UGC Centre for the Study of Indian Diaspora, University of Hyderabad, organised an international conference on “Global Indian Diaspora: Continuities and Changes”

Published Date:   Saturday, Nov 08, 2014

International conference on

Global Indian Diaspora: Continuities and Changes

 

The UGC Centre for the Study of Indian Diaspora, University of Hyderabad, Telangana had organised an international conference on “Global Indian Diaspora: Continuities and Changes” during 6-7 November 2014. Dr Ajaya Kumar Sahoo, the Director of the Centre and the conference coordinator, delivered the welcome speech and introduced the two-days international conference to the delegates coming from five different countries. The conference was inaugurated by Professor E. Haribabu, Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Hyderabad who also released the book edited by Dr Ajaya Kumar Sahoo entitled ‘Diaspora, Development and Distress: Indians in the Persian Gulf”. Noted diaspora scholar Prof. Brij Maharaj, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa delivered the keynote address titled “Indians in South Africa: A Menace in the Apartheid and Democratic Eras?” He discussed the issues and conditions of the Indians in South Africa. According to him, the conditions of the Indian bonded labourers emigrated to South Africa under the ‘Kangani System’ were no less than the ‘slavery system’. During that time, the Indian emigrants were under economic deprivation, social exclusion, impoverished conditions of living, physical exploitation and lack of legal rights which made their lives pathetic and deadly. He has differentiated the living and working conditions of the first Indian emigrants to South Africa to new Indian emigrants and posed the challenges in identity, rights and acculturation etc. He also discussed the murder, killing and physical torture with the illegal informal workers in South Africa.

The conference has covered seven different themes on Global Indian Diaspora namely: Globalization and Indian Diaspora; Indian Diaspora and Identity; Indian Diaspora and Development; Indian Diaspora - Socio-Cultural Issues; Indian Diaspora - Socio-Political Issues; Indian Diaspora and Representation; and Indian Diaspora and Literature. There were 32 research papers presented in the conference. The conference has explored many research areas and unfolded several untouched areas related to the Diaspora studies.

At the end, the closing ceremony was done by Professor Brij Maharaj and Dr Ajaya Kumar Sahoo. Professor Maharaj shared his experiences of the conference by applauding all the research papers presented and discussed in this conference. He also appreciated and motivated the young scholars for future research. He announced the publication of the best papers presented in this conference in a volume. Finally, Dr Ajaya Kumar Sahoo delivered the vote of thanks to all the dignitaries, friends, and colleagues, research scholars, students and other staff members to make this conference a successful.

A Report by Monika Bisht, NUEPA (monika4bisht@gmail.com) and Rakesh Ranjan, JNU (rakesh4205@gmail.com)

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