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Reflections on a “Diaspora Within” in India: The Context of Konkanis in Coastal Karnataka

Mabel Cynthia Mascarenhas


While the presence of a Goan diaspora abroad is amply recognised, intra-territorial movement of the Konkani population within the Indian subcontinent has failed to garner the attention of researchers, as the displacements do not qualify as transnational migrations. The present article is an attempt to address that lacuna. It takes the example of two Konkani communities from coastal regions of Karnataka—GSBs and Mangalorean Catholics—and their effort to establish links with their maiganv, or natal land, of Goa, through their Konkani ethnic culture as well as literature. The diasporic consciousness that the Konkanis display towards Goa has elements of both a transnational diaspora as well as of an internal diaspora, in certain aspects. However, the Konkani diaspora within India needs to be read and understood differently, owing to the historical context/s of the Konkani community migrations. This prompts the present study of the Konkani communities’ migration as being a part of an active ‘diaspora within’ in the geographical territory presently referred to as India. The article also frames the diaspora of Mangalorean Catholics as a “partial diaspora,” as their expression of diasporic consciousness varies from that of GSBs.


Konkani diaspora, Goa, migration, GSBs, Mangalorean Catholics, ‘Diaspora within,’ ‘Partial diaspora’

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