We can expect more turbulence ahead in Indian diaspora politics
SummaryOur post-1947 and post-1991 pattern of engaging overseas Indian communities needs to change
Diaspora politics is going to get a lot more complicated and recent turbulence is an indicator of the policy challenges ahead. Pro-Khalistan protests in the US, UK, Canada and Australia have descended into vandalism, arson, rioting, incitement to assassination and inter-group violence. Last year, there was Hindu-Muslim communal violence in Leicester. Hindu and Sikh communities got into fights in Australia. A parade in New Jersey featured a bulldozer celebrating Yogi Adityanath’s politics, attracting condemnation for its provocativeness and causing the Indian business association to issue an apology. Google and Big Tech companies in the US attracted criticism on being seen as insensitive to caste discrimination. This year, the Seattle City Council outlawed caste discrimination in response to advocacy by diaspora civil society groups. In May, a 19-year-old Indian-American crashed a truck near the White House, waved a Nazi flag, and declared that he wanted to kill the president, seize power and put an end to democracy in the US. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the US last month, some civil society groups came together to celebrate him while others mobilized in protest.