DISCLAIMER: My opinions and observations are presented here. No one has to agree, disagree, this is not personal to anyone and not meant to offend either. If you are an Indian (ex-, once upon a time, right now, always, Never have been!, Just for now, Purrlease!, If only i wasn’t.., No way!, etc) who has a great time enumerating the reasons why this country has no future, please do NOT read as you don’t need to know my opinions or I, yours. Any hurt sentiments and bruised ego, it is the reader’s responsibility, the author takes none. Obviously.
Going abroad is no big deal! For travelling, or for studying or a job, it is a simple job of filling out an application and waiting for its results, very much like what you would do back at home. It is one of the perks of Globalization, every place on earth is a one-stop journey.
Everyone has a someone who stays in the US of A- the brother of our maid’s daughter-in-law, my aunt, my best friend’s cousins, my brother’s friends, my sister’s friend’s parents, my boyfriend’s class-mates, my cousins… Gosh, the list’s endless! But still, one has to travel there like no one else has done it before. And come back to erstwhile home for the holidays and compare, giggle and wonder at the amazing ‘things’ that happen here ‘Oh my goodness!” as if you hadn’t seen them all your life, treating them like you would treat a naughty toddler.
I had once written a BAT-winning post that had come from my heart, a compilation of scattered events and my own thoughts fictionalized. At the same point of time I had been preparing abroad for my doctorate. Why is it thought that going abroad is synonymous with not loving your country or who you are? The only two options that I came up with are-
1) You are dumb, not to mention, narrow and closed-minded.
2) You wish you had been in that position of renouncing your country.
Pardon me if I am rude, but this is what I saw.
Some people I had called friends baffle me. They have lived all their lives in India and they consider themselves foreigners to India. At least, they try. What they actually are I wonder. Going abroad for them is not about the job, the degree, it is about leaving the home you don’t want to call home, period.
There are people who have issues with the country, that’s okay. But trying to be a non-Indian, and pro-whatever the best way out they take to prove their ‘faithfulness’ to the country they should have been born in is by bitching about the country they allegedly are not a part of.
Sometimes people go somewhere, they fall in love with the place and want to make it that home. That’s a perfect sentiment, one that I understand. But how can you know, like a place, that you have not been to ever before and enumerate its attributes even before you have experienced, and compare!
The reason why I write this is I cannot be an American just because I am in America (and I damn well can be there!). I will always be an Indian. But I will be so proudly. But even those who literally renounce their country to especially look down upon the people of their ex-country, they forget, that they will never be an American even if they hold a green card. They may enjoy the culture more; beer instead of chai, smokes instead of samosas, bread instead of rice, bottled water, nuclear families, free, uninhibited sex, fast, superior life and rave about it back in India (oh, they need to come back to show off their superiority) but if I can feel what an Indian at heart feels, they will cease to be our own too.
But this country with all its flaws is like a warm, caring mother. She accepts back even the most prodigal of sons with wide arms even when they don’t deserve it. But I am more headstrong, bull-headed and unforgiving and would never accept them back or honour them as Indians. Kindly do not boast of the Indian wit or intelligence as your assets when you’d rather be an American. When you renounce, do renounce completely, the bad and the good, however few.
And wherever I be, be it North America, Europe, Japan, Brazil, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan or Pakistan, I will always be an Indian, first and foremost. And if you won’t be (that’s an individual choice, nothing wrong), don’t come back here to make a comparison chart to feed your own inflated idea about yourself.
N.B. Read the article on TIME magazine “My Own Private India” by Joel Stein. It was the reactions of my Indian friends to this article that brought on this post, who was all for the article, Guindians etc. forgetting that the slander he was heaping on, is his own while the person he was supporting will always look down his nose at him. You may quote the saying “When in Rome, do as Romans do”, but that statement is entirely applicable to tourists and not the ones who stay there for long periods of time. Because it otherwise asks you to forget who you actually are. Can you do that? Also read the rebuttal article by Rahul Parikh.