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What the Indian diaspora expects from the new government

What the Indian diaspora expects from the new government

As India, the world’s largest democracy, stands at the brink of deciding its future leadership, the air is thick with anticipation. The stakes are high, not just for the 1.4 billion citizens within India’s borders, but also for the millions of Indians scattered across the globe. The desire for peaceful regime change and good governance resonates deeply, echoing the hopes of Indians both inside and outside India. The thoughts shared here are important at this critical juncture, highlighting the role of the Indian diaspora and the collective yearning for an atmosphere of peace and brotherhood.

India’s political landscape is a complex tapestry, woven with diverse cultures, languages, and ideologies. The election results symbolize more than just a change in leadership; they represent a profound opportunity to guide the nation towards stability, prosperity, and inclusiveness. Within India, citizens are eager for a government that prioritizes their welfare, champions social justice, and fosters an environment where unity in diversity is not just a slogan but a lived reality.

Parallel to this domestic yearning is the perspective of the Indian diaspora, which, although geographically distant, remains emotionally and culturally connected to the motherland. Indians abroad have always maintained a deep connection with their roots, contributing significantly to India’s global image and economic strength. From Silicon Valley tech giants to bustling business districts in London, Dubai, and Melbourne, the impact of the Indian diaspora is far-reaching and profound.

The contributions of Indians abroad are multifaceted. Economically, remittances from the diaspora constitute a significant portion of India’s foreign exchange reserves, bolstering the nation’s economic stability. In 2021 alone, the World Bank reported that India received over $87 billion in remittances, showing the enduring financial link between expatriates and their homeland. These funds often support families, build infrastructure, and fund educational and healthcare projects, directly enhancing the quality of life in various regions of India.

Beyond financial contributions, the Indian diaspora serves as a bridge of knowledge and innovation. Many Indian expatriates hold influential positions in academia, technology, medicine, and business. Their expertise and experience often flow back to India through collaborations, mentorship programs, and investment in startups. Notable figures like Sundar Pichai of Google, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, and Dr Sam Pitroda symbolize the heights of achievement possible, inspiring countless Indians and contributing to India’s growing reputation as a global hub of talent and innovation. Dr. Sam Pitroda, in particular, played a pivotal role in the telecom revolution in India, laying the foundation for the country’s vast telecommunications network, and transforming India’s connectivity and economic landscape.

Culturally, the diaspora promotes Indian heritage and values on the world stage. Festivals like Diwali, Holi, and Onam are celebrated with fervour from New York to Dubai, showcasing the richness of Indian traditions and fostering cross-cultural understanding. Indian cuisine, music, dance, and cinema have found enthusiastic audiences worldwide, further strengthening India’s cultural influence and diplomacy.

However, the most poignant contribution of the diaspora today is their unwavering advocacy for peace and brotherhood in India. By raising awareness through social media, Indians abroad consistently champion harmony and unity. They have a unique vantage point, often witnessing firsthand the benefits of diverse and inclusive societies, and they ardently wish the same for their homeland.

Recently, my friend Tariq Hussain Ashraf, hailing from Patna, Bihar, and currently working in Abaha, Saudi Arabia, sent me a heartfelt Urdu poem that deeply reflects the sentiments of Indians living abroad. His poem eloquently captures the diaspora’s deep connection to India and their desire for justice, unity, and love:

“Na takhto taj chahta hun na milkiyat chahta hun

Na tumhari mal o daulat na tumhari bhains chahta hun

Haq o halal ki kamai se zindagi basar karna chahta hun

Aye Hindustan mai tujh se kia chahta hun”

(“I do not desire thrones or crowns, nor do I seek ownership

Neither your wealth nor your grandeur do I want

I wish to live a life of honest earnings

Oh India, what I desire from you”)

“Aye Hindustan mai tujh se kia chahta hun

Tum ao mere ghar eid par aur mai tumhare Diwali par

Ganga jamuni tahzeeb ka qaid hun aur isi tahzeeb ki baqua chahta hu

Mazhab nahi sikhata apas me bair rakhna bus itni si bat samjhana chahta hun”

(“Oh India, what I desire from you

You come to my house for Eid and I will come to yours for Diwali

I am a custodian of the Ganga-Jamuni culture and I want its preservation

Religion does not teach us to harbour animosity; I want to convey this simple message”)

This poem not only reflects Tariq’s personal sentiments but also encapsulates what many Indians across the globe seek from their motherland and its administration: justice, unity, and an atmosphere where they can live with dignity and peace.

The call for peaceful regime change and governance is not just a political demand but a moral imperative. It reflects a collective consciousness that transcends borders. The Indian diaspora, with its vast resources, influence, and emotional investment in India’s future, plays a crucial role in amplifying this call. Their advocacy for a peaceful and progressive India resonates with a global audience, garnering support and solidarity from international communities.

As India stands at this critical juncture, it is essential to recognize the intertwined destinies of Indians worldwide. The recent elections were a moment of reckoning—an opportunity to embrace a governance model that prioritizes peace, inclusiveness, and prosperity. The collective hopes of Indians, both at home and abroad, converge on the desire for a government that upholds democratic values, fosters economic growth, and nurtures a society where every individual, regardless of their background, can thrive in an atmosphere of peace and brotherhood.

The future of India is a matter of global significance. The contributions of the Indian diaspora, whether through economic support, intellectual capital, cultural promotion, or advocacy for peace, are indispensable. As the nation stands poised to elect its new leaders, the collective voices from within and beyond its borders echo a unified message: a peaceful regime change and governance that will lead India towards a brighter, more harmonious future.

(The writer is the producer of India’s first AI-themed movie and is residing in Saudi Arabia.)

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TAGS:Indian DiasporaLok Sabha Elections 2024
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