Global Malayalees - How are we doing?

Global Malayalees - How are we doing?

IT is going to be 50 years since I left India and migrated to the USA. We were among the new migrants from India after immigration laws were changed in the USA to attract engineers, scientists, doctors and nurses.

All of us after five years of permanent residency in the USA became citizens and sponsored parents, brothers, sisters and spouses under the family reunion clauses of the US immigration.

By the eighties, the number of people migrating from Kerala/India doubled and by the nineties, it tripled. There are about three million Indians, among them about 600,000 Malayalees, live in the US.

The same story is in Canada, Germany, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand etc., to where Malayalees in smaller numbers have migrated. Also, a smaller number of Malayalees lives in many other countries not mentioned here. Even in the Gulf countries, Malayalees have become permanent residents.

During the past 50 years while the population in Kerala was increasing, three generations - X, Y and Z Malayalees - were born and growing up all over the world. In fact, 50 per cent of Malayalees now live outside India. Most of these Malayalees are leading a good life while some have become very rich people. There are a couple of million Malayalees living in the Gulf countries and many millions outside Kerala in India.

How are Malayalees doing? In my opinion, after 50 years, Malayalees are generally doing well in all fields - business, technology, science, academics and finance, besides politics. Tourism has reshaped Kerala with many star hotels, better roads, cleaner restaurants and better-paying jobs.

In fact, Kerala has attracted 25 lakh migrants from northeastern states to work in construction and other areas. Poverty in Kerala is less than 10 per cent or even lesser. Overall, Malayalees are doing good in Kerala as well as outside.

How do Malayalees maintain these good feelings and keep connected? Some of us have been engaged in Malayalee organization activities like Kerala Associations, Malayalee Samajams, Kerala Centers and World Malayalee Council.

All Malayalee churches, SNDP, NSS, etc. have become international organizations with donations coming to Kerala to expand religious activities. Similarly, many Malayalees living abroad help political parties, labor unions, educational institutions, charitable organizations, their families and neighbors.

When these Malayalees pass away and new generations born abroad become the global Malayalee, this organization will stop getting the support they get from the current generation. This phenomenon is going to have an impact on Kerala, reducing the flow of foreign money into Kerala.

Kerala and Global Malayalees need to develop plans to continue the connection with Global Malayalees and develop interest for them to be in touch. Global Malayalees need to be connected for the coming generations and help maintain the Malayalee identity for generations to come.

How can we do this? We must continue to maintain a network and keep connected regardless of religious identity, foreign country citizenship and lack of connection with Kerala.

The Malayalee community is not just restricted to Kerala alone; every Malayalee in the entire world must come together as a Global Malayalee Community.

World Malayalee Voice, a bilingual newspaper in English and Malayalam, provides a medium for communication among global Malayalees and maintains the connection to build the Global Malayalee Community.

World Malayalee Voice shall provide the following forums to build the global Malayalee Community.

1) For publication in the WMV, please send your opinion as to how we can build the global Malayalee Community

2) Your profiles/contacts will be published under the column Planet Malayalees so that people will know about you and your achievements

3) Profiles/contacts of successful new-generation Malayalees to be published under the column Millennium Malayalees

4) Profiles of Malayalee/Kerala organizations all over the world to be published under the column Global Malayalees.