All Talk and No Action Thursday, August 28, 2008

While reading on various topics of national importance in dailies and business newspapers, I always go through the comments by readers.

I like to see how many people think otherwise and also to understand the topic on hand with various arguments.

The comments come from people of all shapes and sizes, Indians spread out across the globe.

What's interesting to note is that most Indians staying abroad take active interest in various issues pertaining to the country.

Be it Kashmir, corrupt politicians, sensational media coverage on Aarushi or sky-rocketing interest rates, the NRI community often has lots to comment on.

What cannot be ascertained though, is how involved these people were/would have been if in India?

Would they have shown similar interest in e-governance, riots, Kashmir issue, pollution levels and the slackening economy?

While I look at people my age, most wouldn't talk fervently about a Kashmir or the problems plaguing N/E.

Yet, when such topics plop up during conversations with friends working/studying abroad - almost all of them have an opinion on such issues. Most of them follow national events and are actively involved in debate with the Desi Junta.

Now, either they are not well read OR they believe in status quo OR they are plain dis-interested OR I am blind and have missed such souls :-)

I have friends who know more about road accidents in Mumbai than I could ever know. A few cousins are probably more tuned in to Shlokas from the Bhagvad Gita than I can ever recite in this lifetime. Most have strong opinion on our Financial policies !

Not to forget, uncles and aunts who know more about "Sindhiyat" than most of my clan residing here.

So why would an Indian staying in California keep track of MIG crashes or an Indian working in Sydney keep track of Indo-Pak peace initiatives?

What keeps us from participating as a community and solving our problems when we are in the country? Conversely, what changes within us when we step on foreign land?

Reasons I can think of for their participation are -

  • Staying away from the homeland, they are plain homesick !
  • Residing in a foreign land, enjoying freedom and getting a taste of superior civic sense, makes them aware of what we lack here. Thus, wanting to bring about positive change
  • A desire to always be counted as "one amongst us"
  • Staying away from the epicentre probably helps them get a detached perspective. And allows them the luxury of such talk

Whatever the reasons, it's sad that we as an intelligent people are "all talk and no action" when it comes to doing our bit for our motherland.


india unbound said...

Even I have observed this trend and even on online forums like Orkut. I feel the reasons for this are the same as mentioned by you. This trend is observed mostly in first generation NRIs, i.e.FOBs. We have heard and read a lot about second generation ABCDs. But the third generation is almost detached from its Indian "roots".

Raindropz..!!! said...

Ur observation is quite correct i feel, and the sad part is that people who are staying close to these issues are keeping their silence or it would be more better if i say, they dont want to get involved.
I hav seen peopl saying, its not happening to me, then y should i worry and think abt it.

All Talk and No Action said...

@india unbound -
I don't think it's only in first generation NRIs. I have found many people our age being very well informed and showing more interest in national issues. Basically, all those who have stayed in India at some point do keep a track of the current events...


Sad. But true...This is what I have asked...WHY are we so??

Mr BS said...

Here's my $0.02..

Once you leave your home counry, it's difficult to be accepted by foreigners and you always remain a "outsider" in a way...and so they strive harder to be "one amongst us"..

And from the other stand-point..of ppl living in's like "ghar ki mugri daal barabar"...

Also I think many of these indians abroad are associated with NGO and other organizations maybe because having been here for sometime, they know how lucky they are and how things should be..and hence they feel more like giving something back to the society...whereas in india, people are always immersed in their own problems (financially and otherwise) and don't find time for doing these things...

All Talk and No Action said...

@mr bs -
I agree with the NGO part

What I do not understand is - when people leave their country for good in pursuit of happiness, wealth & success...why try to be one amongst us? I look at it as selfishness... enjoying the good life and at the same time commenting on issues that don't really matter to them...that happen far away in another land...

Anonymous said...

Liked your delayed patriotism article.Looked very professional.Good work.
Sumedh Kanzarkar

All Talk and No Action said...

@Sumedh -
Thanks !