Strategizing roma identity for India-EU collaboration: strengthening the NRIS

Malay Mishra


It is an established observation that the Roma have been one of the world’s most impoverished, persecuted and marginalized communities, yet also the least understood. While there have been some estimates of a global Roma population of 20 million, these communities are dispersed throughout several countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas. This article concerns the European Roma and the issues which engage them, the most salient being identity. It seeks to find congruence between the socioeconomic empowerment processes of Dalit (oppressed) communities in India with those of the Roma. There is a historical connection between the Romani language groups and north Indian languages – indeed it is from India where Roma communities are known to have originally migrated from. This article argues for the value of reviving these links by turning the argument around and advocating that aspects of the contemporary Indian experience of socioeconomic empowerment could be applied to Roma empowerment in Europe within the framework of the EU’s National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS). This could benefit India through interaction with the Global Roma Diaspora and lead to a win-win situation whereby India would equally obtain advantage from learning about EU-centered models of inclusion. Accordingly, the robust sharing of good practices could benefit both sides.


Roma; marginalized; Dalits; empowerment; NRIS; Diaspora

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ISSN: 2062-087X

DOI: 10.14267/issn.2062-087X