Australia India Indian Diaspora

A disservice to the Indian diaspora

Members of the Australian-Indian community listening to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he speaks during a reception at the Allphones Arena located at Sydney Olympic Park in western Sydney on Nov 17, 2014. The Indian diaspora comprises 25 million people whose toil has made India the world’s largest recipient of overseas remittances – US$71 billion (S$92 billion) a year. — PHOTO: REUTERS

 

By Nayan Chanda, For The Straits Times

A report on indices of global connectedness has revealed an interesting fact that throws light on the unsung heroes of India’s economic growth.

The latest DHL Global Connectedness Index shows India as a top destination for international phone calls – coming second only to Mexico for calls originating from the United States and first for those from Britain.

The statistics show more than just the number of calls that Indians in the US or Britain made to chat with family back home. They also highlight the role of the Indian diaspora, the 25 million people whose toil has made India the world’s largest recipient of overseas remittances – US$71 billion (S$92 billion) a year. Yet, their reward seems to be a higher service tax that would ultimately be borne by remitters or recipients.

The scale of the remittances is even more remarkable when one considers the humble origins of most of the remitters. They are mostly ignored by Indian media, which celebrates policies ensuring stronger flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) and praises jet-setting foreign investors for choosing India as their destination.

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