The Indian Diaspora as a Social Movement: The Case of the Gulf Countries

In this study, the Gulf diaspora of India is examined with a social movement perspective. The aim of the study is to analyze how the Gulf diaspora was rebuilt during the Modi period. Arab countries in the Persian Gulf began to develop as a result of huge oil reserves and needed an intense workforce in the 1970s to have a modern state capacity. The required capacity of migrant workers was supplied from India, the Persian Gulf, and the South Asia axis and became one of the largest migration corridors in the world. Migrant workers have both stimulated the Gulf economies and become the backbone of the Indian economy. On the contrary, in the Modi period, with the new diaspora strategy, diaspora identity was rebuilt similar to a social movement. Political process theory and contentious theory have been used in attempts to analyze the rebuilding of diaspora identity. In recent years, social movement theory has also been used frequently in diaspora studies. In this study, a new model is proposed and the change in India’s Gulf diaspora is examined in the context of macro, meso, and micro dynamics. In this context, diasporas as a social movement is first discussed theoretically. Subsequently, the emergence, development, and content of the Indian diaspora in the Gulf region is reviewed historically. In another section, how the diaspora was strategically rebuilt in the Modi era is discussed through the proposed model. In conclusion, the damage to diaspora politics caused by the new Covid-19 pandemic and the rising trends are evaluated.
India, Gulf Diaspora, Social Movements, Change, Indian Diaspora
  • Abraham, R. (December 2012). “India and its Diaspora in the Arab Gulf Countries: Tapping into Effective ‘Soft Power’ and Related Public Diplomacy”, Diaspora Studies, 5, 2 (2012): 124–146.
  • Ansari, M. H. (2005). “Imperatives of Indian Polity in West Asia” in Emerging India, Security and Foreign Policy Perspectives Ed. By N.S. Sisodia, C. Uday bhaskar, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), Promilla & co. Publishers : New Delhi. p. 241-253.
  • Bauböck, R. (2010) “Cold constellations and hot identities: political theory questions about transnationalism and diaspora”, ed. R. Bauböck and T. Faist, Diaspora and Transnationalism: Concepts, Theories and Methods, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, p. 295–321.
  • Bolzman, C. (2011) “The Transnational Practices of Chilean Migrants in Switzerland”, International Migration, 49 (3), p.144–67.
  • Byman, D., P. Chalk, B. Hoffman, W. Rosenau and D. Brannan (2001). Trends in Outside Support for İnsurgent Movement, Santa Monica, CA: RAND.
  • Chanda, R. & Gupta, P. (2018). “Indian Migration to the Gulf: Overview of Trends and Policy Initiatives by India”, ed. Fargues, P. & Shah N.M., Migration to the Gulf: Policies in Sending and Receiving Countries, Gulf Research Centre, Jeddah.
  • Chatterjee, K. (2019). “Indıa’s West Asıa Polıcy In The Modı Era: Regional Focus as a Vanishing Horizon”, Revista UNISCI / UNISCI Journal, Nº 49.
  • Chaturvedi, S. (2005). “Diaspora in India’s Geopolitical Visions: Linkages, Categories, and Contestations”, Asian Affairs: An American Review , Fall, 2005, Vol. 32, No. 3 (Fall, 2005), pp. 141-168.
  • Choong, W. (2019). “The Return of the Indo-Pacific Strategy: An Assessment”, Australian Journal of International Affairs, 73:5, 415-430.
  • Damir-Geilsdorf, S. & Pelican, M. (2019). “Between Regular and İrregular Employment: Subverting the Kafala System in the GCC Countries”, Migration and Development, 8:2, 155-175.
  • Fair, C. C. (2005) “Diaspora Involvement in Insurgencies: İnsights from the Khalistan and Tamil Eelam Movements”, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 11 (1), 125–56.
  • Hall, I. (2015). “Is a ‘Modi doctrine’ emerging in Indian foreign policy?”, Australian Journal of International Affairs, 69:3. Quinsaat, S. M. (2000). “Diasporas as social movements?”, ed. Cohen R. & Fischer C., Routledge Handbook of Diaspora Studies, Routledge, 47-54.
  • Jasper, J. M. (2012) “Introduction: from Political Opportunity Structures to Strategic İnteraction”, ed. J. Goodwin and J. M. Jasper (eds) Contention in Context: Political Opportunities and the Emergence of Protest, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1–33.
  • Karpathakis, A. (1999). “Home Society Politics and Immigrant Political Incorporation: the Case of Greek Immigrants in New York City”, International Migration Review, 33 (1), 55–78.
  • Kriesi, H. (2004) “Political context and opportunity”, ed. D. A. Snow, S. A. Soule and H. Kriesi, The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements, Malden, MA: Blackwell, 67–90.
  • McAdam, D. (1996). “Conceptual Origins, Current Problems, Future Directions”, ed. D. McAdam, J. D. McCarthy and M. N. Zald, Comparative Perspectives on Social Movements: Political Opportunities, Mobilizing Structures, and Cultural Framings, New York: Cambridge University Press, 23–40.
  • McAdam, D., Tarrow S. & Tilly C. (2001) Dynamics of Contention, New York: Cambridge University Press. Mishra, A.K. (2016). “Diaspora, Development and the Indian State”, The Round Table, 105:6, 701-721.
  • Naufal, G.S. (2015). “The Economics of Migration in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries”, ed. Chiswick, B. R. & Miller, P. W., Handbook of the Economics of International Migration, Elsevier B.V, p.1597-1640.
  • Onk, G. (2007). “Global Indian Diasporas: Exploring Trajectories of Migration and Theory”, ed. Oonk, G., Global Indian Diasporas: Exploring Trajectories of Migration and Theory, IIAS Publications Series, Amsterdam University Press.
  • Pande, A. (December 2013). “Conceptualising Indian Diaspora: Diversities within a Common Identity”, Economic and Political Weekly , Vol. 48, No. 49, pp. 59-65.
  • Piven, F. F. and R. A. Cloward (1979). Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail, New York: Vintage Books.
  • Pradhan, P.K. (2010). “India and Gulf Cooperation Council: Time to Look Beyond Business”, Strategic Analysis, 34:3, 409-419.
  • Pradhan R. & Mohapatra A. (2020). “India’s Diaspora Policy: Evidence ff Soft Power Diplomacy Under Modi”, South Asian Diaspora, 12:2, 145-161.
  • Rahman, A. (1999). “Migration of Indian Labour to West Asia: Trends and Effects”, Manpower Journal, vol. 35, no. 2., New Delhi: IAMR, Jui.-Sep.
  • Rahman, A. (2009). “Indian Diaspora in the Gulf: Problems and Prospects”, Diaspora Studies, 2:1, 31-51. Rai, A. (2018). “Quadrilateral Security Dialogue 2 (Quad 2.0) – a Credible Strategic Construct or Mere “foam in the Ocean”?”, Maritime Affairs: Journal of the National Maritime Foundation of India, 14:2, 138-148.
  • Roper, S.D. & Barria, L.A. (2014). “Understanding Variations in Gulf Migration and Labor Practices”, Middle East Law and Governance, 6, 32-52.
  • Schöttli, J. & Pauli, M. (2016). “Modi-nomics and the Politics of İnstitutional Change in the Indian Economy”, Journal of Asian Public Policy, 9:2, 154-169.
  • Sharma, R. S. & Mehta, S. (2020). “Foreign policy of India under Modi government”, International Journal of Political Science and Governance 2020; 2(2): 123-128.
  • Singh, S. (2020). “India’s Diaspora Diplomacy in the Twenty-first Century”, Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Volume – 3, Issue – 6, 7-13.
  • Tarrow, S. G. (2011). Power in Movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics, New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Trigunayat, A. (2020). “GCC and the Indian Diaspora in the Context of Covid-19”, Vivekananda International Foundations, “https://www.vifindia.org/2020/april/20/gcc-and-the-indian-diaspora-in-the-context-ofcovid-19. (31.01.2021).
  • Ünlü, H. (2019). “Hindistan’ın Yeni Ortadoğu Politikası Ve Modi’nin Körfez Ziyaretleri”, Ortadoğu Analiz, Cilt 10, Sayı 89, 38-43).
  • Whittier, N. E. (1997). “Political Generations, Micro-Cohorts, and the Transformation of Social Movements”, American Sociological Review, 62 (5), 760–78.
  • World Bank Report, (April 2019). “Migration and Remittances Recent Developments and Outlook,” Migration and Development Brief 31, 6.
  • BM Uluslararası Göçmen Raporu, (2019). https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/migration/publications/migrationreport/docs/MigrationReport2017_Highlights.pdf. (30.01.2021).
  • “BJP’s Karnataka MP calls Delhi’s Tablighi Jamaat Event Corona Jihad”, (5 April, 2020). The Print, https://theprint.in/politics/bjps-karnataka-mp-calls-delhis-tablighi-jamaat-event-corona-jihad/395511/. (31.01.2021).
  • “Government Plans to Merge PIO and OCI Schemes; Seeks Suggestions”, (2014). Economic Times, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/government-plans-to-merge-pio-and-oci-schemes-seeks-suggestions/articleshow/44985859.cms?from=mdr. (31.01.2021).
  • Hindistan Dış İşleri Bakanlığı, Denizaşırı Hindistanlıların Nüfusu, http://mea.gov.in/images/attach/NRIs-and-PIOs_1.pdf. (30.01.2021).
  • Hindistan Dış İşleri Bakanlığı 2017 Raporu, (23.10.2017). https://www.mea.gov.in/Images/attach/NEW_Umesh_Chandra_2017.pdf. (30.01.2021).
  • “Indian Political Parties Woo Diaspora”, (2014). Al-Jazeera, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2014/1/7/indian-political-parties-woo-diaspora. (31.01.2021).
  • “Over 300,000 Indians Register to Return from Gulf Region, Only Those with ‘Compelling Reasons’ to be Brought Back in First Phase”, Hindustan Times, https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/over-300-000-indians-register-to-return-from-gulf-region-only-those-with-compelling-reasons-to-be-brought-back-in-first-phase/story-A4qNuaOzlJVQnIclILXxgO.html. (31.01.2021).
  • Taneja, K. (January 16, 2020). “Why Saudi Arabia and the UAE Aren’t Bothered by India’s Citizenship Amendment Act”, https://thediplomat.com/2020/01/why-saudi-arabia-and-the-uae-arent-bothered-by-indias-citizenship-amendment-act/. (31.01.2021).
  • “90 % of Kerala Diaspora Are in the Gulf”, (17.09.2014). Gulf News, https://gulfnews.com/world/asia/india/90-of-kerala-diaspora-are-in-the-gulf-1.1386309. (31.01.2021).
Primary Language en
Subjects Political Science
Journal Section Research Articles
Authors

Author: Hayati ÜNLÜ (Primary Author)
Institution: SIRNAK UNIVERSITY
Country: Turkey


Dates Publication Date : March 30, 2021
APA Ünlü, H . (2021). The Indian Diaspora as a Social Movement: The Case of the Gulf Countries . Turkish Journal of Diaspora Studies , 1 (1) , 80-99 .

total views 83 , views today 4 

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •