Last year, South Indian actor Prakash Raj found himself in hot water for jokingly tweeting a picture of a tea-seller, claiming that it was the first image sent by Vikram Lander upon its touch-down on the moon.
Prakash Raj, who had to take pains to explain that he was not taking a dig at the Indian prime minister, explained that he was referring to the old joke about how you can find a Malayali in any corner of the world.
The latest passport data from the Union Ministry of External Affairs seems to bear out this trope.
According to the numbers, Kerala has beaten much-bigger states like Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra to emerge as home to the largest number of Indian passport holders.
The South Indian state, with a population of just around 4 crore, has close to 1 crore (99 lakh) passport holders.
In comparison, India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh – with a population of around 24 cr – has just 88 lakh passport holders.
In fact, UP is not even at No.2, which slot has been taken by Maharashtra, which has 98 lakh passport holders among 13 crore population.
Punjab, a state known for its overseas migrants, has only 70.14 lakh passport holders.