The Ugly Reality Behind NRI Support for Modi

Lata Tauro

I am a retired IT professional. I had a business in that area for a number of years. But currently I am not professionally engaged. The recent rise in illiberalism has agitated me as it has others. Hence I felt the need to write about these issues with the hope that it might help to bring in the necessary change.

The most raucous supporters of Narendra Modi who have taken citizenship in countries other than India still fancy themselves as Indian Nationalists and imagine that it is they more than anyone else who have the interests of India at heart. I’m talking about the ones Modi goes on trips to impress on a regular basis. The ones he gives fancy reports to and who swallow them hook, line and sinker.

However here’s a news flash guys:

You are the ones who deserted India for what you saw as greener pastures. And now in your countries of adoption you probably feel the way, minorities in India feel (or how you would HAVE them feel). This feeling of NOT being cock of the walk in your countries of adoption does not sit well with you, does it? You were so used to ruling the roost in your country of origin and now you have to see yourself as a ‘refugee’ from a ‘developing’ country at the mercy of your white hosts (as is the case in most countries of adoption).

It is this feeling of inferiority that you wish to combat by inflating India in your heads far beyond its current reality. It is that which pushes you to want a leader for India that is larger than life whom you can point to as being the one you identify with and as a matter of association also once more feel good about yourself.

The reality of India is the last thing on your mind and your own life is far removed from it, and most of you have no intentions of ever returning to be part of it again. But as long as others see you as Indian you are still forced to feel ‘less’ by association with your mother country. And it is this sense of connection which you can never sever which prompts you to boast of a 5000 year old civilization instead of focusing on what India is now.

Your boasting gives you the boost you need and allows you to disengage from the mess that is India. After all that reality is not your own and never will be. Why bother with it, when you can project something grand (even if totally illusory) and the repercussions of which you will never have to bear. So what if there is unrest created, it will not touch you. You are far away and safe from it all, cocooned in the comfort of your adopted country.

So disabuse yourself of the idea that you have the interests of India at heart. You don’t. All you want is to feel good about yourself wherever it is that you are now. India is a far away reality that you, in your heart, are happy that you will never have to confront. Nice, isn’t it, to pontificate to those who have stayed behind and tell them how it ought to be and to remotely interfere in the shaping of India while you keep yourself safe from all the repercussions of your hate ridden antics.

P.S. Here btw is the oath that those who are given citizenship in the US have to take:

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

They are required by law to bear arms even against their mother country if ever called upon to do so if the need arises. Interesting isn’t it?? Other countries have something similar.

Modi in Videsh

 

 

 

  • I wish the author had tried to interview various groups of Indians abroad – first-generation emigrants, descendants of PIOs, temporary emigrants (true NRI by the tax definition), etc. Then this might have been a more balanced article and might have provided some reasons why those foreign blackguards dare to act like citizen bhakts. I am not “proud” of anything other than my own achievements. It’s great that India is doing good deeds and building advanced technology. All the same, I’ll opine about India when I feel like it – non-bhakts and bhakts can say what they will about that. 🙂 See if I care.

  • Indraneel Mallik

    Number of ministers have been reduced by 35% since the last govt. Now there are less people but more efficient people.
    Indo-Pak border forces have been given full freedom to retaliate. Unlike in the previous govt where they were kept as puppets at the border to die.
    Recent Japan visit has brought $35 bn as investment.
    Modi’s ‘make in India’ initiative kicks off as TATA group and Airbus to work together to manufacture Fighter Jets for the military.
    Mr. Modi recently announced about amendments in the present laws which require at least a month or a two to set up a business. Now , a particular business can be set up just in a day online. No harassment by the government as of like in the license Raj.
    Jan Dhan Yojana. By September 2014, 3.02 crore accounts were opened, with around 1500 crore (US$240 million) deposited under the scheme. Which also has an option for opening new bank accounts with zero balance – benefiting the POOR of the country the most.

    I can go on and on. But the ostritch will never pull its head out of the sand.
    An unusually banal article by Lata Tauro which makes one wonder whether the only source of her discomfort is her jealousy towards the many happy NRIs.
    She recognises our 5000 year old civilization but fails to see what an honest and corruption-free govt is trying to do for our country at present.

    • SB

      How many times have we retaliated against pakistan? please provide a number. Do you think previous governments had ordered the forces to stand and do nothing? Do you know how these things even work?

  • vijaytonse

    I agree totally with both Ash Nallawalla and Indraneel Mallik. I also was born in India in 1946 and lived in India until I emigrated with my family ( wife and two sons ) to the US in 1993 when I was 47 years old. I have lived in India throughout its years of development and many ups and downs. We have all become US Citizens taking that oath described in the Article, which is public knowledge. Even though our US Citizenship prevents us from having any political rights in India ( such as the right to vote or stand for Election or hold a Government job ), this does not stop any of us from watching and being involved in developments in India and having positive feelings towards India and having good wishes for its future, even more so because we still have most of our relatives there and also have most of our property ( both inherited as well as developed and acquired ) there. The obvious slant or bias of the article only indicates considerable jealously which the author seems to have of people like us, which is really unwarranted because India is doing very well and many people living in India today are doing just as well as many of those who have settled abroad. I am personally aware of many Indians living in India who have had far better carriers in India and have earned a lot more money in India than I have by coming to the USA and settling here. I therefore do not feel that there is any reason for anyone living in india to be jealous of people like us who have settled in countries like the USA.

    • Subroto Chatterjee

      Why earning more money is seen as benchmark for success? There was a time we were earning half a million $ a year but we did not see each other for weeks but now we earn much less but are much more happy. Benchmark for life should be how healthy and happy you are. On our last day we will not count bank balance but how much time we spent together as family will matter.

    • DKDSD

      Vijay Brother yours and my story is similar only difference is I got to US in 1996. Back in New Delhi – I was quit well, with house, car & all the normal BS that we have in India. All those who come over here have a definite edge on their Indian counter parts in terms of quality of life, earning, education of their children. I came from upper case ( so called) my kids could not get admission in any college though they had distinctions on 5 subjects. Since, the time I came over here I never faced problems like Elect, Water, Housing, school admissions. We all worked hard ( Not that we were not working hard in India) here in US and are enjoying a much better life. The moral of the story is why not try a good life if you can and if can’t Just shut up & relax. We all are Indians.

  • vijaytonse

    Spelling mistake correction: the word wrongly spelled as ” carriers”in my post below should have been spelled as ” careers”

  • Surinder Sharma

    All those home grown political adversaries of iconic Narendra Modi get excruciating cramps in their stomachs because they can never ever digest the instant impromptu appreciation & support effusively expressed by NRIs wold over.

    Caption itself is derogatory imagination of a devil’s mind. The author seems to be prejudiced, jaundiced & color blind to positive reality checks of big strides forwards steadfastly taken by India, for ushering in new era of unprecedented peace progress & prosperity, A fact which is being recognized & applauded globally.

  • vijaytonse

    I also agree with Subroto Chatterjee, who has said only money should not be the benchmark of success but good health and happiness are. I have also come across many people, both in India as well as in the United States, who do not appear to have been financially successful, but are nevertheless quite happy with their lives for a variety of reasons. My wife and I are very definitely in this category as we are not among those Indians in several walks of life and several parts of India and several different kinds of cultural, linguistic and educational and professional backgrounds who came to the US and really prospered and became millionaires. In fact, our incomes here place us in America’s Lower Middle Class, not even Middle Class. Our sons, however, having received their earlier education in India, went on to get educated fully in the USA and to develop excellent careers in the USA and they are doing very well for themselves even though neither has become a millionaire yet. All of us have not made any really big money, but nevertheless we are all very happy with our overall situation . As pointed out by Subroto Chatterjee, a lot of our own happiness is due to the amount of time we spend together as a family. My older son, now 40, lives with us ( my wife and myself ) and because I have retired and he is doing very well, he has taken over our mortgage on our house, which is a very big relief for us. My younger son, who is now 35, is married to an excellent daughter-in-law and they have a son, almost three years old. This younger son is doing exceedingly well as an IT Consultant, and he and his wife and our grandson live in their own house. We all meet twice a week either at our home or theirs and we are all very close as a family. That, and the fact that all of us are in relatively good health, are a great source of happiness for all of us. Both of our sons have ample opportunities for earning a lot more money than they are earning now, but they have chosen to use their extra time not to earn more money but to spend quality time with their family and friends and also in other pleasant, recreational pursuits.

  • Josh Dutt

    Dramatic exaggeration from an author who most likely had a visa rejection at the mercy of an idiot at the US embassy years ago. She undoubtedly sounds bitter and jealous of the NRIs success…

  • The Indian diaspora started with the indentured laborers or coolies during 19th century. The opium, Indigo cultivation and hoarding of food grains had resulted in several famines. The coolies provided cheap labor for the British empire. The laborers in India were working for grains in return for their day long hard work. The people from upper class went for higher studies in Britain. Gandhiji was one among them. It is the feeling of inferiority that propted Gandhiji to start the Indian Ambulance corps to help the British during the Anglo-Boer war. After independence the cream elites from IITs started deserting their homeland for what they saw as greener pastures. During the past two decades, after globalization it is the turn of the IT professionals. The fact is the Indian independence was not obtained by fighting the enemy. The British handed over the power to the trusted people of their choice. THE INDIAN NAVY MUTINY OF 1946, was THE ONLY WAR OF INDIAN INDEPENDENCE.

  • S.Ganu

    Highly prejudiced, biased article by apparently very jealous Lata Tauro. The heading itself suggests its a trash but since Mona has posted it, I read it all the way to find its a plain BS. Basic presumption that NRIs are ignorant of realities in India and full of inferiority complex is farthest from truth …When Slave Manmohan Singh was PM, we knew India and its government doesn’t give a damn to its countryman let alone to even think of NRIs can be an asset in India’s development. But we still hoped for country to do better and kept India close to our chest. Modi as a visionary not just galvanized the NRIs as a partners to feel proud and connected by his game changer policies. Not just in USA where people are comfortable, in a gulf counties which was in blind spot of India for decades yet sent highest remittances, Modi created a bridge that blue colored workers felt proud to be Indian, they needed such support against humiliating practices of snatching the passport, no redressal system for crime proceedings but by setting up special funds they are feeling connected and secured. We are having inferiority complex against white bosses is totally wrong. When NRIs are job creators and leaders in USA.

    Enough people in media who get stomach upset and simply couldn’t digest the fact Modi is connecting well but instead of finding the reason by spending time with them, use the short cut by writing such junk analysis …

  • Chetan Narayan

    The words are too harsh and projecting the NRIs as some kind of villains is not right, these are personal choices. But many of the points raised are true. There is nothing wrong in becoming the citizen of another country or living like an NRI. But hey you chose to move out and know nothing first hand, it is really irritating when people argue from foreign lands on issues they have no idea on the ground level. In that sense the article is spot on!!

  • bonku

    Yesterday I was listening to a BBC documentary on an African music group singer, whose dream from childhood was to go to USA, where, he thought, everyone is rich, have enough food, lives in big nice houses, have big cars, party all the time and such things”. That’s the impression he got from the people who visited or lived in USA and other western countries.
    Then an African businessman sponsored him to visit USA. He was just too thrilled when the door of the aircraft was about to open. Later he witnessed reality, met many of his own (former) countrymen living in USA, understood the reality and, most importantly, the reasons why USA (and other such western countries) why USA achieved what it’s today and it’s ills. he realized that there is no free meal here, people have to take personal responsibility and face consequences, which was totally abest in his home country, Mali.
    Many of the Indians in USA and any other such western countries come there ONLY for money, do not integrate with local culture, hardly contribute to the community. While many others try their best to become “white” americans and start acting like jokers. We lose our identity in both the ways. They both bring the evils of India to the host country (rote memorization based mahhu type ‘education, private tuition, corruption, lie, show-off, addiction to degrees and job designation than ability or love for any profession and so on). Most of these people are hardly rational and can think coherently, despite of their professional degrees, job hierarchy etc., which include doctors, engineers, ‘scientists’, professors, Cxx and so on.

    Once they (both the group) realise the reality, they get frustrated and feel more ‘patriotic’ and always ‘want to go back to India”, but never does that 🙂

  • bonku

    Most Indians are imported to USA mainly as cheaper and easily exploitable workers who can boost the profit margin for the company. it has NOT much to do with talent or honesty or ethics or such positive virtues that make any community and country prosper in the long run. And those “successful” Indians came to the recruiter’s radar using prevailing selection criteria in India. One’s chance of success in India mainly depends on parental money, influence and his/her ability to exploit existing system of corruption, nepotism, cronyism and that has almost nothing to do with talent. Many Indians, mostly from rich families, enter USA as students, i.e. lucrative customer for American higher education industry. Once they finish their studies, they become the same cheaper labor for local employers. the cycle goes on. But they hardly get much recognition among local people, among top management in terms of ability and talent. They also make them frustrated. They show off insanely when they go back to India, portray themselves a huge “success” (in terms of money and fame).
    In the long run this addiction to cheaper slave labour in industries like IT, higher education and research etc in Western countries is and continue to take a huge toll on American/western society.
    It’s also damaging Indian society too- as real talents and genuine people are not being promoted, groomed. They are not getting the opportunity they need – both in India and abroad. This cycle must be broken for BOTH America (and other western countries taking such people from lawless third world countries) and India.

    • bonku

      Moreover, most such Indians are typical “good” boys. Their parents groomed them as the most selfish and opportunist lot. They never faced punishment for not doing domestic chores, or other offense- simply because they were good at maggu ‘education and test scores. In INdian society they were worshipped. When they come to US/West they get no such privilege. It make them very frustrated and angry. They dream of those old golden days in India.

  • Altu Phaltu

    When you need all the [email protected]#$ing NRI money, where does all this talk go? Regardless of the Govt, the NRI’s proudly represent their roots and origin. So think twice before you post such crap.

  • Altu Phaltu

    I am sure when Satya and Sundar come over to meet y’all, every one of you (who cry like this) will speak in the same tone … unless of course they root for the party/ideals you support.

  • bonku

    This article published in NY Times by Pankaj Mishhra might be a good indicator of the same-
    Modi’s Idea of India- http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/25/opinion/pankaj-mishra-nirandra-modis-idea-of-india.html?_r=0

    It’s NOT those illiterate, poor Hindus who helped Modi to win the election, but the quasi westernized, “highly educated” ‘successful’ Indians, in India and abroad, like that Rajiv Malhotra, mentioned in that NYT article.

  • Altu Phaltu

    When you are in India – you are always a Bhaiyya OR a Muslim OR a Catholic OR any one of those identifiers. Only when you come out you are actually an Indian – Albeit a Non Resident Indian