International Conference On “India and its Diaspora Engagement: Comparative Global Practices”
Diaspora engagement policy by home countries is not a new phenomenon. The imperial Diaspora engagement of Britain, as reflected in case of South Africa, Zimbabwe, and its Diaspora engagement in Canada, Australia, USA existed since long time. Italy had a third chamber of parliament to engage its Diaspora. However, twentieth century also witnessed emergence of this practice in other parts of the world as in China, for different purposes. The advent of globalization gave it a further boost to Diaspora engagement as an economic network and a heritage capital.
India too has a large Diaspora numbering over 25 million people. The bulk of its Diaspora was formed during colonial subjugation when Indians were hired as indentured worker to replace the slave worker overseas. This legally dressed form of slavery and the mistreatment of these contract workers generated sharp reactions within nascent Indian nationalist movement. The Indian National Congress (INC) soon orgsnised several visits to different countries to report on their exploitation and slave like treatment. It agitated in India on this issue and petitioned to British colonial government, invited Royal commissions and ultimately forced discontinuation of Indentured system in early 20th century.
However, as Indian Diaspora is very diverse in ethnic, religious, linguistic category; located in diverse regions, Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone, Arabic, and Dutch speaking countries; with different strengths and potentials- from high and super skilled persons to low skilled and unskilled workers; the Diaspora engagement of India cannot be of uniform pattern. Different countries of the world have engaged their Diasporas of different composition for different purposes. They maintain their engagement for the mutual benefits of all, home countries, the Diaspora and the host countries.
Against this backdrop, Organisation for Diaspora Initiatives (ODI), New Delhi in collaboration with DIMP, CAS-School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University is organising an International Academic Conference on “India and its Diaspora Engagement: Comparative Global Practices” on 10-12 January 2017 at The Monarch Luxur, Bangalore to identify the existing gaps in Diaspora engagement practices of India in a comparative and global context. The conference is also being supported by Heinrich Böll Foundation, New Delhi.
Venue: The Capitol Hotel, Raj Bhavan Road, Bangalore
Shalini Yog, Deputy Director, HBS
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