Ethical Confusion over Ethnic Identity

09Jul06

“I would do my MS in america and after completing my education, i will return to India to find a job in my area which is ever increasing in India” This would sound so politically correct and so did another 59,999 students said the same thing to the VISA officer in American consulate, India while obtaining a VISA.

Statistics say that 50% of IITians* and 70% of AIIMS* graduates settle in america after their studies and the adjective they associate is ‘alarming’.

Im not here to discuss the age old issue of ‘brain drain’ and neither am i here to judge where one should stay. But whenever i see someone talking against the people settled abroad and posing as the responsible citizens of the country, i feel a hypocrisy lying behind. Whenever any issues of a nation’s credibility is been arised we have taken the comfortable shelter of our ‘great Indian culture’ phrase. For how many more centuries will we baske in the glory of our ancient culture overlooking the contemporary India?

We say sex is implicit in India and yet we have the second highest HIV rate. We call ourselves the largest democracy and yet people seem to be frustrated with almost everyone except themselves. We worry about aping the west and the invasion of the western culture but we only seem to get a hang of the wrong part. We only seem to see their nights off in a club after a hectic week and not the hectic week itself. And when talking about woman no one seems to see the independence that the woman in the west have beyond their skimpy dresses.

While these things seem to affect only a part of the society, the holocaust casted everywhere so much so that it has become a part of our lifestyle is corruption. People doesn’t seem to mind giving those ‘extra’ bucks to get things easily done as long as they have them. Only the people who cannot afford seem to be complaining. Everyone seem to be expecting something ‘extra’ for doing ones job.

Its not that i dont see the progress and the positive points of India and its also not that other nations have no issues. Its only the despise that the growth software industry of India is seeing doesn’t reflect on the social life of the public. The standard of living has certainly increased if one measures the standard of living in terms of the Gross Domestic Product or the no.of vacations an average Indian family is taking or the no.of cars being sold in India. If standards of a nation are judged by the ethics of its people, the motives to which they stand by and the integrity that a nation holds in its values , where does India stand?

Iam not one among the Indian americans who have accepted America as their home country and neither am I one among those who advocate how one should return to ones motherland for all the good reasons. Iam one among those million NRIs* who glow up when they hear of any achievement that India has achieved and who almost hop when they dream of going back to India for a vacation and yet take a step back when it comes to going to India forever.

* IITs and AIIMS are the schools that offer the best quality education in India in the fields of Engineering and Medicine respectively.

*NRI stands for Non Resident Indian which is a collective identity for all the Indians abroad.

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6 Responses to “Ethical Confusion over Ethnic Identity”

  1. 1 Sudipta Chatterjee

    Hi… came here from Alka’s blog. Your post is thought-provoking, and I agree with all you say. But things are looking up here… and however bad the picture may be, there is still a precious little we can contribute to the country, irrespective of whether we are in India or abroad. At the end of the day, I guess that is what counts!

  2. 2 Alka

    I agree with Sudipta. One can still contribute, wherever one is living. When I posted about a gravely sick child, most of those who responded are Indians living abroad. When I talked to the child’s father, he too told me that he received various phone calls from US of A.

  3. 3 L>T

    My sister taught me a lesson when she immigrated to Holland from the U.S. a few years ago.

    Once on a visit back to this country she said something about the U.S. & I said, “What do you care? You don’t live here anymore.”

    She said,
    “I was born in America & spent most of my life here. I will always care about what happens in the U.S.”

    So, I guess most people that move to another country never abandon their homeland in their mind, anyway.

  4. 4 travel plaza

    Maverick, First I have to say, very interesting post. It really made me sit up and think. Being an Indian living abroad, I know exactly what you’re trying to say.

    “Iam not one among the Indian americans who have accepted America as their home country and neither am I one among those who advocate how one should return to ones motherland for all the good reasons. Iam one among those million NRIs* who glow up when they hear of any achievement that India has achieved and who almost hop when they dream of going back to India for a vacation and yet take a step back when it comes to going to India forever.”
    The only differrence is that I would probably consider it if the opportunity to go back for good came my way.

  5. 5 Maverick

    @sudipta chatterjee:hi, thx for stopping by.i agree with u, but it wont do any good as far as people think of just monetary contributions.

    @alka:as i said to sudipta, the only way people livin in abroad contribute is thru money n it is ofcourse very important in times of need like the one u said but apart from it we also need a general awareness n a mind set change in the people.

    @l>t:yes, true! abandon n homeland r antonyms in themselves, n homeland is the place where u’ll always want to go no matter what memories r associated with it.

    @travel plaza:thx for understanding. i find a lot of confusion in the NRIs i have seen, if u dont have it u r quite fortunate 🙂

  6. 6 ulaar

    Interesting post, maverick. We recently returned to India (Bangalore) after spending 16 years in America. I’m blogging about our family experience.

    Here’s a link to the top question asked by friends & acquaintances:
    http://ulaar.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/why-are-we-moving-back-to-india/


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