Saturday, April 7, 2007

Red Card for Green Card

‘Mittal Strikes Steel’ read the newspaper after the day he struck a deal with Arcelor. It was great to see an Indian calling the shots and heading the world’s largest steel company. Later on the Mittal-Arcelor group announced large investments in India (Orissa). Lakshmi Mittal featured in the list of world’s richest men.

The whole thing made me think about writing something on this one topic, which is very close to my heart – Brain Drain. Going to a foreign country to make a living. Let me get things straight – I am not talking about the public who go out for business purpose for a short term (including the on-siters). I am talking about people who go and settle abroad for good. People who would die to become the citizen of that country. People who proclaim to miss their country and its traditions. I had always advocated the fact that you should not leave your motherland and serve another nation, just because things are better out there. No, I am not writing Swades’ review here. But yes, the idea is something that I would treasure.

I know there is a huge amount of revenue that comes in from NRIs. Yet, wouldn’t the country been richer by n times if they were to serve here in the country. Keeping in mind all the disadvantages (population, illiteracy, joblessness…) the country is facing, wouldn’t it be better to stay back and fight them. The personal gains somehow easily over-ride the major cause that should concern them. Let me put it this way. How would you like it if Sachin chooses to play for Australia just because he would earn more there?

In all the debates I had a chance to talk on this topic, I have always stood against the idea of settling abroad. But when I saw Mittal, who has been settled in the US for a while now come back and invest such a huge amount of money, it made me re-think on the whole topic. Is there a chance that this guy could have grown so fast if he were to set his base in India rather than the US? I believe not. I mean, even though the Ambani’s are setting an empire of their own in the country, it would take them a hell of a lot of time before they start acquiring international firms. But still, wouldn’t you rather be an Ambani than a Mittal?

Ask a Japanese guy to ditch his country and come he would tell you to take a walk. That is one nation where people have worked their ass out to take their nation to the level, which they are in. Agreed, we Indians are lazy by nature and we all want the easier way out. All we do is to sit back and blame the system and rue about our misfortunes of being in this country. Trust me. I have seen people who would do anything to get a job in the US. Or to marry someone who has a job in the US. If the best brains in the country are to leave, how do we expect to grow fast?

I don’t expect things to change anytime soon in the near future. If Ashutosh Gowariker couldn’t change things Vinod Iyer certainly cannot! I know for sure that I wouldn’t consider settling abroad.

Tu na poochh raaste mein kaahe
Aaye hain is tarha do raahein
Tu hi toh hai raah jo sujhaaye
Tu hi toh hai ab jo ye bataaye
Chaahe toh kis disha mein jaaye wahi des

Comments others had were:

Prabu Karthik said...

>>How would you like it if Sachin chooses to play for Australia just because he would earn more there?

Made me think again on this issue.

But actually such things have already started happening right?

Petersen playing for England?

scipio said...

Totally agree with you... but the fact remains that enterprising individuals are not encouraged by the government and the society here. In fact their progress is impeded.
That said, I would also like to state that people should not be cribbing... instead we should go ahead and try to overcome these hurdles.

Vinod R Iyer said...

Prabhu: Yes it has ...But I think SA is at loss there too ..right ?

Scipio:"To that heaven of freedom, o father,let my country awake" !!

Kirthi said...

I beg to differ here. All this jingoism about staying in the country and working for it does not really cut. Sounds very nice and ideal but how many really make the "difference".
I can give you some reasons why brain drain is good:
1. The competition evens out in our nation. Greater employment opportunities for the "less fortunate" or moderately intelligent.
2. The rate at which our population is growing perhaps even the Indian Ocean will get filled. So by moving out the population is spread better: that indirectly eases the pressure on infrastructure, energy and resource demands.
3. Good demographic distribution of an ethnic race in the world ensures that its presence is felt. Remember out of sight is out of mind. A lot of our presence in the international arena is because of expats.
4. Money transfers: direct foreign revenue.
5. Expats generate awareness about our culture: ISKON, Yoga, Mehendi, Bollywood, Ayurveda all these have become brands on the international arena because of expats. Foreigners visit India looking for them: Foreign revenue indirectly.

If Sachin chooses to play for Australia and does well good for him. Look at Naseer Hussain, Monty Panesar. I don't feel bad.

Vinod R Iyer said...

Kirthi: Thanks for dropping by to my blogspace.

You have several valid points there. Dont wanna debate on a point by point basis.

But I feel the developed countries(economically developed!) have reached where they are not because of their citizens going out and working for others. They go out and acquire other's work!! Thats why I admire TATAs more than Mittals !! If the Yoga and our culture had to spread it would do so on its on merit.Not because of marketing it!

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