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USA: Many among Indian diaspora in US communal, casteist

Monday 19 March 2018, by siawi3


The New Indian Express

Many among Indian diaspora in US communal, casteist: Professor

By Express News Service | Published: 16th March 2017 05:27 AM |
Last Updated: 16th March 2017 05:27 AM

Photo: Bandana Purkayasta presents her paper on Intersectionality at the Council for Social Development in Hyderabad on Wednesday | Vinay Madapu

HYDERABAD: The Indian diaspora in the Unites States may seem like a united lot of migrants who moved to a foreign land. However, when you look closely, a number of them are communal, casteist and have been agents propagating violence, consciously or unconsciously.

This is one of the aspects that came out as part of the public seminar held at the Council for Social Development (CSD) where Bandana Purkayastha presented her paper, Intersectionality : Which Margins? Which Context? Professor of Sociology and Asian and Asian-American Studies, and head of Sociology department at the University of Connecticut (UCONN), her work on how the concept of intersectionality, which broadly takes into consideration, race, class, gender, sexuality and nation and how all these factors impact violence among migrant population in US.

Discussing her findings, the professor started from defining the various spaces where people are susceptible to violence, from home, in a domestic setting to across countries and borders.

“The spatial context of immigrants and violence is constantly changing spatially. State sponsored violence that includes extreme surveillance, deportation and incarceration is one of the reasons. Increase of the use of technology, where virtual spaces are actually real, has blurred borders and there is constant surveillance. Migrants hardly have rights and they are not even in the position to exercise them,” the professor said.

Vasanth Kannabiran, activist and writer, bringing together the context of Purkayastha’s findings in the Unites States with the Indian diaspora in the country, said, “The most castiest and communal lot have been playing a major role in manipulating what is happening in the country. Mushrooming of Hindu funding organisations to propagate religious causes and ‘nationalist’ ideas that promote one ideology is an example of this violence.”
Purkayastha concurred, adding that some students in the Unites States were looking for funding for all sorts of activities. “There is no purpose for them to look at the source of the funds and they pump in so much money in the name of ideologies which are being redefined as the only ones that primarily stir violence.”

Kalpana Kannabiran, director, CSD said that in the Indian context, intersectionality often expresses itself in the form of those people who, in the name of a vague understanding of a nation create violence.