Indian Immigrants in Britain: Features of Diasporic Life Post 2000s

Author:   Divya Balan
Publisher:   Global Research Forum on Diaspora and Transnationalism

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GRFDT Research Monograph Series VI

Abstract 

Being the single largest ethnic minority with a migration history since 1600, Indian im-migrants are an established community in Britain, many a time projected as a model minority. It is an internally diverse community with differences in religion, caste, lan-guage, and cultural practices shape their identity and diasporic experiences in British society. Their migration to Britain was a part of the larger colonial movement in the earliest phase; however economic motives perpetuated the post-Independence and cur-rent phase. Studies explain that they show a positive integration trend towards the so-cial and economic spheres of their destination country. At the same time, they devised necessary cultural negotiations within the British system to recreate and retain Indian cultural practices and traditions and to transmit them to the subsequent British-born generations. This research paper is an attempt to comprehend the major features of In-dian diasporic life in Britain at present. Based on field research, this paper deals with several of the significant aspects of their pre and post migration process and how they strategized methods to negotiate their Indianness and cope with the largely intolerant native society without losing their rather emotional and material links with their home country, India. This study asserts the fact that Indians could never give up India espe-cially at a time when British society perceives migration as an unavoidable but socially disintegrative process. 

Keywords: Indian Immigrants, Britain, Eastham, Culture, Identity, Diasporic Experiences 

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About Author 

Dr. Divya Balan is presently the guest faculty in the Department of International Relations, Cen-tral University of Kerala, Kasaragod. She is UGC-NET qualified in International and Area Studies and was previously working in the capacity of Assistant Professor (adhoc) in the Delhi Universi-ty. She has completed her Ph.D. in European Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi in 2015. Her doctoral thesis is on “Immigrants Integration Policies in Britain: A Study of the Indian Immigrants Incorporation 2000-2010” in which she undertook an empirical analysis of how British integration measures affect Indian immigrants’ in Britain. She has published sev-eral articles in research journals and contributed chapters to books. She has also participated and presented research papers in International and National Conferences on various topics related to International Migration and Policies of European countries and India. Her research and teaching interests include Migration and Migration Policy of the European Union and Member States, Global Indian Diaspora, Identity Issues, International Relations Theory, Indian Foreign Policy and Gender Issues. She can be contacted at divyabalann@gmail.com. 

Publication Date:   Monday, Jun 15, 2015
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