chapter  3
11 Pages

Scribal Migrations in Early Modern India

WithRosalind O'Hanlon

One of the most striking aspects of India's recent history, and certainly a vital contributor to India's post-liberalisation economic growth, lies in the mobility of its skilled service communities, above all those in the new communications technologies. Within India, students and young professionals have gravitated to Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and other expanding cities where universities and IT companies now collaborate in productive alliance. Even more spectacularly, this mobility takes the form of a diaspora in Europe and above all in the United States, where skilled Indian professionals are in high demand in the IT and technology service industries of the west coast, and in the IT and science departments of American universities. This modern diaspora looks very different from many of the migrations that took place within and from India within the British empire — those that drew from the humbler social strata of small business people and traders, artisans, military men and indentured labourers. India's modern diaspora of highly qualified professional elites might be thought to bear little connection to India's earlier history.