India (Commonwealth Union)_ In the light of India’s assumption of the G-20 presidency this year, the Indian Diaspora has a greater obligation to promote the country’s illustrious achievements and majestic history, which will undoubtedly assist India in achieving a sustainable future. The G20 Presidency is not simply another event for India, but a process of discovering and presenting its actual potential, character, and diversity in the spirit of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ in order to develop and strengthen deep relationships with the delegates.
In its broadest sense, the Indian diaspora consists of more than 30 million people, of whom more than 18 million were born in India. It also spans over 200 countries worldwide. In addition, it is a rising population worldwide, with around 2.5 million people leaving their country for foreign places in quest of better educational or employment prospects. Accordingly, North America is home to the majority of Indians abroad, with the United States and Canada accounting for almost 6 million in total.
According to Indian government data, other nations with large Indian populations are the United Arab Emirates with 3,425,145 Indians, Malaysia with 2,987,950, Saudi Arabia with 2,594,950, Myanmar with 2,009,207, and the United Kingdom with 1,892,000. Additionally, countries that have a large percentage of Indians are Mauritius (65.06%), the UAE (42.1%), Guyana (39.83%), Qatar (39.5%), Trinidad and Tobago (35.4%), Fiji (34.42%), Réunion (31.42%), Suriname (27.4%), Saudi Arabia (23.22%), Kuwait (22.5%), and Bahrain (21%). These countries have a greater than 20% Indian population.
The success of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) should be attributed to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the former prime minister of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who initiated the mission. This year, the 17th PBD Convention was conducted in Indore. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the event and highlighted the cultural and religious significance of Madhya Pradesh and Indore, complimenting the city’s renowned “Indori Namkeen” or savory snacks. This year, the Convention’s theme was “Diaspora: Reliable partners for India’s progress in Amrit Kaal.” More than 3500 participants from over 70 countries have registered to attend. The chief guest for the event was the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali. Earlier in 2013, ten years back, the PBD Chief Guest was then-Guyana President Donald Ramtar. This year’s honored guest was President of the Republic of Suriname, Chandrikapersad Santokhi.
According to Modi, India’s diaspora comprises the country’s greatest brand ambassadors. He stated, “I call all diaspora Indians as the brand ambassadors of India. You all are ‘Rashtradoots’ (ambassadors of the nation). Your role as India’s brand ambassadors is diverse: you are brand ambassadors of Make in India, Yoga, Handicraft industry, and of India’s millets.” He added, “The idea of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, or the whole world as one family, was evident in overseas Indians.” At PBD 2023, Modi emphasized India’s global significance during its G20 chairmanship. He said, “India’s voice is being heard on the global stage. India is also the host of this year’s G20. We do not want to make it only a diplomatic event, but an event of people’s participation.”
The country should embrace and recognize both the old diaspora of labor and the modern diaspora of technology and finance. In accordance with this idea, this PBD’s surprise award, the highest government honor, the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, was presented to US millionaire Darshan Singh Dhaliwal, a member of the Indian diaspora who backed the year’s farmer’s movement by distributing free meals to demonstrators.
Today, the Indian diaspora is more glorious than in the past, and their participation in India’s growth is expanding. International remittances have been one of India’s most important sources of foreign exchange for decades. According to the World Bank data, India received nearly 87 billion dollars in remittances in 2021, with the United States ranking as the top source nation, contributing more than 20% of these monies.