Outreach to diaspora and statesmanship – on India Diaspora | 26th June 2023 | UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis

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What's the article about?

  • It talks about the Tamil Indian Diaspora.


  • GS2: Effect of Policies and Politics of Developed and Developing Countries on India’s interests, Indian Diaspora;
  • Prelims


  • Recently, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin addressed the gathering of the Tamil Diaspora in Tokyo, Japan.

Indian Diaspora:

  • The term diaspora traces its roots to the Greek diaspeiro, which means dispersion.
  • In India, diaspora is commonly understood to include Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Overseas Citizens of India (OCI), of which PIO and OCI card holders were merged under one category, OCI, in 2015.
  • Stats:
    • As on December 31, 2021, there were 4.7 crore Indians living overseas.
    • The number includes NRIs, PIOs, OCIs, and students. Excluding students, the number stands at 3.22 crore, including 1.87 crore PIOs and 1.35 crore NRIs.
    • According to the World Migration Report, prepared by the International Organisation for Migration under the United Nations, India has the largest emigrant population in the world, making it the top origin country globally, followed by Mexico, Russian and China.
    • The countries with over 10 lakh overseas Indians include United States of America (44 lakh), United Kingdom (17.6 lakh), United Arab Emirates (34 lakh), Sri Lanka (16 lakh), South Africa (15.6 lakh), Saudi Arabia (26 lakh), Myanmar (20 lakh), Malaysia (29.8 lakh), Kuwait (10.2 lakh) and Canada (16.8 lakh).


  • Tamil Diaspora:
    • Among the Indian diaspora, Tamils constitute a substantial number.
    • They form the overwhelming majority of the Indian population in Malaysia, Singapore, and Sri Lanka, are in good numbers in Myanmar, Mauritius, South Africa, the Seychelles, the Re-Union Islands, Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Australia, New Zealand, the Gulf countries, the United States and Canada, Britain and the European countries.
  • Three identities of diaspora:
    • first, the state identity, in this case Tamil identity;
    • second, the Indian identity, and
    • third, the identity of the countries in which they have settled.
  • Policies of India governmnet:
    • The policy towards the Indian diaspora comes under the exclusive jurisdiction of the central government.
    • Even then, State governments can influence policies by building public opinion.
    • As far as neighbouring countries are concerned, bilateral relations have two dimensions.
      • The first is to improve relations with governments, politically, economically, and culturally.
      • The second is to protect and foster the interests of Indian minority groups.

Way Forward:

  • Indian diaspora are brand ambassadors of the country on foreign soil. They not only provide remittance to India, but also bring new technologies, practices and cultural elements.
  • Thus, both Union and respective state governments must work together to ensure the welfare of the Indian diaspora.

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