What is an Indian? How do Indians define this in terms of ethnology, identity or cultural heritage?
Mohan Gautam (European University of West & East)
Movement, Mobility, and Migration
Roscoe 1.008
Start time:
9 August, 2013 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Overseas Indian communities out side India are heterogeneous regional groups. Suddenly they were known as Indian Diaspora . The government of India did not show any affection to them. But what is this Indian Diaspora?

Long abstract:

What is an Indian? How does he become a part of Indian Diaspora? How does he define himself as an Indian and why when India is an imagined construction. India itself is a sort of federation of regional, religious, cultural, national and linguistic identities. In India no one calls himself as Indian but wants to be called by his regional identities, such as, Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, Naga, Tamil, Telgu, Bhojpuri, Munda, Santhali and so on. Before 1947, India was divided into many states. It was the colonial power which identified people of the sub-continent, as Indians. Only after 2000, Indian Diaspora was recognized by the Indian government, consisting of castes, tribals, religions and cultures. With 3rd generation of Indian Diaspora the link with India has become meager. In a multi-cultural society the feeling of belonging to an ethnic Indian community distinguishes them from others. Anthropologically, how can we explain the notions of 'Indianness', Indian Diaspora, Cultural boundries, migrations, ethnicity, identity and cultural heritage? Moreover, how overseas Indians have managed to have two roles simultaneously, being the citizen of the adopted country and India which has been the root of their forefathers. This panel invites papers that seek to analyse the Indian diaspora in terms of these questions.