The states of Punjab and Kerala both have a long and continuing history of significant overseas emigration. Drawing upon original research, this chapter examines the extent to which the relationship between overseas migration and regional development is inclusive within these states, with particular reference to caste inequities. The authors investigate the role of Dalits within the international migration-development nexus within two regions where overseas migration is increasingly heralded as one of the main facilitators of social mobility, economic growth and regional development. The authors compare Punjab, which has witnessed significant Scheduled Caste overseas migration, including to Western societies, with Kerala, where international Dalit emigration has been insignificant, particularly to the Global North. The authors argue that the very small number of Keralan Dalit migrants overseas means a negligible relationship between Dalit migration and challenges to caste inequality there. However, even within Punjab, which has seen relatively high Dalit international migration, any concrete evidence of significant impact upon existing caste inequalities is limited. The authors’ argument supports those who have started to challenge previously dominant and celebratory discourses on the migration-development nexus by questioning an assumed positive impact of ‘transnationalism from below’ upon sending regions. However, this chapter is the first to undertake such critical questioning of Dalit transnationalism, which is often taken as automatically progressive in challenging inequalities.
|Title of host publication||India Migration Report 2017: Forced Migration|
|Editors||S. Irudaya Rajan|
|Place of Publication||New Delhi and London|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 28 Nov 2017|