By Rahul Gautam:-
A heated debate is underway and the atmosphere is tense in India these days over the issue of ‘Indians versus Foreigners’ in the background of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).At such a time, statistics presented in the Lok Sabha show that out of 1.36 crore Indians living abroad, 85 lakh live in Islamic countries, with the majority of them working in UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Among those who have settled abroad for employment and to manage their household, the largest number – 34,20,000 – of Indians are living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There are 25,94,947 Indians in Saudi Arabia, 12,80,000 in the US, 10,29,861 in Kuwait, 7,79,351 in Oman, 7,56,062 in Qatar, 6,00,000 in Nepal, 3,51,000 in the UK, 3,50,000 in Singapore, 3,23,292 in Bahrain, 2,41,000 in Australia, 2,24,882 in Malaysia and 1,78,410 in Canada.This data reveals that the largest number of Indians – 1,13,72,743 – are residing in these 13 countries. In seven out of these nations, 83,72,333 Indians are living in the Islamic countries of UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Malaysia. While 30,00,410 Indians are living in the US, UK, Nepal, Singapore, Australia and Canada. Among these countries is Malaysia, whose Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had recently strongly criticised the Modi government on the CAA.
Compared to the Middle East, the number of Indians in European and African nations is very little. According to figures, 1,72,000 Indians are residing in Italy, 1,08,000 in Germany, 60,000 in South Africa, 51,000 in Spain and 29,000 in France. More than 10,000 Indians are living in neighboring Bangladesh.Five out of the six nations with the highest number of Indians are Islamic countries. There are just five countries where there is not a single Indian.
Among these are the Holy See, Kiribati, San Marino, Tuvalu and Pakistan.The Ministry of External Affairs has released data for Indians living in 208 countries. These figures show that at a time when more or less all nations across the world have welcomed Indians with open arms, the Modi government has given rise to bitterness in the international community by framing the divisive CAA, which grants citizenship based on religion.
The United Nations and the Organisation of Islamic Countries have already raised questions on this.Indians living in the Middle East and other countries play an important role in buttressing the Indian economy. Indians living abroad sent remittances totaling $76.4 billion back home in financial year 2018-19 but in the financial year 2019-20, till the month of September, they could send back only $41.9 billion.