Indian Diaspora has made immense contribution in growth and development of East Africa

Published Date:   Saturday, Apr 27, 2013

Indian Diaspora has played an important role in the evolution of the political system in East Africa and pioneered in the development of market economy, says Dr. Rajneesh Gupta

In a reent seminar conducted by GRFDT, Dr. Rajneesh Gupta has critically examined the role and contribution of Indian diaspora in East Africa. His paper titled "Indian Diaspora in East Africa: Challenges of Integration” touched upon issues of power relations, racism, mobility of Indian diaspora in East Africa. Indian migrants to East Africa go back to 3000 years back. However, majority of Indians immigrated to East Africa during colonial time and surprisingly a significant number of them also went during 1990s. During colonial time, Indians went to East Africa as army to Tanganyika under German recruitment, as administrator to Portuguese colonies most of whom were Goan catholic and about one lakh as railway collies in British Ugandan railway construction. Dr. Rajneesh highlighted the role of Indians in political, economic and cultural spheres in East Africa. Indian Diaspora has played an important role in the evolution of the political system in East Africa and pioneered in the development of market economy. Indians were instrumental in forming strong Trade Union movement against the labour exploitation. 

However, the existences of Indians were always not smooth both during Colonial times and after that. They were being perceived as exploiters and taking away the benefits from the locals. Such perceptions often created ethnic rivalry in many of these colonies. Incidences of Uganda dictator Idi Amin who expelled several Indians subsequently settled in UK were one of the most unfortunate incidences of the ethnic rivalry. Dr. Rajneesh also mentioned that the Indians have been active in certain sectors while not active in certain other sectors. They are well represented in judiciary and economy while very less significant in politics.

 
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