and BT joint investments ventures, besides keeping up Indian research initiatives up-to-date with global trends and policies in the biotechnology of information and computer sciences.

     Finally, the diaspora integration toward the home country is not a new concept but it is being enhanced after globalization and the increase in cross-border entrepreneurial activities. It has contributed to economic as well as cultural bonds with their host countries. India with the aim of high level of diaspora entrepreneurship tends to have promising prospects for economic growth, as well as proactive diasporic engagement policies, good governance, and positive socio-cultural perceptions. Therefore, India will be committed enough to her diaspora and there should have immense possibility of exchange of ideas, money, labors, knowledge, technology and goods between India and her diasporas for their own sake. 

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