Thursday 26 May 2022
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Sundar Pichai, Who?

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Sundar Pichai! Sundar Pichai! Sundar Pichai! I must say now after two days this name has started to irritate my eardrums. With no offence intended towards this gentleman, I fail to understand why we Indians turn jingoistic like this when we see an NRI doing well in his profession of his choice.

Undoubtedly Google is a reputed company. be that as it may, how does his appointment as the CEO of this company create a sense of pride amongst us? Pichai Sundararajan happens to be an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur; he arguably creates a sense of pride in the students of that institution, his and friends; the name creates no such effect in the minds of the rest of the population. He definitely cannot be an inspiration for every Indian.

Does the Government of India spend so much of money on the IITs just to ensure that the students go and settle abroad in order to afford a good living? Not only IITians but also most of the NRIs who settle abroad have not contributed to India except when investing here offers good returns. And that is business acumen, not patriotism.

What is worse, at least going by my experience of interaction with them, they have a superiority complex. I would like to narrate a story of a UK-based NRI whom I met last year. After I met him, he proposed me to have some refreshments at a famous restaurant known as Pind Baluchi in Patna. At the first instant, I humbly declined his request as I neither liked their food nor do I consider it value for money. He persuaded me, though. While we were on the way to the elevator to the restaurant located on the 18th floor of Biscoman Towers, a middle aged lift man greeted us. The London-based NRI inquired to the lift man, “Is restaurant men kya khaas hai?” (what is special in this restaurant?) The lift man boastfully said, “Ye restaurant upar men gol-gol chakkar lagata hai.” (the restaurant on the top floor rotates) It is a revolving restaurant that gives you a full view of Patna from the top in 1 hour. My companion dominatingly replied, “ham jahaan se aa rahe hain wahaan par aisa aisa aur isse bhi badhiya bahut saara restaurant hai”. (we have better restaurants than this one at the place I am coming from) The humbled lift man followed with complete silence till we reached the restaurant. I told the NRI inside the restaurant, for these people this restaurant itself is a big achievement, as they have never seen anything like this before. Mind you, this story is a representative sample; several other unpleasant anecdotes can be shared with the readers.

This complex amongst NRIS is a big turn off. People who have least respect for their fellow countrymen and their sentiments should not be reciprocated with any gesture. They are living overseas for their own betterment, not for the betterment of this country. So there is no point in being jingoistic about them and adding a larger-than-life aura to their persona. We must rather respect countrymen who choose to stay in the country and work hard to earn their living, even though they could go abroad and lead a comfortable life.

We must also respect our farmers, daily wage workers, a rickshaw puller, etc who work harder to serve us than these NRIs we are so happy about. CEOs in companies like Google will come and go; people who stay back here will always remain with us. Let us appreciate and share the success of our fellow countrymen in the social media.

People are talking about Pichai’s ‘humble’ background just because his family didn’t have a car and a television set at home. But how many people during those days had an access to such luxuries, anyway? Maybe the standard of living for the Indian Middle has gone upward, but the situation of the economically deprived classes in our country almost remains the same.

NRIs must understand that India is a country where emotions and sentiments play a larger role than intellect. Enchanting slogans like “Proud to be an Indian” are not enough to display your and affection towards the nation. Just by spending a few years abroad, how this country becomes intolerable to the NRIs is tough to understand. Every randomly picked Indian appears corrupt to them, and they conveniently forget they were no different in conduct till the time they lived in India.

Sundar Pichai and other NRIs are very much capable of starting educational institutions for economically deprived people of their locality. They can well participate in Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan by getting toilets constructed in the schools of their area or their native villages. Mindless bashing of Indians and the Indian system cannot be termed as their display of for the motherland. Where are the corrective measures they took for the uplift of our society? unfortunately, much of the Diaspora wants to be a part of symbolic social activism. In fact I appreciate Laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan who distanced himself from this cynical opportunistism. I firmly believe the Diaspora is not more than welcome guests for us and that is it.

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