Day 50 – Q 1.Should India’s diaspora be made an important stakeholder in India’s internal political processes? Critically comment.
1. Should India’s diaspora be made an important stakeholder in India’s internal political processes? Critically comment.
क्या भारत के प्रवासी को भारत की आंतरिक राजनीतिक प्रक्रियाओं में एक महत्वपूर्ण हितधारक बनाया जाना चाहिए? समालोचनात्मक टिप्पणी करें।
The Diaspora encompasses a group of people who can either trace their origins to India or who are Indian citizens living abroad, either temporarily or permanently. Indian diaspora of 31.2 million is a very large and vibrant people spread almost all over the world.
15th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas convention described diaspora as India’s brand ambassadors and said they were the symbols of the country’s capabilities. The theme of PBD 2019 is “Role of Indian Diaspora in building a New India.”
India’s diaspora be made an important stakeholder in India’s internal political processes because they can act as a crucial force in the development and will have immense contributions in building new India such as,
- Investments: Indian diaspora are a major source of Direct Foreign Investment and have invested hugely in the Indian industry and infrastructure to encourage its economic growth. They can resolve the economic crisis by making investments in India.
- Remittances: They have been a source of large inflows of remittances, which has been helping balance the current account and increase our foreign reserve substantially. Remittances amount to a whopping 3.4 per cent of India’s GDP. According to the World Bank, the Indian diaspora is going to be the largest earner of remittances in the world in the next few years.
- Expertise: The Indian Diaspora has played an important role in the field of Science & Technology. They bring technical and domain expertise to domestic startups and often act as angel investors. Diaspora Indian faculty abroad volunteer time and resources to help faculty on Indian campuses improve the quality of education. Ex. Dr Raghuram Rajan at the RBI.
- Soft power: Indian diaspora is an important part of India’s “soft diplomacy”. They have become a major political power in countries like Canada, Fiji, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago etc. It helps in developing good political relations with these nations. For example, Indian diaspora played a critical in the fructification of the Indo-US Nuclear deal.
- Resource for the development: It serves as an important ‘bridge’ to access knowledge, expertise, resources and markets for the development of the country of origin with the rest of the world. Ex. About one-third of the engineers in Silicon Valley are of Indian descent, while 7 per cent of the Valley’s high-tech firms are led by Indian CEOs. They can help the Indian IT industry to flourish.
- Disaster relief: Successful diaspora groups are among the largest contributors to the CMDRF. They are invaluable in mobilising resources, talent, and knowledge which will be integral in rebuilding the State. For example, in Kerala, the migrant community and diaspora moved swiftly to organise an Internet-driven response.
- Tourism: The Diaspora makes a significant contribution to the growth of tourism in India. PIOs make frequent visits to their home state or to visit their relatives. Know India Program (KIP) is a good initiative in this direction for promoting tourism among 2nd generation PIOs.
- NGOs: Diaspora has come forward with several non-governmental organizations in India helping in array of welfare, developmental, educational, environmental and social projects.
There is a Negative side too.
- Remittances are not always used for beneficial purposes. For instance, India faced problems due to foreign funding for extremist movements like the Khalistan movement and Naxalism.
- Some NGOs established by diaspora used for money laundering and black money parking.
It is being said that “The sun on Indian diaspora never sets”. The future holds a great place for India to bank upon its diaspora for economic development and geographical influence. The diaspora of India is rich and diverse and can help in developing India and hence a sustainable, symbiotic and mutually rewarding engagement with them is needed.