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New York Hosts First Mini Diaspora Conclave

September 2007
New York Hosts First Mini Diaspora Conclave

In its first batch of trainees for 2006, Infosys had 126 Americans on the Mysore campus. And according to TimeOut Mumbai, there were about 4000 Americans living in Mumbai last year. These are not huge numbers, to be sure, but the changes in recent years have been nothing short of dramatic. Just think of all the non-resident Indians who have returned (or are returning) to India. On the other hand, the Indian American population in this country now reaches 2.5 million. Understandably, the community has begun to flex its political, not just economic, muscle. Now comes the news that the first mini diaspora conclave (PBD) outside India is being held in New York on September 23rd for NRIs and persons of Indian origin living in North America, South America and the Caribbean. The first half of the session is devoted to investment opportunities and the second half to partnership opportunities in health and education. Also in September, a Know India Program (KIP) to facilitate awareness of Indian culture among PIOs is being organized in Goa by the Indian government. Since 2004, reportedly, 170 youngsters from 39 nations have participated in this program.

When India became independent 60 years ago, the United States was the first country it exchanged ambassadors with, and a cordial friendship was maintained for a while. But subsequently, at the height of the cold war, official Indo-American relations became so frigid that there were many chilly exchanges over the years. For instance, as the Nixon-Kissinger tapes showed in 2005, Nixon had made disparaging comments about Indians and Indira Gandhi. On the Indian side, not a few leftists were known for their rabid, relentless anti-Americanism. The thaw between the nations began in the ‘90s, and now the relationship seems to have come full circle.

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