The IUP Journal of International Relations
India's Diaspora in the Pacific Ocean Region: A Special Reference to Fiji

Article Details
Pub. Date : April, 2021
Product Name : The IUP Journal of International Relations
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJIR30321
Author Name : Dipankar Dey
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Arts & Humanities
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 10

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Abstract

In the last few decades, the connotation of diaspora has been constantly impacted due to the reshaping of countries' foreign policies. In international politics, diaspora is a term that refers to a geopolitical entity to achieve social, cultural, economic and strategic power. The significance of the diaspora has been to promote geopolitical, geoeconomic and sociocultural interests in both the country of origin and the host country. India has the biggest diaspora stretching across continents linking various nation-states at the global level. Similarly, Indian diaspora's presence in the Pacific Ocean region is bound to be felt, given the close economic and geopolitical relations between India and Pacific Ocean region, particularly Fiji. Historically, Indians entered Fiji as indentured laborers during the time of the British colonial rule. At one point of time, the Indian diaspora had become one of the dominant populations in Fiji, influencing its political, social and economic aspects. The paper attempts to analyze as to how India and Fiji's relationship has progressed through diaspora. The study also dwells on the influence of the Indian diaspora on geopolitical engagement in the Pacific Ocean region.


Introduction

India and Fiji go a long way in their relations since the European colonial rule to the present times. Historically, it is noted that the Indian labor class was brought by the Britishers under the system of indenture to Fiji to work at the sugarcane plantations. During the 19th century, India and Fiji had limited foreign relations which was based on the sole interest of the colonizer's ambitions. Between 1879 to 1916, the Indian origin population was around 60,553.1 After the indenture system was abolished, most of the people did not return to India and settled in Fiji. Later on, the Indian diaspora gradually increased to one-third of the total population.


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