The NRI Effect: Indian Diaspora's Meteoric rise in the United States

Pujit Siddhant

Nov 27 2023

<div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>The Indian community in the United States has come a long way since the days of the first immigrants. What started as a small group of pioneers in the 1960s and 70s has now blossomed into a vibrant and influential community in the 21st century.&nbsp;</p><p>The Indian diaspora, often referred to as Indo-Americans or Asian Indians, has made significant strides in various fields. They’ve made their mark in the tech industry, with individuals like Satya Nadella at the helm of Microsoft and Sundar Pichai leading Google. In the business world, we have had notable names like Indra Nooyi and Ajaypal Singh Banga heading industry giants like PepsiCo. and MasterCard in the past, and set a benchmark for others Indians, emulated by the likes of Vinod Dham, the creator of the Pentium chip, and Sabeer Bhatia, the founder of Hotmail.&nbsp;<br></p><p><br></p><p>The influence of the Indians extends beyond just business and technology. They’ve also made significant contributions to American culture and society. Indian radio stations like RBC radio and Easy96 radio are available across America, broadcasting Hindi music and shows. Indian TV channels like Sony TV and ZEE TV are also broadcasted in America, bringing Indian entertainment to American homes. When it comes to household income, the Indian population stands out as one of the wealthiest ethnic communities in America. The median annual income of all Indian descendants is approximately $89,000, which is far higher than the median annual income of the U.S. national at $50,000. In terms of investment income, 20% of Indian households had dividend income versus 15% of the U.S. households, while 52% Indians had interest income as compared to 43% of U.S. nationals.&nbsp;</p><p><br></p><p>The political participation of Indian Americans is also noteworthy. Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Pramila Jayapal are regular names in the US Congress today. Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy are sparring with each other to win the nomination to lead the Republican charge for the 2024 US Presidential elections. A moment of crowning glory for Indian presence in the US political system was Kamala Harris, being elected as the Vice President of the US in 2020. Their achievements in the United States are not just limited to the fields of technology and business. They’ve also made significant strides in the field of education. A staggering 79% of them have completed their bachelor’s degree by the age of 25, compared to just 31% of the overall U.S. population. Furthermore, 44% of Indian diaspora aged 25 and above have earned a master’s degree, PhD or advanced professional degree, as compared to just 11% of the U.S. general public.&nbsp;<br></p><p><p>Cultural connections can play a crucial role in promoting peace and preventing conflicts. In India, this aspect is reinforced by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), established in 1950. It's an iconic institution working to revive and bolster India's cultural relations worldwide. This cultural diplomacy, a form of soft power, aligns with India's foreign policy goals, not only with neighboring countries but also with strategic and emerging partners in Africa and Latin America.&nbsp;</p><p>Indian spirituality, deeply rooted in the nation's heritage, has a global presence. Yoga, a significant aspect of Indian spirituality, has gained international popularity. Recognizing this, the UN General Assembly designated 21st June as International Day of Yoga, commemorated worldwide since 2015. This is an illustration of how cultural diplomacy can extend its reach and impact.&nbsp;</p></p><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>In the 21st century, particularly post the 2001 World Trade Center attack, the United States dynamically shifted its policies, marking India as a strategic partner in the Indo-Pacific region. Events like 'Howdy Modi' and 'Namastey Trump' showcased the strong cultural ties and influence of the Indian Diaspora in the USA. Both countries' leaders aim to elevate their nations on the global stage, redefining their roles and alliances.&nbsp;</p><p>The Indian diaspora has evolved significantly, from being a relatively small and apolitical group in the 1960s and 1970s to a thriving and socially established community in the 21st century. Indian Americans, often considered a&nbsp; &nbsp;model minority, contribute substantially to the US economy, education, and society. Their frequent visits to India and support for Indian culture strengthen the bond between the two countries.&nbsp;<br></p><p>Recognizing this, both India and the US acknowledge the Indian diaspora as a mutually beneficial bridge. The diaspora, by promoting Indian culture and traditions abroad, inadvertently aids in enhancing the global image of the nation. Their love for their homeland and active support wherever they are, greatly contribute to building a stronger relationship between India and the USA.&nbsp;</p><span></div>


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