November 2019 \ Diaspora News \

There are about 30 million people of Indian origin ...

Over the years, the migrant Indians kept and maintained close ties with India and its tradition, and preserved their Indian-ness. Most of them continued to help their families in India. In the past decades their annual remittances to their homeland have exceeded $70 billion. India is one of the largest beneficiary of Diaspora in the world. We have to look back to the era of former and present prime Ministers of India to understand and evaluate the link between Diaspora and Government of India.

In 1947, India gained independence from the British and Jawaharlal Nehru became the Prime Minister of India. Whatever compulsions he had, he advised overseas Indians to identify themselves with the local population of the country of their settlement and seek no favor from India. Some Prime Ministers who succeeded Nehru continued to be guided by the Nehruvian strategy. Thus India had a limited engagement with the diaspora during the first forty years of India’s independence.

The BJP Government lead by Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee acknowledged the role of diaspora in India’s relationship with rest of the world and its unlimited resources to reshape India to march forward to progress. A B Vajpayee set up a high-level committee in September 2000 under L .M Singhvi, Member of Parliament and a former high commissioner to Britain, to look at all issues concerning non-resident Indians and persons of Indian origin around the world. "The committee will also study how we can facilitate their (Indian community's) involvement in social, economic and technological transformation of India," he said. Vajpayee also sought to allay concerns over New Delhi's responses to situations when members of the Indian community have faced political and social hardship in the past, like in Fiji and Uganda.