Visions for India And NRIs

Management guru C K Prahalad’s vision for India of 2025 is one with

 100 per cent literacy
 200 million graduates and 400 million trained technicians
 25 Indian firms in Fortune 500
 10 per cent of the top universities of the world
 At least 10 Nobel laureates in science and arts

The professor of business administration from the University of Michigan’s Business School is one of the most conservative thinkers, particularly when he thinks or talks about India.

And our great President dreams of India are no different. “By 2020, I see a near zero per cent people living below the poverty line, a near 100 per literacy with every Indian having an university degree, a transparent governance system, electricity in all villages, no shortage of water, et al.”

Who don’t know Satyanarayan Gangaram aka Sam Pitroda, the man who initiated the telecom boom for India, and is now Chairman of National Knowledge Commission. He is a technocrat and keeps views India’s future with lot of apprehensions like many. As reported, when one asks him if India is fast developing as a global power, and “Nah” comes the grimace. “I don’t understand how someone can make such an irresponsible statement. Look at the garbage piled up on the roads, visit Indian towns and villages and just take a look at the sanitation problems. Do you know more than 60 per cent of the villages cannot provide safe drinking water to their population?”

I don’t think, Sam thinks ill of India or he is not confident of the potentials of India and Indians. But he is more down to earth when he expressed his opinion. He is perhaps pained with the progress made in last sixty years.

And then some said, ‘Indians are more successful than India.‘ Indians are achieving stunning success not at home, but abroad”. “Indians are faring better in countries ruled by whites than in their own.” Do you agree with these statements? Do you really think this is true? You only have to look at the success of NRIs, and the relative ‘failure’ of India, and you will be inclined to nod your head in agreement. But think again. Do Indians do better than India? Do Indians succeed abroad but not at home?

And then some project hyperbolically now the people of Indian origin living overseas sometimes as the fifth column of a force advancing Brand India. Even the Prime Minister agreed about their stellar role in recent US-India Nuclear Deal and thanked them.

The aim must be to touch the sense of ‘Indianness’ in people of Indian origin living abroad. If that sense can encourage an Indian-origin doctor, scientist or software engineer to link up his or her laboratory or research work in India, it is all to our benefit. India no longer needs only sympathy and remittances from its wealthy expatriates, but their brains as well.” And so the vice-chairman of Planning Commission invites them to come out with their ideas on the Eleventh Five Year Plan in making.

All these views were expressed in the Bharatiya Pravasi Divas 2007 going on in New Delhi.

And I am sure many NRIs after seeing the fast changing India during their visit to attend PBD 2007 will go in dilemma: To return or not to return!

However, I keep on thinking if the government of India could provide some tangible facilities. Can it organize a package of religious tours for senior NRIs? Many NRIs may be interested in visiting Gaya or Varanasi, or Charo Dham. Can it organize cheaper chartered non-stop flights in summer months when a lot of senior citizens, the parents of those working in US, fly to different destinations in US? Can it have some service like ‘your man in India’ for the NRIs?

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