Few years ago when a typical Indian families party took place on a week end at some NRI’s residence, a favorite topis of discussion was how bad is the situation in India; how bad is everything in India; how lucky that we are here away from the problems; and there is really no hope for India. Of course there were some other favorite topics like how bad is the US culture but we will not touch that topic today. In these parties, it was easy to find why India will not change in the near future.
Suddently, the discussion in these parties has changed completely. Now every body is a proud Indian and India is the greates country. And interestingly, everybody is quoting Thomas Friedman and talking about how ‘we Indians’ are really destined to be the world dominant and how we are doing everything that is right and how confused is USA. Suddenly, we don’t see much hope in USA and everything is wonderful and going towards perfection in India. It is very interesting that the same people who were very negative about India are now the biggest patriots and proud of their heritage. Of course, most of these people have done nothing during these transformation years except continuing attending these parties and reading some popular newspapers. But that is the human nature.
On the serious side, there is this strong media effect. At one time, media was finding everything wrong with India and was ignoring lots of good things that were happening. Now media is ignoring all the problems that we still have. Indian situation is the best that I have seen in my life time. It definitely looks the best and the trajectory is positive but India is starting from a very low base. India has a very long way to go. Hopefully, one step at a time, things will keep improving and India will be where we want it to be. But this is definitely not the time for complacency and India has a real long way to go.
Now if there could be a way to convert the energy of all these fair weather patriots at NRI parties, then the progress could be faster. How could this be really done? Can it be done? Well, I am not going to hold my breathe waiting for this to happen.
As a young adolescent in the 70s, with the world at my feet and options to pursue professional pursuits anywhere, I chose to join the Indian Army for various reasons. Over these years, I have been witness to numerous NRIRelatives-on-a-holiday-in-India get-togethers at home, where we had to put up with condescending comments on the very matters that you have so aptly observed.
I have never been to the US but I acknowledge the wide gap in relative powers of these two nation states. Yet I must say that in all these years, Thomas Friedman’s treatise notwithstanding, our community of soldiers never had an iota of doubt in the evolving curve of geoploitics.
HUM HONGE KAMYAAB !
I respect your sentiments — and I am working with you to help that happen.