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Voices of The Indian Diaspora

Voices of The Indian Diaspora


Item Code: IDJ341

by Anand Mulloo

Paperback (Edition: 2007)

Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited
ISBN 9788120831971

Language: English
Size: 8.0 X 5.3"
Pages: 393
Weight of the Book: 386 gms
Price: $30.00   Shipping Free
Viewed times since 3rd Sep, 2015



Voices of the Diaspora is a marvelous collection of the contemporary and historical experiences of the Indian Diaspora in different parts of the world. It reveals the accomplishments, the issues and problems faced by overseas Indians. The book also uncovers the potential of the 22 million People of Indian Origins for development in India as well as the countries with large Indian population. It indicates some of the reasons which have so far held back the NRIs and PIOs from actively pursuing investments and business opportunities in India.

Quoting several world leaders, Anand Mulloo shows what lies ahead of India on its way to becoming a world power. He maps out the need for leadership with vision, for social infrastructure, for work culture, education, individual and social responsibility.

Anand Mulloo has taken it upon himself to do an extensive research into the Diaspora by traveling around, collecting information and interviewing people. Very few people can do it. I want to compliment him on doing such a thorough job.

The author highlights the importance of networking the Indian Diaspora, based on the objectives and accomplishments of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origins (GOPIO) he shows how the tradition of openness of the global Indian family goes back to the Vedas, the mother of religions and philosophies.

In the wake of the Government of India's High Level Committee report, media accounts and other studies on the diaspora, Anand Mulloo has provided the best update on political situations and issues in countries such as Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and others. He talks about the implications and advantages concerning the PIO Card and Dual Citizenship.

The writer analyses the causes of success and failures of the Indian Diaspora in the countries of their adoption. He explains why Overseas Indians have been more successful in western countries than in certain developing countries. He advocates closer community relationships in order to ensure PIO success as a whole.

The book covers a detailed description of the migration of Indians overseas since ancient times and particularly during the last two centuries. It offers us a good comparison of the similarities and differences between the earlier Diaspora, termed (PIOs) and the newer immigrants (termed NRIs). The author describes in depth the history of Overseas Indians, their trials and tribulations in settling down, relationships with other Diaspora communities, African, Anglo-Saxon, Chinese, French within the host countries.

Voices of the Diaspora is a must book for business entrepreneurs, students, academicians, historians, community activists, philanthropists, diplomats, both Indian and PIO political leaders and all those interested to know more about the 22 million PIO communities settled in more than 160 countries, it is a valuable contribution to the growing literature on Diaspora Studies.

Back of the Book

Spread over a wide canvas, but focused entirely on the Indian diaspora, Mulloo attempts a diasporic perspective by using the interdisciplinary tools of history, economics, politics and sociology to narrate the story of overseas Indians. Secondly, he makes an important departure by taking a self-confident, indo-centric view of a resurgent India - but from a self-critical, realistic and optimistic perspective. Thirdly, Mulloo's analysis of NRIs and PIOs provides the intellectual framework for a deeper, critical understanding of the Indian diaspora - that global family of 22 million in over 125 countries. Finally, he positions the Indian diaspora, with its estimated combined income of $160 billion, as a huge asset in the creation of a global network and the building of economic bridges to assist both India and the host countries.

Written in an easy readable style and shorn of academic jargon, Voices of the Indian Diaspora is a contemporary effort at understanding overseas Indians. It is honest, compelling, thought provoking and substantial.

Mulloo's understanding of and love for India's great civilizational heritage is the recurrent theme of this book. But that does not prevent Mulloo from recognizing India's weakness and suggesting practical means to overcome them.

Anand Sawant Mulloo, former Head of Department of History, John Kennedy College, lecturer, Mahatma Gandhi Institute, Mauritius, has held various responsible positions in media and educational administration at ministerial, private and parastatal levels.

Author of novel, Watch Them Go Down (1967), Dust of Time-collection of poems (1968), Our Struggle (1982), father of the Nation (2000), How your Child Cab be a Winner (2003), and former editor of Femmes des lies magazine, member of GOPIO Academic Council, Anand Sawant Mulloo offers us an interesting blend of his personal narrative style.

He has been conferred the "Hind Rattan Award" by the NRI Welfare Society on the January 25th 2007, at New Delhi.


VOIES OF THE DIASPORA lends a voice to the 20 Million PIOs and NRIs spread in 125 countries speaking more than 20 languages, professing all the major religions of the world and reflecting the global society. For too long, the voices of the diaspora have gone unheard and their stories have remained unsung. The Indian Immigrants and their descendants have gone through a variety of historical experiences and sacrifices which need to be told so that we remember their sufferings and services, disappointments and hopes and draw the necessary lessons. We have to understand them and remain faithful to those lessons in order to ensure a better future for the diasporic children.

In a bid to articulate the voices of the repressed people, we have ventured across untrodden paths, left unexplored by many writers and historians. This book throws light on some of the controversies, failures and merits of the diaspora, including their social, cultural, religious, psychological, economic and political orientations, threats and aspirations.

Here, to give an insider's view of the Diaspora, we shall take up the story of an Immigrant family and follow up its journey across times. And while firmly grounded in real life situations, enlivened with stray biographical and historical details in chronological and thematic order, it outlines the diasporic similarities and differences in a comparative perspective. It addresses our broader diasporas- their social, cultural, religious and political organisations, their aspirations, their challenges, their shortcomings, their contributions and their achievements- with a few probing questions and insights thrown in.

It covers the historical movements which have shaped the diaspora, including the legacies of slavery, indenture, colonialism, assimilation, domination, subordination, marginalisation, resistance, decolonisation, Cold War, struggle against Apartheid and the new disaporic awarensess. Underlying it all is a deep spiritual message, the same that sustained the human spirit against all the overwhelming odds during the trying days of early immigration.

It maps out the diasporic space within which the issues of ethnicity, identity, racism, culture, class and power relations are played out in the daily lives of Indian immigrants scattered around the globe. It unfolds the context in which the Indian diaspora has collided, enmeshed with, resisted the British, French, Black and Chinese diasporas and how a transformed Indian diaspora is being constructed. The study of Indian diaspora in its relations to other diasporas enables us to take on board the burning issues of racial conflicts, religious wars, political strife, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, cultural, economic, social, political and psychological interconnections.

In the process, we shall adopt a multi-disciplinary approach, and spice the narrative with some of the concepts, data, findings. methods, theories and tools pouring from many disciplines, ineluding anthropology, economics, history, geography, journalism, literature, politics, sociology and refer to the works of scholars in these fields. This book provides the intellectual framework for a deeper understanding of the diaspora.

We shall have to deal with the interrelationships of the dynamic forces of education, economic development, trade opportunities and networking and the past, the present and future of global Indian communities. Some of these issues have now been dragged from under the carpet so that we can see ourselves face to face, with our plus and minus points, in the social and historical mirror. The debate is now open. Our aim is not only to foster self-awarenesss and .awareness of our inter-personal relations within our diasporas but also 'to provide the necessary tools for academicians, leaders, legislators, media people and all those concerned with PIOs and NRIs to reflect on these issues and take the necessary actions

This book is a rallying call to us all, the children of Mother India, to believe in ourselves, in .our collective destiny and to draw inspiration from our glorious cultural and civilizational heritage. It demolishes the myths, the misunderstandings and prejudices which have held us back in the past. Its central message is to take a fresh look at the emerging new India, the awakening giant and superpower- seen from a self-critical, realistic but optimistic perspective. At the same time, it does not shy away from exposing our limitations which historically stemmed from the sub-continent. The idea is to face up to our waeknesses, take the. necessary corrective measures and move forward. Briefly put, the book proposes a complete turn-around, a shift of emphasis from the traditional Euro-centric to a dynamic, self- . confident Indo-centric approach.

This saga of the Indian diaspora and - in many respects a success story- spearheaded by the Global Organization of People of Indian Origins, GOPIO, has won global recognition. It is celebrated every 9th January during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, in India. It is now garnered as a precious part of the global Indian consciousness. In some way, this book tells us about our dynamic and fast changing Diaspora, what Mother India expects of her children overseas and what is expected of her.

By NRI is meant Non-Resident Indians who may happen to be first generation migrants in western or Gulf countries while PIO refers to Persons of Indian Origins, the descendants of the NRI or second, third and successive generations of Indian Immigrants. In other words, today's NRIs may become tomorrow's PIOs.

But first of all, we have to contextualise the diasporic issues. We need to know who the PIOs and NRIs are, where they come from, their diversity; something about their history, their geography, economics and politics, their cultural base and their relations both to their host countries, to other diasporas and to the homeland, India. Among other concerns, we shall look into the Immigration laws, the problems of the preservation of their culture, language, religion and ethnicity in the face of assimilation, domination and race relations.

We shall review their family life, their cultural, social and religious activities and their political participation and unearth any human rights problems. We shall also consider their main occupations, contributions, problems and achievements.

We shall also explore their internal relations with other sub-ethnic groups within the Indian community as well as with other ethnic or racial groups and see how they compare and contrast with other diasporas within their countries of adoption

What are their vast ramifications, their varied needs and expectations and their potential as well as the complex and diverse multi-cultural societies within which they operate'? These and other issues are explored in Voices Of The Diaspora

Acknowledgments 9
Foreword 11
Introduction 13
Chapter 1 17
Gambling on Gulf 20
We have Arrived 26
Home and Away from Home 30
Singhvi's HCL Report 37
A Spoke-and Hub-Relationship 38
Ten Celebrated Global Indians 39
The Ripple in the Pool 40
India-A Global Dynamo 43
You have to be a Giant 45
Breeding Success 48
Networking for a Purpose 49
Openness-the Way to Greatness 52
History of Conflicts 57
A Lesson in Caribbean Politics 58
Chapter 2 65
Indianness is the Best of Breed 65
Why Will Indians Rule Soon? 67
Indians versus Westerners 69
What Hampers the Growth Success of Indians? 70
A Game of Numbers 72
You Need a Vision 72
India as a World Power 75
Chapter 3 81
Indian Presence Overseas 82
Overtaken by the West 82
Emigration 83
South East Asia 87
Malaysia 90
Singapore 94
Africa, Mauritius and Reunion Island 96
Other African Countries 106
Mauritius and the Caribbean Islands, Fiji 107
Similarities and Differences  
Life in Sugar Plantations 107
Seek Thou the Political Kingdom first 108
Cultural Relations with India 112
Invasion of Americanism 114
Political Vulnerability 115
The United Kingdom 116
Europe 121
The United States 125
Canada 126
Chapter 4 129
About Diaspora 129
Chinese Diaspora in Mauritius 132
The Wider Chinese Diaspora 139
Japanese 141
The PIOs 142
The Indian Muslims 144
Anglo-Saxon 147
The Success Stories 148
The Pains of Assimilation 151
The Sindhi Traders 153
The Gujarati Traders 154
Other Classes 157
Chapter 5 159
The Indian Immigrants 160
Indian Convicts 162
The Recruits 163
Recruitment Made Easy 164
The Plantation System 167
Was it a New System of Slavery? 168
Who Were The Coolies? 173
Why were Indians so Hated? 176
Immigrant Chummun's Story 177
A House on the Hills 178
Vegetable Selling 181
Indians in the Caribbeans 182
The French Diaspora 184
Privileges Enlarged under Indirect Rule 185
The Dominance of English and French 187
Mission Civilisatrice 189
Power of the Church 189
Anglo-French Colonial Alliance 192
Power Without Control 193
The Oligarchy Always in Control 198
Chapter 6 201
A Sense of History 202
Caste and Class Divisions 204
Vagrancy Laws 208
Then Came de Plevitz 213
A Wounded Civilization 216
South Africa 217
The Seeds of Racism 218
Spatial Segregation 221
Colonialism; Racialism and Domination 222
Economic Inequality Enforced by Law 227
Racism, Colonialism and Casteism 229
Culture as Domination 232
Towards A New Indo-Centric Approach 235
Chapter 7 239
Euro-centric Blinkers 241
Cultural Racism 243
What they Never Hear In the West 245
The Clash of Civilizations 249
Modern Knowledge 250
Stop The Aggression 252
The Wonder That Was India 253
Unity of Creation 255
Chapter 8 259
The Two Civilizations 259
The Best Breed 262
Indian Culture is One and Indivisible 264
Hybrid Culture 265
Ethnicity 267
The Enemy Strikes Again 271
Gujarati Traders 274
Carrot and Stick 275
Many Pathways 277
The Deities Walking out of the Stones 279
We are All Hindus 280
Westerners Fearful of Indians 284
Proud Legacy of Industriousness 286
Chapter 9 289
The Coloureds 290
Anti-Indianism 295
Self-evaluation 296
Coloureds, Creoles and Indians 298
The Old Enemy 301
The African Diaspora 302
The Wretched of the Earth 304
White-Masked, Black Skinned 206
The Story of Alain 309
The General Population and the Indo-Mauritians 310
Being a Kreol 314
Those Left Behind 318
The Kreol Language 321
Inter and Intra Ethnic Relations 322
Recognizing their Indianness 325
Long Live King Creole 326
Chapter 10 329
Getting There Together 329
Networking 331
Media Power 332
Living Our Values 332
A Stronger India 335
A Stronger Diaspora 337
A. The Indian Media and the Diaspora 341
B. NRIs/PIOs-Who are We? 349
C. Tracing Our Roots 362
D. Some Poems by Anand Mulloo 370

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