chapter  4
Returning, remitting, reshaping
Non-Resident Indians and the transformation of society and space in Punjab, India
ByMargaret Walton-Roberts
Pages 26

Since Glick Schiller et al. (1992) introduced their analytical framework for transnational understandings of immigrant communities, studies of transnational spaces or transnational social fields have produced rich illustrations of the ways in which space and social relations are being shaped by migrant networks that operate across the boundaries of multiple nation states. Much of this work has been driven by investigations focusing on the US and Central and South America (Goldring 1998; Kearney 1995; Mountz and Wright 1996; Rouse 1991). In this chapter, I turn my attention away from Latin America and the US to India, Canada and Britain – three nations joined through shared, but unequal, colonial experiences and linked in the present through a post-colonial transnational space built primarily around Indian immigration. Within India, I focus on the Doaba region of Punjab (the districts of Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Jalandar and Nawanshahr), in northwest India (see Figure 4.1), the site from which millions of Indian immigrants have dispersed to numerous places of settlement and resettlement to form extensive global networks.