International Conference on Indian Diaspora from North East and other parts of the Country: Comparative Journeys, Identity and Challenges of India Connect. It is being jointly organised by NERRRC, Miranda House, University of Delhi & Organisation for Diaspora Initiatives, India (ODI India) on 24-25 October 2024 via dual mode. Offline at India International Centre (IIC), New Delhi and Online Via Zoom Platform.
Conference Announcements
International Conference on �India and its Diaspora Engagement: Comparative Global Practices� organized by Organisation for Diaspora Initiatives, (ODI) New Delhi in Collaboration with Dias
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE on "New Indian Migrants' and 'Indentured Diaspora': Emerging opportunity for Indian Foreign Policy" 3-4 November, 2016 Venue: Rabindra Bharti Unversity, Kolkata
Interactive Lecture on "India and Indian Diaspora in East Africa: Past Experiences and Future Challenges by Dr. Gijsbert Oonk, Erasmus University, Holland 2 December 2015 at Conf. Hall 2 at IIC
International Conference organized by ODI on Indian Diaspora in Development of Home and Host Countries: A Comparative Perspective at Kadi University, Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat, 10th-11th January, 2015
OD Conference at Columbia University on A Foot in Each World: South Asian Diaspora Communities in the United States and their Interactions with their Homeland October 17, 2014, 2.00–5.00pm Altschul Auditorium, International Affairs Building (SIPA)
International Conference on "Women in the Indian Diaspora" organised by ODI in collaboration with IIC and CAS-Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi on 10-11 January 2014, at India International Centre, New Delhi
Conference on "Diaspora in India's Foreign Policy and National Security:A Comparative Perspective" on 6-7 November 2013 at New Delhi
International Conference on “India and its Diaspora: A Comparative Perspective” on 29-30 March 2013 at IIC
Books on Diaspora by ODI & its Members
Published in Collaboration with ODI
International conferences of ODI on Diasporas
Organised in India
Interaction and Talks organised by ODI
Collaborations with Academic Institutions


International Web - Symposium
"Election of President Chandrikapersad "Chan" Santokhi  in Suriname: Perspectives from the Region, India and Indian Diaspora"
Jointly Organised by 
Organisation for Diaspora Initiatives (ODI India), &
Diaspora and International Migration Programme (DIMP), CAS- School of International Studies,
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
 on August 08, 2020.  
From 4: 30 PM to 7:15 PMPM Indian local Time (8 AM to 10:45 AM Suriname local Time)
on WebEx platform, Hosted at JNU
Register at:  
Registration closes by 5: PM (Indian Local Time) on 7th August 2020
Convenor: Ms. Sarita Nandmehar, Doctoral Fellow, Jawaharlal Nehru University
ODI Webinar Series Cooderinators: Dr. Sushmita Rajwar, Assistant Professor, University of Delhi &
Ms. Aarshi Dua, Doctoral Fellow, CAS-SIS, Jawaharlal Nehru University



Inaugural Session                 4:30 PM- 5:45 PM

4:30 PM- 4:35 PM

(5 Minutes)

Introduction and Moderator

Prof. Ajay Dubey,

School of International Studies, JNU &

President, ODI, New Delhi

4:35 PM- 4:45 PM

(10 Minutes)

Inaugural Address

Prof. M. Jagadesh Kumar,

Hon'ble Vice-Chancellor,

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)New Delhi

4:45 PM- 4:50 PM

(10 Minutes)

Theme Introduction


Dr. Sushmita Rajwar

ODI Webinar Series Coordinator

4:50 PM-5:00 PM

(10 Minutes)

Distinguished Guest

Mr. Ashook K Ramsaran,

President, Indian Diaspora Council, International (IDC)

New York, USA

5:00 PM- 5:10 PM


Distinguished Guest

Mr. Ravi Dev

Former member of Parliament, & Founder, Rise Organise and Rebuild (ROAR), Party, Guyana.

5:10 PM- 5:20 PM

(10 Minutes)

Special Guest

Shri Shyam Parande,


Antar Rashtriya Sahyog Parishad (ARSP), New Delhi.

5:20 PM- 5:30 PM

(10 Minutes)

Guest of Honour

HE Amb. Aashna Kanhai,

Ambassador of Suriname to India

5:30 PM-5:40PM

(10 Minutes)

Chief Guest



Amb. D M Mulay, Former Secretary, Overseas Indian Affairs & Currently Member, Human Rights Commission  of India.

5:40 PM- 5:45 PM

(5 Minutes)

Vote of Thanks

Ms. Sarita Nandmehar

Convener & Doctoral Fellow, Jawaharlal Nehru University


Specialist Panel 5:45 PM- 7:15 PM

5:45 PM-5:50 PM

(5 Minutes)


Prof. Kavita Sharma

Immediate Past President, South Asian University, &

Chairperson, ODI International

5:50 PM-6:02 PM

(12 Minutes)

Speaker 1


Prof. Maurits S Hassankhan,

Former Member of Parliament & Professor, Anton de Kom, University of Suriname

6:02 PM- 6:14 PM

(12 Minutes)

Speaker 2

Prof. Lomarsh Roopnarine

Professor, Caribbean and Latin American Studies, Jackson State University, USA

6:14 PM- 6:26 PM


Speaker 3


Prof. Brinsley Samaroo

Former Professor University of West Indies, &  former Senior Minister & Member of Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago.

6:26 PM- 6:35 PM

(9 Minutes)



Prof Ajay Dubey

Chair, School of International Studies, JNU,


6:35 PM- 7:10 PM

(35 Minutes)

Q & A Session



7:10 PM- 7:15 PM

(5 Minutes)

Vote of Thanks

Mr. BK Pandey,

Secretary-General, ODI India,

PhD Scholar, CAS, JNU






Election of President Chandrikapersad “Chan” Santokhi in Suriname: Perspectives from the Region, India and Indian Diaspora


 African slaves were replaced by indentured workers from across the world, like other parts of the world, once slavery was abolished. The bulk of the indentured workers who replaced African slaves were from India. In many countries, they formed majority like in Guyana, Trinidad or a substantial proportion of the settler population in Suriname. As all of them were from outside, belonged to different ethnicity, race and diasporic origin,  the colonial master used to divide and rule policies to use one against the other. There was a contestation between African and Indian diaspora in the region from colonial times,  starting with economic space,  employment to later on for political control. African diaspora being present there for a long time and easily Christianised got access to early education and produced many intellectual leaders among Africans from the region like,  Marcus Garvey, George Padmore, William Sylvester. They not only led their community locally, mobilised them, organised them but also linked them to black empowerment movements in North America and Europe through Pan African Congress of William Sylvester starting from 1900 or Marcus Garvey movement in the USA during the interwar period and that of Du Bois after second world war.

On the other hand, Indian diaspora which arrived late in the region refused to be assimilated in colonial religion, and due to its firm adherence to its culture, it got lesser opportunity in education where Christian religion was an important criteria. Some Indians changed just their name to have access to it. But what was in clear contrast to the African diaspora, for Indians, the later were not linked to any important power and having an influence on the region. Additionally, their own mother country even after its independence had a policy of active dissociation with its diaspora under Nehru period. The Indian diaspora, being situated so far of, could not connect with India in this power struggle. It felt abandoned by the mother country. It had no diasporic network like  Black empowerment movement in Trans-Atlantic region at that time or like what it has as Indian Diaspora under GOPIO now or a U-turn of India on its diaspora policy under globalisation.

It is in this contestation, mobilisation, organisation, and regional and international influences that Indian diaspora and African diaspora competed for power in different countries. These factors primarily shaped the post-independent political history of Guyana, Trinidad and Suriname. The election of Chan Santokhi in Suriname last month and the election of Md Irfaan Ali in Guyana under regional and American influence demonstrate the changing dynamics of the countries, region and of India and its diasporic network. To analyse and discuss this complex dynamics, Organisation for Diaspora Initiatives (ODI India),  and the Diaspora and International Migration Programme (DIMP), of CAS-School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi are jointly organising an International Web-Symposium on Election of President Chandrikapersad “Chan” Santokhi in Suriname: Perspectives from the Region, India and Indian Diaspora on August 08, 2020.

Besides other things the discussion will high light the different dimensions and implications of the election of President Santokhi including


1.     The local dynamics of Suriname election.

2.     The historical legacies and Regional and International dynamics including India

3.     Changing Status, role and identity of Indian diaspora in the region due to such electoral outcome.


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