BRAVE NEW WORLD
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.