Social and Political Participation of Indian Diaspora in the UK

AuthorSheetal Sharma
Published date01 January 2014
Date01 January 2014
Subject MatterArticles
Social and Political
Participation of Indian
Diaspora in the UK
Sheetal Sharma1
The diaspora communities are quite unique and play a significant role in
establishing connections between cultures in the contemporary world.
Diaspora, on one hand, is an asset, and on the other, it can be a potential source
of conflict in the host society. Diaspora is an asset, in terms of their economic,
social and cultural contribution it makes to both the country of origin and
destination. On the other hand, because of their different cultural, religious,
linguistic and regional affiliation, they can also, at times, be a source of friction
with the natives and mainstream culture of the host country. There have been
instance of their perfect integration with the host society at one end of the
continuum, and their ethnic distinctiveness/differences and un-assimilability
becomes a factor for divisions between ‘us’ and ‘them’. Interestingly, diaspora
communities also exhibit a unique blend of culture and way of life of their home
and host country. Drawing from this framework, this article focuses upon
the social and political participation of Indian diaspora in the UK. The article
begins by understanding the patterns or phases of international migration
to the UK from South Asia, in general, and India, in particular. The ‘Indian
Diaspora: Historical Overview’ section discusses the social aspects and political
participation of Indian diaspora in the UK. The article provides an overview of
the history, trajectory, social and political participation of Indian migrants in
the UK and underlines the issues and challenges faced by Indian diaspora using
secondary data, statistics and sources based on primary academic research.
The nature and extent of social and political participation of any community
is an indicator of their degree of influence in and integration with the host
society. This article establishes that Indian diaspora has assimilated itself well
with the British society along with retaining its cultural distinctiveness.
International Studies
51(1–4) 118–132
2017 Jawaharlal Nehru University
SAGE Publications
DOI: 10.1177/0020881717719351
1 Assistant Professor, Centre for European Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru
University, New Delhi, India.
Corresponding author:
Sheetal Sharma, #305, SIS-II, JNU, New Delhi, 110067, India.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT