54% from Hindutva heart land want to settle down in US

A recent  opinion poll by Outlook—AC Nielsen  shows that 46 % of India’s urban class want to settle down in US. Interestingly, 54 % of Ahmedabad residents want to settle down in the US even their Chief Minister, Narendra Modi was denied an American Visa.

The survey  results is a blow to Hindutva’s copy righted ” Your patriotism is not enough!”  slogan against Muslims. 63 % from Lucknow, 69 % from Patna and 59 % from Hyderabad, said NO to the same question, which is having considerable muslim population. But, in Ahmedabad, the Hindutva heart land, only 38 % said NO to this question.
Survey proves that  “Right Wing Nationalism” and “Pseudo Patriotism” promoted by Hindutva fascism  cannnot sell  any more among urban Indians.
The survey was conducted in major indian cities like,  Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Patna. 37 % of the participants were looking for  Job opportunities in the  US, while 22 % them fall in love with America’s high standard of living. 38 % praised high technology owned by US.

49 % of Indians favoured Bill Clinton comparing to 43 % for Bush. 72 % consider US as a bully. Only 30 % of Indians believe US as a close ally to India, while 50 % think they are more inclined to Pakistan. On average, the results exhibit the views of a generation married to “cola” and “bubble gum” and far removed from the times when the word “India” stirred the heart, when a call from “bharath matha” meant everything else was the second lead. It is the vision of an urban generation that has its own priorities: discos, jobs and jeans. The poll results should remind a famous quote to our politicians “To love our country, Our country must be lovely”

Story of Migration from India 

In fact, Indians migrated to US is not contributing much to India’s economy comparing to Indians living in Gulf countries.Remittances from the region have continued to grow and formed the cornerstone of Kerala’s economy during 1999-2004. In 2002-03, remittances were to the tune of $14.8 billion in Kerala alone. It is expected that  remittances would go up from $21.7 billion in 2004 to $24 billion in 2005.  Nearly half of more than three million Indians working in various Gulf countries are from Kerala. They are credited with having boosted Kerala’s economy in the past three decades by sending remittances worth billions of rupees every month. During 2004, the remittance was reached 18460 crore rupees. As a result of remittances, the per capita income in Kerala has increased by 5,678.

Foreign remittances to the state have been 7 times of what kerala received from the Government of India as budget support. They have formed 1.8 times of the annual budget of the state and 1.74 times the revenue receipts of the state and the remittance were sufficient to wipe out 60% of the state’s debt in 2003!

Unlike United States, Gulf countries don’t provide citizenship to foreigners which causes them to invest more in India. “Any society which scorns plumbing will soon realise that there are neither any pipes nor any water to drink.” The observation by a Dubai-based NRI Suresh Kumar, quoting a Greek philosopher, set the tone at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2006 in Hyderabad.

At an open session on the Indians in the Gulf, the NRIs lamented that despite being the “real freedom fighters”, espousing the cause of all Indians, they get a raw deal not only at the hands of the government of the countries for which ‘they live and die’ but also from their motherland.

It’s always the ‘celebrity overseas Indians from the UK and the US’ who get all kinds of attention and walk away with dual citizenships, they deplored.

What making Indians to settle down in America?

On July 3, 1946, a bill passed through  US Congress to allow citizenship to Indian nationals. The bill was signed by President Truman. In 1949, Dalip Singh Saund became a US citizen, and four years later he became the first Asian to be elected to the US Congress. July 3 considered to be the true Independence Day for Indian nationals in the US.
Rajiv Desai, a US  thinker of Indian origin recently wrote an article about the  American dreams of Indians:

Talking to Indians in all walks of life in America, he became convinced that the key factor in the emigration of middle-class youth was the ideology propagated by the ruling elite in India.

“Over the years, the country came to be held in thrall by a government-anointed nexus of bureaucrats, politicians, academicians and businessmen, the so-called “privilegentsia.” Under this dispensation, connections counted for more than achievement, privilege more than performance. For ordinary middle-class families, with no strings to pull, there were simply no opportunities to make a decent and dignified living.”

“Today, as the wave of crude nationalism begins to recede in the face of severe problems of governance and finance, the “privilegentsia” is up to its old tricks again. This time, it seeks to revive jingoism by projecting Indian as a “beauty superpower.” This is with reference to the rash of “Miss World” and “Miss Universe” awards that have come the way of Indian contestants at mindless beauty pageants that are made for television and commercial endorsements. ”

“Meanwhile, Indian foreign policy is reduced to disputes with OECD members about visas for Indian computer programmers, who are shipped to the Silicon Valley and elsewhere, much like indentured labor of earlier times, to perform mindless tasks for Western firms at a fraction of the cost of local employees.

On the other hand, domestic policy is exercised by such weighty issues as match-fixing and illegal betting on cricket, a game with which India’s millions are obsessed. At the same time, the real issues of governance such as water, power, roads, pollution, jobs, fiscal deficits, subsidies and the privatization of the parasitical public sector are caught up in the familiar political battles over turf and spoils.

“The “privilegentsia” does not give up that easily. It will try to hold on to its power as long as possible, never mind the country and its pressing problems.” he says

Why Do Indians Flee India? Sikh Spectrum Monthly, Issue No.10, March 2003
http://www.sikhspectrum.com/032003/flee_india.htm  

Another US Thinker of Indian diaspora, Dinesh Dsouza, questions the reverse thinking habit of Hindutva fascists:

“In general, America is the only country in the world that extends full membership to outsiders. The typical American could come to India,live for 40 years, and take Indian citizenship. But he could not “become Indian.” He wouldn’t see himself that way, nor would most Indians see him that way. In America, by contrast, hundreds of millions have come from far-flung shores and over time they, or at least their children, have in a profound and full sense “become American.”

“America offers more opportunity and social mobility than any other country, including the countries of Europe. America is the only country that has created a population of “self-made tycoons.” Only in America could Pierre Omidyar, whose parents are Iranian and who grew up in Paris, have started a company like eBay. Only in America could Vinod Khosla, the son of an Indian army officer, become a leading venture capitalist, the shaper of the technology industry, and a billionaire to boot. Admittedly tycoons are not typical, but no country has created a better ladder than America for people to ascend from modest circumstances to success.”

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2003/06/29/IN290713.DTL&type=printable

The Indian diaspora is today the third largest Asian community in the US, is upwardly mobile and is on its way to becoming a political force in that country. Cherian Samuel, a scholar at the Institute of Defence Studies and Anlyses (IDSA), made the observation during a seminar  held in New Delhi on Thursday on Indo-US relations, organised ahead of George W. Bush’s visit.

Samuel said Indian Americans totalled about 1.7 million in the US according to the 2000 census, their numbers having gone up by an incredible 106 percent since 1990. It grew at a rate of 7.6 percent annually in the last 10 years.

“In the process, Indian Americans replaced Japanese Americans as the third largest Asian community in the US after the Chinese (2.7 million) and Filipinos (1.9).”

He said much of this was fuelled by the technology boom in the 90s when Indian techies made their way to the US in large numbers. The number of H1-B visas issued to India jumped from 2,697 in 1990 to 15,228 in 1995 and to 55,047 in 2000.

“The number of Indians getting Green Cards every year has also more than doubled since 1999,” Samuel said. “And Green Cards are one step away from citizenship which gives full voting rights.

“No doubt,” he added, “Indian Americans will become a political force in the years to come.”

Samuel pointed out that Indian Americans were much above the median on a score of indices. Sixty-four percent of them were college educated as against the national average of 27 percent.

The average median family income for the Indian American community was estimated at $70,000, against the average family income of $50,000.

The Indian community was also upwardly mobile and included a large number of professionals.

To take a point, Samuel said, 38 percent of all physicians in the US were of Indian origin, as were 10 percent of all medical practitioners.

The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin was the largest ethnic medical organisation in the US, with an active membership of over 9,000 doctors and representing more than 38,000 doctors of Indian origin.

One in every nine Indians in the US was a millionaire, comprising 10 percent of the estimated 1.2 million US millionaires, Samuel said.

“Many of them are located in Silicon Valley. About a third of engineers in the Silicon Valley are of Indian descent. It is estimated that 35 percent of the technical workforce of Boeing is Indian American.

“And between 10-30 percent of the workforce in Microsoft and NASA are of Indian origin. There are also over 5,000 Indians on the faculties of US universities. This list can go on and on.”

Quoting a Merrill Lynch market study, Samuel said that Indian Americans had a net worth of $90 billion. “Given the right (Indian) government policies, much of this could be channelised into investing in India.”

Samuel also touched upon the reverse brain drain now taking place, and said a large number of Indian Americans were returning to India, bringing along the best professional practices and exposure to an international environment.

He said the diaspora played a key role in projecting India’s soft power and creating global awareness about the country. One way this was achieved was by their demand for Bollywood movies, which then entered the mainstream market in the US.

But Samuel said it would be too early to credit too much power and influence for the Indian community in the US although they contributed heavily to the coffers of both the main political parties.

“However, these groups are nowhere near acquiring the influence of their role model, the Jewish Caucus,” he said.

One reason for this, he explained, was that the Indian Americans were a relatively new entrant on the American political scene and “are yet to build up networks and war chests that would be needed to sustain an enterprise”

Full Survey  Report  can be seen at:

http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20060306&fname=Cover+Story&sid=1

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