By Srikant Mohanty: Although India remained a colony of the British Empire for a long time, a sizable population migrated to different nations at that time. After independence, migration continued unabated and went leaps and bounds, when information technology made headway during late eighties and early nineties.
Today, Indian Diasporas literally exist in every part of the world. During the colonial days of British Raj in India, thousands flocked to Great Britain, South Africa and United States of America and now-a-days, they hold sway in the world economy because they prospered and flourished greatly in those distant lands.
Renowned author Stephen Cohen’s study in his book “Emerging power India” accounts for the major contributions made by Indians living in Europe. The Indian Diaspora consisting of two million people in US is highly educated and experienced in various fields. Other developed nations like Australia, England and Canada have an equally strong Indian Diaspora with impressive positions on different fronts of those nations. The important thing is they always strive for better diplomatic and trade relations with their home for which Indian economy has increasing levels of support on different heads.
A study made in the year 2000 observes that the economic output of the NRIs and PIOs living abroad is 400 billion, which can stand almost equal to the total GDP of India. It need not be considered from the point of view of remittances made by the Diasporas to India, the India Inc stands prepared to make major contribution in FDI that can considerably remove poverty, unemployment and corruption in this sub-continent.”Indian Diaspora in US has emerged as the richest community in the recent times with almost 2, 00,000 millionaires in them”-says Pawan Verma, an expert in Foreign Affairs. As Indian economy stands rock solid in the hard times of recession, there has been a school of thoughts that Indian Diaspora can give valuable insight in fighting the downturn in global economy.
Often a comparison is made between the two growing economies in the world- China and India. As both the nations have their Diasporas across the world, India lags miserably behind China in FDI. Only 5% of the NRIs wealth gets placed in FDI in India, while China has gone far ahead in this regard. The reason can be China started off its process of economic linearization two decades earlier than India for which it has met with greater success.
The Indian Diaspora living in the Europe consists of highly qualified professionals with potential wealth and there are considerably powerful groups of workers living in the Gulf nations. With their collective wealth, the nation can achieve significantly on fronts like Energy development, urban infrastructure, water projects development and programmes for poverty alleviation.
“As India held the three days Bharatiya Prabasi Divas between 7th and 9th of January, 2013 at Kochi in Kerala, Indian leadership keeps its hopes pinned on the FDI aspect that can bail the nation out of every major crisis. It is being compared with the valuable help and guidance that Mahatma Gandhi rendered to the nation from his return from South Africa to make it free from foreign dominion”-remarks Sushanta Panda, a faculty of Economics at Bhubaneswar.