Friday, December 08, 2006

Going gaga over NRIs

Every year on January 12th, the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated with great fan-fare and the Prime Minister kicks of the celebrations to mark the day Gandhiji returned to India from South Africa with a speech full of praise for the NRI and PIO community and for all that has been done by them for the country, directly and indirectly. And then unfailingly, there is always a mention of "more needs to be done" and "don't forget your responsibility towards your country". It really baffles me to see such shameless acts of begging, especially since we are a nation of a billion plus people and need to look first within before we reach out for help from a few who for reasons personal to them, or their ancestors, left the shores of our country in search of greener pastures or were forcefully taken away to distant lands.

To me, it seems just plain wrong to go about asking those who have made it big abroad to contribute to the nation-building process just becasue they are rich. I mean what right do we have to ask anyone for that matter to quite literally 'pay-up' by playing the patriotic card? If they want to, they'll do it out of their own free will, and they are doing so, so this cheap attempt of using the patriotic card is an example of how we have degraded ourselves to the levels of beggers, resorting to emotional tricks rather than give the NRIs a proper reason to invest in and help in the development of our country.

When Gandhiji returned to India from South Africa on the 12th of January, 1915, for all practical purposes, he could have been mistaken for an 'NRI' despite having left for South Africa to defend a client there. Having returned to India, he plunged into the freedom struggle and soon had the masses thronging to catch a glimpse of him during his several protest rallies and speeches. The Indians had found the answer to one of the greatest problems in someone who came from abroad. This mentality still seems to persist, in spite of the fact that we are no longer the slaves we were till 1947. Having said that, now I do believe that our minds and actions have become slaves to years of bad goverance and dependence on others to solve our problems. It really wouldn't matter even if the entire NRI community pumped in all their money, we seem to be headed in only one direction, and the currents are just too strong to turn back. God forbid I should be right.


Anonymous said...

i agree. wish they would just let go.its pretty much shameless.

Anonymous said...

Do u know how much an average indian tax payer pays? a few thousand dollers wont burn a hole in the pocket of the NRI's, moreover they are the ones who took advantage of subsidised indian education to make big its only fair!

Prashanth(MSP) said...

money makes a dead-man sing. Even the morally-arguably-dead-politicians.

And the NRI is more like "NRI- In money making world".

Its all about $$$ ...... when did any Indian politician really started to care..........

Karthik Shetty said...

to mad angel: I wasn'r calling it fair or unfair, I'm saying it's acting cheap, almost akin to begging, and I for one don't want the word to go around that we Indians in 21st century India are ALL still a bunch of beggars. If the NRI wants to pump money in, let him/her do so, but let us not and persuade them. If at all, let's encourage, but not persuade.
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