Diaspora allows people to think open and flourish: Ashook Ramsaran

Published Date:   Thursday, Jan 10, 2013


The day-long seminar titled “Human Rights Concerns of Indian Diaspora” on 10th January 2013 organised by Human Rights Defense India at Constitution Club, New Delhi saw both scholars and activist shared their views on various issues confronted by the Indian diaspora in various countries as well as within India. Ashook Ramsaran, president of Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) International, New York who was one of the speaker in the seminar mentioned that in spite of several challenges “diaspora  allows people to think open and flourish”. Diaspora produced some of the best minds in the world such as Nobel laureates, Secretary of Commonwealth, best legal minds, scientist and entrepreneurs. They contribute immensely to the host country. The protection of their rights only helps them to serve the host countries and world better.

Mr. Ramsaran mentioned that though in some places such as Fiji, Malaysia, Udanda, People of Indian Origin (PIOs) have experience of discrimination, Indians have always maintained peace and do hardwork that help them to sustain and survive against all odds. Talking about the cultural conflicts in many places, he said that “often there is a clash of culture with the host country as the culture, behavior, values are often take time to adjust with the new situation”. However, Indian diaspora always loves co-existence and peace. GOPIO has always taken of the issue of Indian diaspora and many of them resulted in providing better harmonious relations.

Mr. Ramsaran gave the example of co-existence and how diaspora lives above petty caste and communal lines. This co-existence is often the due to the historical experience of diaspora which is the result of shared space in ship as well as at the work places in the colonies that allows people from different castes and communities to have common kitchen, shelter, social gathering and shared challenges and aspirations. He said that the villages in Guyana have temple, mosques, church side by side and people live happily and celebrate every religion. This allows people to maintain a greater degree of understanding which often not found in mother country India.

He mentioned that GOPIO has taken several issues in the past. In recent times GOPIO has taken the issues of Non Resident Indians (NRIs) property issues, voting rights, marriage discrimination etc. 

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