Diaspora: The Potential

Power of One

L.N. Mittal has ringed the planet with his corporate outposts and Bobby Jindal has bridged the ethnic divide to enter the US Congress. But there are 20 million more Indians worldwide comprising the second largest diaspora in the world today. Here’s a lowdown on the power of this diaspora and its potential

The Indian Diaspora, 20 million strong and spread across all continents and most countries of the world, is a great potential tool for national development. It covers some of the prominent industrial powers and economic powerhouses of this millennium. The Indian Diaspora has the distinction of being the second largest diaspora in the world with a huge purchasing power, estimated at around US$300 billion. Many members of the Indian Diaspora have risen to high ranks in their adopted lands, some even reaching the positions of Prime Minister and Presidents. The Indian diaspora can, therefore, play an influential role in enhancing investment, accelerating industrial development and boosting our international trade and tourism efforts. With the constant improvements in global communications and technology, India can hope to engage its Diaspora to play an increasingly significant role in accelerating global economic growth for mutual benefit. These are the findings of a government committee on the Indian diaspora.

Indians in North America
The Indian Diaspora in North America also exercises considerable political influence. Some Indian Americans, even though numerically small, have considerable economic strength. These members maintain good linkages with the Democratic and Republican parties. The Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-American was founded in 1993 with the participation of both Democrat and Republican senators. 

Indians in the Gulf
NRIs in the Gulf region are Indian citizens. Due to the policies of the host government, they have only a distant possibility of acquiring citizenship in the country of their residence. This has helped to sustain their keen interest and focus on India. Though the Diaspora members do not enjoy rights and privileges to citizens, their numbers are large. As a consequence, they create a specialized demand for Indian goods. 


January 2006

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