Written by a practicing lawyer in the High Court and Supreme Court, the book (a compilation of letters published in journals and newspapers) aims at creating awareness among the Members of Parliament, public-spirited organisations and the people of India about the hardships faced by Indians living abroad and to raise a powerful voice to propel the government to do all it can to look after the welfare and safety of the Indians spread all over the world.
Since the letters were written some 20 years ago (between 1986 and 1992), only those found relevant even today have been taken up for review. The author points out that the Indian migrants are facing problems due to their distinct culture, habits and taboos. Although some of them have become Westernised, and adapted to local conditions, the majority of them tend to cling to Indian identity usually resulting in conservation and stagnation. Hence the author advocates that this fear can be overcome by developing a sense of belonging among them to the parent society.
The book laments that India seems more concerned with the fate of ?Black Africans in South Africa and Palestinians whose cause she has continuously and consistently supported for the last 40 years? despite such friendly gestures going unreciprocated. Even in Fiji, the Indian migrants were at the receiving end despite the Indians being in majority but the Constitution of 1970 ?more than safeguards the interests of the indigenous Fijians who are in a minority?. The author lashes out at the Ministry of External Affairs of that period for living up to its reputation of doing too little, too late and adopting the principle of ?wait and watch?. He regrets, ?The negative role played by the Indian Government and the near total silence of our Members of Parliament and Indian intellectuals and other groups is most disappointing?. He asks ironically, ?What is India, the champion of victims of white racism, going to do about this unconstitutional and noted racism in Fiji??
The author has suggested two very important ways of making the NRIs (non-resident Indians) feel part of the Indian mainstream and these are: Indians settled overseas would like the Indian Government to make provisions for ?dual nationality? which would help them and make things easier for them in times of crises in their adopted country. Secondly, as Indians settled overseas have much surplus wealth to spare and if handled with care and consideration, they could be used to finance projects in India. This could help to create tremendous goodwill among the NRIs and also among the local Indians.
(Suruchi Prakashan, Keshav Kunj, Jhandewalan, New Delhi-110055.)