BRAVE NEW WORLD

India Today - - INSIDE -

The peo­ple of In­dian ori­gin who are re­shap­ing the world, from pol­i­tics and en­ter­tain­ment to busi­ness and tech­nol­ogy

The health of so­ci­eties was once mea­sured by their record of di­ver­sity. In re­cent months, how­ever, ‘immigratio­n’ has be­come a some­what dirty word. The di­vi­sive sen­ti­ment of Don­ald Trump’s wall now de­fines US pol­icy. It’s be­com­ing harder for for­eign­ers, in­clud­ing In­di­ans, to make Amer­ica their home. In Bri­tain, Brexit is inch­ing closer to be­com­ing a re­al­ity. The doors of the world seem to be clos­ing again.

Given the in­ten­sity of this new po­lar­i­sa­tion, it isn’t sur­pris­ing that many of the voices protest­ing are those of mi­grants. What feels novel, though, is the fact that the more in­flu­en­tial of these pro­test­ers now of­ten have an In­dian name. Cam­paign­ing to be­come a US pres­i­den­tial fron­trun­ner, Ka­mala Har­ris doesn’t tip­toe around her In­dian her­itage. She, like Ir­ish prime min­is­ter Leo Varad­kar, has come to own that story.

When Sil­i­con Val­ley in­spects its CEOs to find out who is on top, the sur­vey’s re­sults are reg­u­larly in­ter­rupted by names that might be in­stantly fa­mil­iar to peo­ple in Chen­nai and Hyderabad—Nadella, Narayen, Pichai. The world of en­ter­tain­ment isn’t very dif­fer­ent. Lilly Singh is pop­u­lar be­cause of her In­dian roots, not de­spite them. Hasan Min­haj, sim­i­larly, seems Amer­i­can and In­dian in his Net­flix show.

To­gether, the global In­di­ans here are tes­ta­ment to the pos­si­bil­i­ties of change, suc­cess and re­sis­tance.

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