WHENEVER any top Indian leader, including prime minister Narendra Modi, visits a foreign country, the Indian diaspora settled there come up with a massive response. While India’s bilateral ties with nations that some of the country’s top leaders visit receive wide coverage in the media, the diaspora’s excitement and engagement are also seen as a key part of New Delhi’s foreign policy success.
The Indian diaspora are considered the largest in the world since 2010 and an important source of the Indian government. The excitement among the Indian-Americans ahead of Modi’s upcoming visit to the US speaks about the leader’s popularity, something which was seen during his visit to Sydney last month.
India Weekly spoke with Rajesh Mehta, an international affairs expert who focuses on areas such as market entry, innovation, geopolitics and public policy, to understand the significance of the Indian diaspora and its influence — political, economic and cultural — in the country where they reside and also their contribution to strengthen India’s image in the international community.
When asked about the reason why the Indian diaspora play a vastly influential role, especially in a number of top nations in the west, Mehta said members of the diaspora occupy significant positions in politics, business and science and technology in various nations around the world.
Citing the examples of UK prime minister Rishi Sunak, US vice president Kamala Harris and other politicians of Indian-origin doing well in other countries’ politics to Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella and others in business and technology to Jagadish Chennupati and Sethuraman Panchanathan who are well-established names in the field of science and technology, Mehta also said the Indian diaspora stand out as one of the most prosperous minorities in many developed nations.
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