Intro: ‘Indians do well abroad’ is the common perception. Many a times they are the brand ambassadors of rising India. This Pravasi Bharatiya Divas let us explore what makes them the ‘brand’ outside India.
More than twenty-five million Indians who live outside India. They have spread right across the globe and live in almost all countries of the world. In recent decades, many intelligent and qualified Indians have migrated to western countries for higher education, jobs, and business or to live in comfort.
Overseas Indians are generally well educated, and well settled in spite of innumerable hardships in their early stages. Individually, they have excelled in their chosen field due to their enterprising spirit. Indeed, they have made their mark in every walk of life – trade, industry, politics, academia and arts. As an example, some of the achievers include: Har Gobind Khorana, Subramanyan Chandra-sekhar, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan (Noble Prize winners of Indian origin in overseas countries), Dr Balamurali Ambati (medical doctor), Bhikhu Parikh (political thinker), Gururaj Deshpande (Technologist and Entrepreneur), Prof Jagdish Bhagwati (Economist), Dr Deepak Chopra (prolific writer of New Age books), Jhumpa Lahiri, Anita Desai (Writers), M Night Shyamalan, Mira Nair, Gurinder Chadha (Filmmakers), Sonal Shah, Rajiv Shah, Preet Bharara, Vikram Singh (Advisors to Barrack Obama Administration), Sunita Williams (Astronaut) and many more.
Another Cover Story: Can Indians only prosper abroad?
Global Indians have also played an important role in elevating India’s image in the world. They are making enormous contributions to the various communities where they live in. They are the cultural ambassadors of India and have promoted the right perspective of our cultural heritage, inter-cultural understanding, and youth development. Indeed, in many cases, their impact has transcended national boundaries and has been truly global.
Another Cover Story: Cover Story: Indians Shine World Over
Hindus in general, are highly educated, qualified, accomplished community, deeply rooted in their traditional values. They contribute in economy, education, health, science and technology, and culture. Hindus are peace loving, law abiding, co-existing and contributing community throughout the world and they don’t depend on welfare of the Government. But the question is, if our Indians are and have been so successful outside India, why have they not performed equally well in their own country? There may be many reasons of which some are mentioned here:
Another Cover Story: A Firebrand Revolutionary
For many, it is a matter of survival. When someone moves into a new place or country, they have limited resources—finances, friends, community support, etc. To make a mark and also to survive, they tend to work hard and excel in whatever they do be at securing a job, doing business etc. Naturally, they perform better than others in that situation and become successful. Challenges as well as opportunities are plenty outside India, and less visible in India. In overseas countries, business, entrepreneurship are well encouraged and are rewarded from grassroots to Government level. Even if the initial steps are unsuccessful, back-up opportunities to develop further are given with constructive criticism. Government laws and policies also help in being successful creating more business and generating wealth.
Upbringing and pride
When someone grows up in a particular ecosystem, say somewhere in India, with the same education system, with the same people, their thinking is very limited, but when the same person goes to a new place or country, the diversity of the people's thinking cause them to broaden their own thinking allowing them to overcome many obstacles.
Due to high population and high competition in India, parents generally enforce their children to do extremely well in studies either in school or university. From young age, Indian children are trained and emphasised that they can live comfortably only if they have great achievements in life. They are trained to be competitive. So by default compared to other communities Indians achieve well and become successful. When Indians leave their villages or towns to reach overseas, they want to return successfully after achieving something to show to their people. They do not want to go back unsuccessful or empty handed. The aim of achieving high is itself a driving force. Also there is societal pressure.
Creating good workingconditions in India and reversing the brain drain
Many intelligent, successful people are leaving India, because it is easier to be successful elsewhere. Such achievement is possible in India provided there are transparent working rules/laws so that there is no hindrance to development, growth and investment. Working conditions should be friendly and conducive. Similarly there should be fair hours for work with fair pay. Infrastructure to make efficient work happen is also a need. Corruption/ bribery is common in India and for any approval, there is a common complain that the files do not move unless the people are bribed in offices.
Indians were highly successful in the past in whatever they did. That success needs to be analysed. Many Indians from outside India want to return and live provided conditions and environment is conducive for contribution in terms of education, living, work, business etc.
Can we realise Make in India without making India a Man Making Nation?
With the support of Sangh Parivar organisations and other Hindu organisations, children born and brought up in overseas countries, spend reasonable time in understanding our traditions, cultural heritage, and our Hindu way of life. Public educational programmes such as conferences, seminars and workshops are organised to benefit young Indians. Similarly, such programmes need to be organised in India. Sangh-inspired organisations need form alliances with other like-minded Hindu organisations to develop a strong, vibrant and assertive
Hindu society. Param Poojaneeya Guruji had correctly said “Our brethren abroad will have to bring about a total transformation in the thoughts and life styles if they have to lead a happier, richer and more honoured life abroad and also make the image of India shine brighter in those countries”. Once that happens outside India, it will be followed in India.
Prof Guna Magesan (The writer is the CEO of World Hindu Economic Forum)