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Staying in India [Comment upgraded to post]

By on Feb 9, 2009 | 11 comments

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Someone left a comment on my post titled “Why Should I Stay In India?“. I am promoting it to a post on the SuperBlog: –

A lot on Indians who used to come to the US even a decade or two ago, used to miss India a lot as a lot of things that were familiar were missing here – be it food, movies, Indian TV etc. Today, Indian food and groceries are available everywhere and so is Indian movies, TV Channels, Film shows and today in my neighborhood of 40 houses, there are 11 Indian homes!! So a lot of cultural aspects of loneliness is no longer here, however – if you start staying here and want a house, car and be a part of the American life style, you will realize that the cost of living here is very high especially if you are a home owner. Yes – you are better off than your friends in India but you will not be better off than your friends in the US.

Now a lot of NRIs talk of the cushy lives their friends lead back in India – the servants, the cooks and the multinationals who pay them in dollars in India – and all the malls, conveniences and global products now available in India. But the fact is that there is the poverty and the lack of infrastucture and the sharp divide between the haves and have-nots.

So it makes sense to stay in India – if 1) You have a house which you own, preferably one paid off by your parents, 2)a good job (and which is secure in this time of lay offs) 3)a lot of pull and influence, and 4) you are upper middle class (if not rich!).

It makes sense to stay in USA – 1)You have a secure job, 2) You have a network of friends and a support system, 3) You are not over your head in debt, 4) You have a ton of savings, 5) You are in good health, 6) Your spouse earns as much as you and is in a different industry than you, so that chances that both of you get laid off at the same time is some what lessened, 7) you are smart enough to move in your job after every 2 years or so – so that you do not get frustrated when a “gora” gets promoted over you, 8) You have family in the US, or you are visiting India frequently and so is your family from India visiting you frequently 9) You have a green card/ citizenship 10) you have a house in India to come back to if the situation changes here in the US.

So buddy – if you have the money in India and in the US you can live anywhere. If you have to borrow heavily to come to the US now without a secure job – then you are a fool! Come to the US if a company is paying you – live in a spartan manner for some time (from US standards), save money and then decide where you would like to stay here or India. If you can send money over to India to your family – that is not a bad thing, if you want to save money and take it back to India that is not a bad thing either. If you do not have money – staying in any of these two countries is not easy – but in India – at least your family feeds you and you are not homeless.

Samjhe kya?


  1. Mayur

    February 11, 2009

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    This post must go down as one of the most crap explanation of why should I stay in India.

    Congratulations to whoever has written it.

    Hats off to your patriotism Mister/Miss. I salute you.

  2. Net Comment

    February 11, 2009

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    Mayur – U R angry!! So I must have said something which touched a raw nerve!! Good – so now we can begin to have a meaningful exchange.

    First of all – Big K – talked about a very material aspect of how his friend was doing in the US and posed the question if he should stay in India or go to the US to make his fortune. My advice to him – and him alone was – neither US is the heaven one would think it is, because you really have to face a lot of insecurities and problems that is specific to being in a foreign country, nor India is as “Shining” as one would like it to be. So from a material point of view – living in either country can be as easy or as difficult as your paycheck. For “Big K” – if you can go abroad without incurring the cost – on your company’s dime – go for it. The more your horizons expand, the more you can achieve your potential as a human being. You have to experience for yourself and decide for yourself after doing a cost-benefit analysis.

    Now let’s talk about Patriotism! Should staying in India be considered a sign of Patriotism? Is an NRI staying in US not an Indian patriot? Here too the areas are gray.

    A few decades ago when there was the notion of “brain drain” of Indians – But because of that – US and the world was exposed to the excellent skills of Indian doctors, engineers and academics as well as their command of English — and that in a large part played in the boom of the outsourcing industry of India. So India and Indians benefited in the long run. When the foreign reserves in India were low – one of the important sources of foreign currency was the remittances back to India by NRIs. Again these were everyday heroes who were in a foreign land and aided India by sending capital to India – one of the results was the prosperity of agricultural sectors of Punjab, and now many more areas and business sectors are doing well.
    I think everyone in India is proud of people like Indira Nooyi, Sanjay Gupta, Kalpana Chawla etc (ok – some are proud of Bobby Jindal too – ha, ha!!) and many others who are in the US. Why? – because they are considered good representatives of India. Now in India – you have people like – AR Rehman who have wowed the world with their talent, a slew of Indian girls who have wowed the world with their beauty and poise, the Ambanis and Tatas who have shown that they have the business acumen to be players in the world financial markets — so — you can stay in India and achieve great things too. BUT – there have also been crooks like Raju of Satyam in India – who have embarrassed India globally and done more harm, than any ISI trained Kasab could. So – what is the definition of patriotism? If you can enhance the reputation of India and do good for the country to the best of your abilities then you are a patriot – whether you are in the US or in India.

    So- is patriotism then adhering to Indian Customs and traditions, Indian way of life?

    Here too the areas are gray. Girls got roughed up in Mangalore for sitting in a pub – by Indian Taliban. Big B – lambasted “Slumdog Millionaire” in his blog for showing the conditions of Indian slum kids in the movie – But then after a few days we see a video of a cop roughing up a 9 year old girl in news, and this was not even hidden police brutality!! Divorces are rising, AIDS is a big health problem, elderly parents are neglected and laws have to be passed penalizing the adult children who do not provide for the parents!! So – Indian society is looking more and more like the American society – is it not?

    Consumerism is up, savings are down, conspicuous consumption of Global Brand name stuff is up in India – people vow that god willing they will own an Audi in India – why not a Maruti or Tata Nano? So here is my take – What is going for India and US is DEMOCRACY so a true patriot can adhere to what ever customs and traditions they want in their private belief system, live wherever and stand up for the democratic rights of all Indians to express themselves peacefully and follow what ever cultural, religious and social traditions they want to without breaking the law. Since both India and US are democracies with all the strengths and drawbacks – staying in the either US or India can allow any Indian following democratic ideals, to be good for India in the long run. There is not one size of Indian customs and traditions that fits all.

    So – you can be in either India or US and can do good for India, OR can be either in India or US and be a complete waste of space. It’s a personal preference and the individual should decide what they want to do. So Mayur, what are your suggestions that will make Big K want to stay in India and not be dissatisfied with what he is doing? Can you think that he will be happy and productive if he feels that he has missed a chance, however misguided his feelings might be. Don’t forget that NRIs return to India all the time – they are businessmen, farmers, doctors, engineers, rocket scientist, social workers, academicians – and bring experience, capital, and global knowledge to India. Big K is young and single – he has more options now in his life. He can choose to stay in either US and India – and still be useful to India, that is his choice. There are many paths to Nirvana my friend!!

    BTW – in “Big K’s” blog I am not really reading anything which makes me believe that he is heavily involved in raising the living standards of the poorest of poor in India, helping to conserve the natural beauty and environment of India, reviving the ancient Indian crafts and arts, providing solutions to the pollution and lack of sanitation in India – so his going to US will NOT create a lacuna in these fields in India. In short – he is just a regular guy who is mulling a question about an opportunity. He does not become a traitor by going abroad – maybe in the process he will find himself and then come back and bring light to a village aka SRK in “Swadesh”!!!

  3. The Big K

    February 11, 2009

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    Holy Cow! Such a big post! (begins reading…)

    [Regarding me staying in India – I’m staying in India by choice. Moreover, I’m not looking for any opportunities to go abroad. Had I gone there, I’d have had a beautiful wife by now. How sick!]

    Back to the topic. As I see, patriotism is grossly misunderstood. Although not directly associated with patriotism, I believe it has got a lot to do with staying in and serving your country. I’m not at all proud of Indira Nooyi, Rajat Gupta or any NRI who’s made it big out of India. I don’t get it why Indians go ga-ga over people who left their countries and made it big in other countries and helped advance those countries. I don’t see how Indira Nooyi is helping India (I’m not questioning her patriotism).

    Sometimes, I think; if US declares war against India, will all NRIs be on US’s side or India’s side?

    Right said, you can stay out of India and do good for India. That is why NRI are popularly known as “Not Required In India :mrgreen: “.

    NRIs bring technology to India? Yeah. That is why India is West’s technology dumping station.

    To conclude; I’ve my own views on developing India. I need not be staying in villeges and collect cowdung to help India. I’ve my own approach and I hope I’ll be successful.

    I’m staying in India.

  4. Net Comment

    February 12, 2009

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    Good for you! There are positives and negatives in every situation and many ways of serving your country.

    NRIs are fortunate that the political, social, economic condition of India is stable and they always have the option of coming back for good, or even divide their time in India and the foreign country of their choice. Not all immigrants from other countries are that lucky!! That may also be the reason that this is topic in your blog – it comes down to the free will of the individual and not because of any persecution or other calamitous external circumstances (war, famine, genocide) that Indians go to other countries.

    Well – keep blogging about how you plan to help develop India and what you do to implement that plan… I would be interested in reading about it!!

  5. Manohar

    February 17, 2009

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    I am an obsessive compulsive spammer. Please help me overcome this.

  6. Pallavi

    February 20, 2009

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    I feel Sorry for this person… I never thought it could be so difficult for someone to love their own country… you know the biggest problem is that ppl like you who probably have brains to earn the big bucks but not enough to appreciate your own motherland. If you live in Aumrica or where ever in the world please learn the meaning of patriotism from them if you can’t from US! its ppl like you when living in western and other developed countries will follow all rules and regulations but when you come to India you behave like a mad bull who has been let loose on the road… always wanting to showoff ‘I am Aumrica return crap’

    In response to your line how we plan to help develop india and what we would like to do to implement it- first & foremost I think entry of people like should be BANNED in our country. You can’t respect it then don’t come to my homeland. But the problem is WE Indians have a big heart we can only laugh at your foolishness and forgive you…

    hope some sense prevails!

    Fyi, if US of A ever turns you out trust me you will only come back to INDIA

    I PROUD TO BE AN INDIAN! And feel sad that you are my fellow countryman.

  7. Pallavi

    February 21, 2009

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    @ N(o)eT worth it comment

    Dear IBCHV – Indian born confuses himself/herself to be a videshi, (can you believe this I am still referring you with a dear, guess my culture calls for it)

    I could not help myself from writing this because someone needs to help you do a reality check and in that course it may also improve your general knowledge about India (I am not doing this with an intention of changing your perspective because frankly it doesn’t matter)

    Point 1: USA got its independence in 1776 and we won our in 1947. So if we go by numbers US should be about 171 yrs ahead of us in terms of having independence of developing themselves as a country. We in last 60 odd years since became an independent nation and despite have seen 3 wars, lot of clashes with our neighboring countries, yet I am happy to report that we are one of the fast developing countries in the world – we even have an edge over China because of our large young working population (so our population is working towards are advantage rather than the other way around which was thought to be the case till recently). So be it healthcare, hospitality, tourism, science & technology, IT, media, entertainment, economy in general, Nuclear power- every small big sphere is growing & contributing to development of our Nation. India is seen as the best option for investment (the trend is proven by establishment of countless MNCs)

    Just to site an example of advancement, our Metro systems are one of the most developed in the world, even the tubes that you have in US run on such old technology and have not been upgraded.

    Point 2: if you stand even in a group of 50 ‘Goras’( that’s how you referred them), you are the odd one out and please, lets face it most of them do look down upon you and treat you as outsiders…

    People like Mother Teresa who was not a natural citizen of India, lived here all her life and worked towards the betterment of our fellow citizens. ALL OVER THE WORLD SHE WAS KNOWN AS AN INDIAN!!!

    French author Dominique Lapierre likes to call himself the honorary citizen of the City of Joy (an alternate name for Calcutta or kolkata, incase you did not know)

    British journalist Mark Tully, and author William Dalrymple prefers to call India their home over their own countries. They came to India for either a holiday or on deputation and never went back because they fell in love with the diversity of our country which has so much to offer!

    Recession has hit you more than it has affected us. US banks and other industries need a bail out package not us and yes corruption levels there are much bigger and deeper so
    let’s not even touch that.

    Even Obama understands the importance of India as a country and ran an aggressive PR campaign in here.

    A US visa stamp on an Indian passport got you an opportunity to go to there and all you do is run down your own country. Everywhere we are loved, admired, appreciated for what we are. India is one country where we all speak one common language but the amazing part is, every state also has their own language, dialect and that is simply amazing because like many other things this characteristic is also unique to us!

    As for your second post which questions Big K’s contribution to the growth of our country. He is the one who gave us all this platform to come and contribute and imagine people like you are also treated with equality here, now this is what we call a true democracy! And guess what, you also used it to voice your opinion- and it counts!

    By the way, the reverse brain drain has already begun a few yrs ago, recession has only made it pick its pace. It is only a matter of time that your children will also prefer to come back here to work and not just for a holiday, because India is where the opportunities grow with each passing day and not become obsolete like they have in the West.

  8. Gawran Pundit

    February 21, 2009

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    Oh my, this blog really rocks…

    It’s Terrific.Seems that all like minded people have come here together 🙂

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