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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. ‘Indian diaspora has a decisive role to play in the politics and economy of America and European Countries’. Comment with examples. 

    02 Feb, 2021 GS Paper 2 Polity & Governance


    • Start your answer by briefly discussing the significance of the Indian diaspora.
    • Discuss in what ways the Indian diaspora affects the politics and economy of America and European Countries
    • Conclude suitably.


    The Indian Diaspora has evolved over three phases in firstly Indian people were taken by colonial powers to work as plantation workers (like in Sri Lanka, Caribbean islands, Fiji, etc.), secondly, in search of better economic opportunities, many Indian went to countries like the US and many European countries and thirdly to gulf countries as skilled and semi-skilled laborers.

    Today, the Indian diaspora is both agent and the instrument of India’s soft power and in developed countries, it acts as an effective player in impacting the dynamics of these countries.


    • Rich Minority Group: Indian diaspora is one of the richest minorities in many developed countries, this helped them to lobby for favorable terms regarding India's interests.
      • For example, at 2.8 million, Indians may number just 1% of the U.S. population, but they are the most educated and richest minority, according to a 2013 Pew survey.
    • Considerable Vote Bank: Indian diaspora is not just a part of India’s soft power, but a fully transferable political vote bank as well.
      • Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reception at Madison Square Garden is a way of thanking the Indian-American community members who played a big part in his electronic campaign and election funding.
    • Indian Diaspora in Political Position: Many people of Indian origin hold top political positions in many countries, in the US itself they are now a significant part of Republicans and Democrats, as well as the government.
      • Most recently, the newly elected Vice president of the US, Kamala Harris, is of Indian origin.
    • Influencing Foreign Policy Decision: Indo-US Civil Nuclear Deal is a case in point, as ethnic Indians in the United States successfully lobbied for clinching of the Nuclear-deal.
    • Indian Identity: Within America and Europe, the Indian Diaspora is an effective public diplomacy tool and is acknowledged for its work ethos, discipline, non-interference, and peaceful living with the locals.
      • These values ultimately contribute to identity creation, image projection, and image cultivation of the Indians in the developed world.
    • New Wave of Indian Migration: The Indian Diaspora has been channeled into U.S. and European countries mainly through student admission programs, beneficiaries of H-1B visa program, family-based preference, and temporary worker visa programs.
      • Currently, a high percentage of Indian immigrants are young, highly educated, and well established in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) sectors.


    Today, the Indian diaspora is more prosperous than before and its involvement in India’s development is increasing. In this context, India should craft fully conduct diaspora diplomacy so as to turn diaspora potential into diaspora dividend.

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