Saturday, January 9, 2010

If you had a choice, would you immigrate to the USA now?

(Based on a comment, I changed my opinions. Please read the comment section for corrections)
I decied to repost an earlier blog because of a recent incident where ministers sit and watch an attack on police like a movie(see story here)

A lot of people talk about India and compare India to the USA. Comparing the USA and India is a constant source of discussion and annoyance in social gatherings. India is a great country with great leaders. India is also a country of the extreme contradiction. A lot of us decided to leave India and come to the USA. Everyone has his/her own reason to immigrate to the USA. However two factors are generally common – more spending money and better life style. Despite high salary and significant development India remains the same at grass roots level. High inflation compensates for high salaries. Large population and in turn scarcity of basic resources hinders the development and any change one wants to make in the life style. On the intellectual level, high degree of corruption, lack of law and order, lack of civic sense, extreme poverty and extreme luxury, callous attitude of government and wealthy people to uplift the poor people make me wonder – is this the India Gandhi wanted.

Yes, I will make the same decisions because I cannot change anything. Running is a better option when there is no hope for success. I can probably make some difference while I am here. I think probably a lot of other people think the same but a lot of them don’t admit.

On the social side, a lot of people relate to India with childhood memory and feels nostalgic. They miss their CHILDHOOD and not really miss India. They miss their friends and social circle. I don’t miss my childhood. Sometimes I am still a child when I play with daughter. Most of my friends are here. Relatives who live in India don’t meet each other as often as I meet them traveling from here.

Yes, I will the same decision.

This is the HOME.

10 comments:

  1. interesting. Nostalgia connects us to 'back home' while global opportunities call

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  2. Vijay,

    I am glad to hear a diffrent opinion

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  3. Very well said..

    I do agree, the India in our heart where we want to go back is the India we left behind not the India which presents itself now.

    The irony is knowing all this , I still want to go back. When there is a mind, there are always memories..

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  4. Very well said "A". The same is true of me. Sadly I feel more patriotic towards USA than India. I know someone will scream at me as if I am doing a major mistake... But feelings are from within and we can't fully control what we feel... Another question lingers, if we feel this way is there any hope for Gandhi's dream to ever come true? Not in our life time I guess... Not even if 100 Mahatmas toil for their land... -Unless every Indian dream the same

    ~ NRIGirl

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  5. NRIGirl,

    My understanding is despite economic development, corruption and lawlessness has increased several times in last few years though it should be other way round.

    A

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  6. Great blog. Please check out a similar posting at: http://hephzibahisrael.blogspot.com/2010/02/non-resident-or-not-returning-indian.html

    ~NRIGirl

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  7. For most, whether in the US or India or elsewhere, migration is not really a feasible choice. For those who do have the ability to migrate, it's a question of where you feel comfortable. There's no doubt that for many Indians - especially women - the choice is the US. Fair enough.

    But pointing out India's "flaws" as a reason to stay in the US is something that irritates me. Like all societies, India has its share of problems. Probably more than its fair share. But - you'll forgive me - I find it difficult to believe that if only India did not have the corruption etc., you'd have come back.

    Indeed, given all of India's problems that you point to, one can argue that is the *duty* of NRIs to come back and fight for India. But this is the point - many who live for even a short time in the US no longer "feel" Indian, they now "feel" American. They become emotionally attached to America, they are willing to fight America's fights but India's own fights cease to mean as much to them. It is presumably *someone else's* responsibility to fight *those* fights.

    Nothing wrong here - after all, we all have only one life to live, at least one life at a time (if you believe in reincarnation). But then why not simply say as did the great American astrophysicist S. Chandrasekhar that during his stay in the US, he realized that he had become American? (Something to this effect, I don't remember the exact quote in Kameshwar Wali's biography.) That's something I really admired in Chandrasekhar: he did not feel the need to justify his decision by "running down" India. He did not deny his own heritage. He simply said that he had become American. In my opinion, that is all that needs to be said.

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  8. Your comments provide a new perspective and I agree with them. There is no need to point out flaws here to justify a decision. I will leave the post as is with your comments. I accept your comments provide corrections to this post. I should have thought more. Thanks.

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  9. I am one NRI who will return to India one day coz I dont feel home any where else. Home is where my heart is and that is in my village.

    My village, where life is slow, people are poor, rivers are dirty in summer and fresh in rainy season. I am here to make money and return to my village and do some thing there. Some thing to help my neighbors and make their life better in any small manner I can. May be I can teach kids free when my kids are far pursuing their careers.

    I want to die and buried on our soil...near my father and grandfather.

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  10. Stranger,

    You can help your village by sending money. You can start now. You can find teachers.

    My grandfather is buried in what we call Pakistan and father in India. Did it make any difference to our lives?

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