NRI is a NRI

Essay by varnitbanthiaHigh School, 12th gradeC, February 2010

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NRI is a NRINewly Returning Indian is a Not Required Indian.

Indians are employed in some of the best IT companies of the world and they have been involved in some of the major successful projects undertaken by various countries. The cream of the most renowned researchers, doctors and engineers in the world are Indians. Then why is that Apple, Microsoft and Google did not originate in India?Indians are hailed as the smartest minds today, but why are we a third world company?Numerous reasons, as everyone knows. But, one reason is that the most brilliant minds of the nation studied here, gained knowledge here and then deserted the country for fatter pay-packages abroad. The lure and lust for money and better lifestyle was more tempting than the virtue of patriotism and responsiblilty towards the nation.

However, thanks to the economic crisis in the West and unemployment rates in the US at an all time high of 9% (expected to rise further), the great Indian diaspora shows signs of coming full circle, with tens of thousands of immigrants flocking back to the motherland.

Exact numbers are hard to come by, but as of last year, more than 120,000 US returnees signed up for an Overseas Citizen of India card. It is hard to tell how many of these will move back, but a Harvard University study estimates that 100,000 Non Resident Indians will make the backward journey home. The resurgent Indian economy now holds great promise for them, something that might not quite have been possible a couple of decades ago.

And thanks to this recession, there is now increased competition between the NRIs and the natives of the Western nations. There are lesser jobs and more people vying for them. This is one of the primary reasons as to why the Indians abroad are being subjected to even greater hostility and racism, Australia being the greatest example.

Sensing an opportunity to make use of their talent, experience and global exposure, many companies in India are welcoming them with open arms. Many corporates and multinational companies in India are wooing Indians in USA with jobs in India by enticing them with excellent rewards and benefits like salaries on par with what they are receiving in the US, company accommodation, a very comfortable lifestyle in known and familiar surroundings, and a fully paid relocation allowance for the family. This is something they cannot easily ignore especially given their bleak job prospects in the US and other European nations.

Even our Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh has paved way for a red carpet welcome for the RNRIs(Returning Non Resident Indians). On his recent visit to the US (made infamous by the Salahis' gate-crashing a party), Dr. Manmohan Singh hailed the Indian American community for helping improve Indo-US relations and said that the booming Indian economy would welcome them with open arms.

Thus, today we are seeing a reverse trend - 'The Brain Gain' as quoted by our Prime Minister. NRIs are flocking to return to their motherland and many placement companies are being set up to find suitable jobs for them.

But is it really the right thing? True, our economy stands to gain a lot by these RNRIs and their talent and experience, but can we and should we trust them?When our country had not much to offer them, they fled from the country in search of greener pastures abroad. And today, when those green pastures are no more, they are returning to India. When they could have helped build the nation with their greater skill and capabilities, they went abroad searching for money. And today, when the US cannot offer them the same anymore and the Indian economy is promising, they are returning. If instead of India, some other nation had offered greater promise, they would have flocked there. So how can we trust these fair-weather friends? Tomorrow, if our economy undergoes a crisis, they will once again abandon the country leaving it in dire straits.

So, the question is whether we should accept these NRIs back into our fold or not. They seem to be Indians in name only. Do we really need these people to come back to our country when its on an uprise? Do we invite them back so that they can take up the jobs that the native Indians deserve - those people who struggled with the country and have helped it reach a position of economic strength today? Today, should those Indians who stayed put with the country in its bad times not be given the fruit when India is flourishing?Is the Newly Returning Indian a Not Required Indian?-Varnit BanthiaBibliography