"India - Frustrations and Inspirations!"

From : Anand Sunkanpally

Dear Sir/Madam,

I have seen different NRI perspectives regarding the state of affairs in India and on issues like corruption, garbage, poverty, dust etc prevalent there. The most recent one that I have read on NRIOL is “India - Frustrations and Inspirations!” by Dr. V. Anantha Nageswaran in Singapore. In my opinion it reflects a stereotypical NRI point of view. I would like to give my opinion regarding these “typical NRI” perspectives.

Many NRIs after returning to India for a brief visit compare the system in the West and in India. My question to this attitude is simple - Are you not aware of these issues and have you not experienced all of them, before you left India? Why should you expect changes based on your experiences outside India? Simply because the NRI left the country and experienced another way of life elsewhere, why should he/she expect it to be of any consequence to India, the land of over a billion human beings and an ancient civilization? Was the corruption not there before you left? Was the poverty not there before you left? Weren’t the roads dirty and dusty before you left? Why do you expect that because you left and came back, India will provide you the “same system”, which you experienced where ever you migrated? What contribution did you make for the betterment of your Mother Country’s system before you left and after you left? Agreed, you did not get good employment opportunities in India, so you were lucky to leave behind all your country men and get a good life (in your outlook) some where else, but what about the millions of Indians you left behind? Why do you think, they will Improve faster than you? If that was the case, you wouldn’t have left in the first place? Why do you compare everything with your newly acquired outlook and use that yardstick to judge India? Why should you be given any preferential treatments in Airports or anywhere else in India? Can Dr.Anantha Nageshwaran explain why he is expecting a better traffic system or roads on the streets of Chennai or Delhi? Is it not wrong on the part of the NRIs to measure the changes in India, while conveniently absenting themselves from the system, and coming back with acquired superlative expressions regarding the status of things prevailing in India?

Aren’t the NRIs being hypocrites when they after having conveniently made use of the same system now want it changed as they think appropriate? Why should India, change according to western parameters and values? Is there no solution available within India? Is it not harmful to India, when constantly pointed out bad things in the country and asked to import western solutions blindly. The country can lose it’s self confidence and many can be misguided to believe that all NRIs are very happy in “Phoren” countries and it is imperative that India should also follow these western systems? Do these NRIs realize what harm they are doing by constantly pointing out the poorer conditions in India, without in any way positively contributing to development in their mother country? Do they realize that whatever changes are happening is not because of NRIs, but because of the hard work of Indians themselves, despite bearing the many hardships of political crimes, corruption, poverty etc. They should be given credit for that development?

Should these NRIs be taken seriously? Have they any right to talk about the problems that India is supposedly facing? Do they contribute their part for the upliftment of their country, according to Indian values? Sorry, “Mr.NRI” we don’t want your western values imposed on us? If you find it convenient, you are welcome to enjoy it and stay back there in your western cozy homes. You have no right to preach about the western superiority, be it is communism or labor exploiting Uncle Samism. We just don’t want that. We Indians have our own values and national traditions which will be established at the correct time. As the Lord says “ Yadaa yadahi Dharmasya…………………………………………………..”

I am not saying that all NRIs are like this and do not contribute to the development of India. I am targeting this letter to the NRIs, who have acquired a different outlook and behave in a disrespectful UnIndian way. I have seen many people who to visit the U.S. for a couple of months on a “visit” and after returning to India demand mineral water and Pizza. Who are they trying to fool? Aren’t they fooling themselves? Just because they are inclined towards western culinary tastes why should they expect India to change to accommodate their tastes? Is it not intoxication of an alien culture and corruption of ones own dharma? Let all the learned, rich NRIs contribute before exercising they criticize or compare India.

Please note that this is a general view aimed at the incorrect mindset of very good talented people. It is not in any way down playing the tremendous contributions for their Mother country by many NRI heroes. India is proud of them wherever they are, and I salute them from the bottom of my heart.


The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.

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