Indian Diaspora

Topics: India, Diaspora, Non-resident Indian and Person of Indian Origin Pages: 5 (1607 words) Published: August 22, 2013
Indian diaspora and long distance nationalism

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A Diaspora derived from a Greek word diaspeirien meaning scattering or dispersion. It is a scattered population with a common origin in a smaller geographic area. The word can also refer to the movement of the population from its original homeland. In other words it is a dispersion of a people from their original homeland. The term was first applied collectively to the Jews scattered after the Babylonian captivity, and in the modern people to Jews living outside Palestine, but now has been extended to include the situation of ant widely spread migrant group. The term “diaspora” originates from the Greek “dia” (over) and “speiro” (to sow). The Greeks understood diaspora as migration and colonization of new lands. In modern parlance the term diaspora usually refers to ethnic groups whose sizable parts have lived outside their country of origin for at least several generations, while maintaining some ties (even if purely symbolic or sentimental) to the historic homeland. The “classic” diasporas in terms of the ancient history of dispersion are Jewish, Armenian, and Greek; the more modern (and also more numerous) diasporas include the African (“Black American”) diaspora resulting from the forced migration of slaves to the Americas, and Irish, Italian, Polish, Chinese, and Indian diasporas resulting from voluntary migrations. Today the word diaspora is applied to a broad range of migrant populations whose current or historic uprooting was politically or economically motivated, including political refugees, voluntary migrants, guest workers, expatriates, stable ethnic minorities, and other dispersed groups.

History of Indian Diaspora.
An attempt to understand the movement of people from India since ancient times to contemporary period is a fascinating story of cultural exchanges that the people of India have with the rest of the world. The Indian classical texts describe about long journeys that saints and monks undertook for the spread of knowledge, peace and love. The archeological evidences establish the fact that Indians during ancient period did travel to other countries for trade. 

The spread of Hindu and Buddhist believes across geographical boundaries of India during the early medieval period saw the emergence of Hindu and Buddhist Kingdoms in several places. The navigational skills of people along the Indian coastal cities helped the rulers to expand the horizons of their Kingdoms. The maritime activities and ship building techniques that existed in that period reveal the movement of Indians to classical Greco Roman world.  The movement of people resulted in the formation of Gypsies or Rromas of today are still shrouded in mystery. There were large scale movement of people occurred when Islam arrived in India. During this period those rulers who returned to their countries after plundering India took thousands of men and women as artists, architects, calligraphers, musicians, dancers, courtesans along with other wealth. The Mughal period saw the active journey’s Indians took to several countries as emissaries, traders, scholars, artists, musicians. During the colonial period Indians were traded as slaves by Portuguese, Dutch, French and English imperialists. The Indians were taken to various countries as indentured labourers to develop plantation economies, construct railway networks and to serve as soldiers in the imperial military establishments. Large number of traders and professionals also accompanied these labourers and soldiers. The first set of scholars and academics came out from the universities of independent India migrated to western countries for advanced studies and research form the first diaspora in modern period.  The migration of Indians as professionals, labourers and traders to rest of the world is a continuing saga of Indian Migration. The Indian Diaspora is a generic...

Bibliography: * Craig J. Calhoun - Nationalism.
* Daniele Conversi - Irresponsible Radicalization: Diasporas, Globalization and Long-Distance Nationalism in the Digital Age
* Stateless diasporas and their long distance nationalist activism in host countries
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