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Thursday, January 09, 2014

What do you have against NRIs?

I am vexed. That is putting it mildly. Every day I see anti-NRI sentiments on the social network. Stories about how the Americanized children forget their parents. How they begin to eat beef, worship Satan and their blood turns black from their sins. Hear this-not every NRI is a devil incarnate or a lallu (whom the ex-gf married for money)

First things first. A lot of parents in my generation filled our minds with the equation, America = success. Now, we have taken every test possible and gone through the torturous hours of a visa interview where the better part of the day is spent waiting in a queue like we were dead and at the gates of Heaven - waiting to be sorted for our past deeds. After everything we go through- to settle in a foreign country, to start from scratch, to make new friends, to begin to enjoy new cuisines and cultures -wait a second! Wasn't that the point of my education?

My school principal once said that education isn't complete until you have pursued it overseas. In my young mind, he had a point- wouldn't it be wondrous to know  people living in other countries, have friends whose name I found it difficult to pronounce, and to learn from people who have a different background -with  the only common thread : pursuit of knowledge?

Of course, the second thing is: money. I know NRIs in US and elsewhere who send money home regularly or at least readily on emergencies. Businesses like Xoom thrive on remittance. Nobody ever mentions that. NRIs are the devils who give away their hard-earned money without any expectations. Quite contrary to the popular belief propagated in movies where NRIs go home only to sell the paternal house.  Conveniently failing to mention that no one else wants to deal with the legal fees and lawyers.

What I am saying is- there are two aspects to everything. Some choose to return to their native country because they prefer the life there. Some choose to stay on because they love it where they have settled. Stop being spiteful because someone's circumstances or choice is different from yours.


Apoorva Srivastava said...

Nice work.. however still debatable as within the 'NRI' segment there are apparent behavioral patterns as per the socio-economic status.

Dipankar said...

Liked it. Good work.

Aparna Kar said...

@apoorva Valid point. NRIs of different visa statuses to begin with. It is like the new caste system.

Abhishek said...

The most common sentiment I have come across is,since NRI's chose to "desert" their motherland and settle outside, they lose all rights to voice their opinion in matters related to India.They r not "sons of the soil" anymore. And it sounds so lame that it's not even worth arguing!

Aparna Kar said...

@Dipankar Thanks dada!

Aparna Kar said...

Exactment! Wonder why they cherish the accolades these not-sons-of-the-soil-anymore achieve then. Every person who lives away from home- be it in the same country or elsewhere has a price to pay. The comfort and protection of home is gone forever. You have to be on your own, and you have to be brave.

saikat said...

Its true that there's an angel and a Satan sitting on two opposite sides of every coin..and the road is checkered..there are individuals who love to tread a path just to pursue a dream and to explore a road yet unforeseen.. yet, there are others who lose direction..what society thinks about an individual or a segment can't be changed, what can be changed is how we look at ourselves and the path we choose to take...hope people learn what's the real meaning of the word "right" is before its too late...anyways, nice blog :)

sangram said...

Very well said -
We are not puppets -
No offense to our parents or friends in India - being our closed ones they imbibe in us the value of getting higher education abroad and earning a name there - they should also understand that you will be living in that place for a while and once you live, you like and once you like you love that place. love means attachment and it becomes difficult to leave a place where you grow accustomed to your work, family and daily life -
the whole word NRI seems outrageous. You may have spent 25 years of life in India but once you spend another 25 years abroad, that place is equally important to you. People get offended when they hear stories about why a person took up citizenship abroad and returned the Indian passport - well because they want to spend the rest of their lives there. its plain and simple - they find happiness and solace. Its nothing to do with devaluing your culture or birth place - we will still have all our memories in place. To me exposure is important and you learn a lot from it - you keep recalibrating your character with place and people.
I can keep going with this but I must stop.
I personally think that narrow minded people with absolutely "ZERO" creative talent talk about these things :)

yenite said... is exactly same thing for Chinese, though we do not have the word 'NRI'. Suddenly and sadly, we have more such kind of Chinese staying oversea but start to blame themselves. Contradictory:(

Aparna Kar said...

Every time a shameful act involving an NRI happens, it gets viral. How come no one mentions how they contributed to the infrastructure development in their native states, prime examples - Kerala and Gujrat. Or how when AAP pitched their pro-people, corruption-free government concept on their website to reach 20cr NRIs donated generously. If they didn't have India's welfare in mind, would they do it?

You don't need to be outside India to be self-centered. You can be so anywhere. What is inside will show. There are several examples of folks living with their parents who abuse their old parents, deny them food and medicine, make every scheme possible to get their money and then leave them on the streets to die. I guess they are the shining and representative examples of RIs?