chapter  14
15 Pages

From Kerala to Switzerland

India’s forgotten diaspora
WithSanthy Iyyakkunnel

This chapter analyses the intergenerational diaspora engagement of Keralite migrants in Switzerland. In the southern state of India, Kerala, migration has been internalised to such an extent in society that scholars speak of migration as a part of the Keralite culture. Migrants play an important role in the development of their countries of origin. Diaspora engagement has emerged as a significant area of concern for academia and policy making. As migrants maintain social, economic and political transnational ties to their country of origin, they have been identified as important stakeholders for the development in their home country. Although remittances represent a very tangible link within this subject-matter, this chapter goes beyond remittances. Through a comparison of transnationalism within the first and the second generation of the Keralite diaspora in Switzerland, this article aims to figure future diaspora engagement policies. The recognition of the second generation’s double belonging is the breeding ground for effective diaspora engagement policies. However, the diaspora members in Switzerland have indicated political obstacles for an effective diaspora engagement in Kerala. By creating an enabling environment for diaspora engagement, the state of Kerala can harness and allocate the resources of its diaspora in a more effective way.