The concept of diaspora has been much debated during the past decade in terms of the essential and additional features that go with it, arguing which groups or communities could beuld not be designated as diaspora. The Indian diaspora today, with a strong community constituting more than 20 million and spreading across a hundred countries, continues to grow in size and making its transnational presence felt. This collection of essays traces some of the plurality with the Indian context as well as in the context of globalization, and transnationalism.
The book discusses the migratory movements that have led to the formation of the Indian diaspora and formation to diasporic practices-the ways and means of remembering and enacting diasporic belonging and the sites and spaces where such narratives of belonging are performed and how these issues are played out through texts, and rituals such as pilgrimages and building temples.
The chapters in this section all consider diaspora as a set of practices which are ‘used to make claims, to articulate projects, to formulate expectations, to mobilize energies, to appeal to loyalties’ (Brubaker 2005: 12). But the claims they make are not of any straightforward affiliation to India as a political entity. Rather, the ‘Indian diaspora’ is unravelled in these chapters to unveil some of the particularistic identities that are claimed by people who could be broadly encompassed within the Indian diaspora. These claims highlight the multiple arenas where narratives of belonging are crafted and ultimately undermine the notion or possibility of a singular Indian diaspora.
One such destabilising act is offered in Celia Genn's chapter (Chapter 11) where she focuses on a transnational spiritual/religious ...