CONTENTS:- Preface; 1. Indians Abroad; 2. The Chinese Experience; 3. The Indenture System; 4. Indians in the Caribbean; 5. Indians Majorities; 6. In the Neighourhood; 7. The African Experience; 8. Recent Migrants; 9. In the Gulf Region; 10. Dual Citizenship; 11. Identity and Assimilation; 12. Politics and the Diaspora; 13. The Diaspora's Influence; 14. Policy of Engagement; 15. Maintaining the Bonds: Conclusion;
The rise of a prosperous, confident overseas Indian community since the late 1980s has changed the image of the pravasi (overseas) community in India. Overseas Indians have become visible internationally as many of them have reached heights of success, finding a place in the lists of international leaders in their areas of expertise. The Indian diaspora is formed of numerous layers and segments that correspond to the time of migration, the place of origin in India and the country of settlement. Overseas Indians are descendants of migrants who went to Malaysia, Sri Lanka and other South East Asian countries, and as indentured workers traveled to Trinidad and Tobago, Mauritius, Suriname, South Africa and Fiji. They are first generation migrants to Britian, Canada, America and other countries around the world. In each country where they settled, migrant Indians had a different experience as they strove to create an economic and political space for themselves in the host society. A successful, prosperous and politically influential diaspora is an asset to India, acting as a vibrant bridge between two countries and adding vigour to their bilateral relations. Both India and the diaspora have something to gain from the connection, in real as well as intangible terms. The majority of the diaspora looks for cultural sustenance, to connect their children to India, the ancestral land from which they draw their ethnic identity. Author has brought her experience and familiarity with overseas Indian communities to emphasise the need to infuse a common diasporic identity within the various segments of the overseas various segments of the overseas community with the aim of building the overseas communities into a well-networked international presence around the globe.