Just Saying

N.R.I – Non-Respected Indian

Its the return of the NRI. Only this time, NRI stands for Non-Respected Indian.

Its all over the news. Racism against residing Indians in Australia. Racism here. Riots there.

NRIs, Non-Resident Indians, as they should correctly be called are becoming the scapegoat species.

Back in India, we are the Non-Returning Indians, the Non-Reliable Indians. We cannot voice our concerns to the ones living back in India because obviously we ‘don’t know how it feels’ since we don’t live there. We cannot critique something about India or else we will be branded and be told stuff such as, “Oh firangi already! Arey, this is India. This is how we work.” And it gets worse. We even get told that people who do not live in the country should not say anything about the country.

In our adopted countries, we are just (sometimes, maybe more now given the economic times) seen as the Non-Required Indians. Initially, it was being seen as conservatives to now being called job-stealers.

Sometimes it does give an overall feeling that we do not belong anywhere. Living in Canada and interacting with so many other nationalities, I’ve realized that this feeling is not limited to the Indian diaspora. Other nationalities too feel similarly and it is obviously not categorized in the way the NRIs are subjected but in their own issues.

The fact of the matter is what is it that the NRIs don’t do for their homeland as well as their adopted country. Be it helping their homeland monetarily or serving the adopted country through businesses, we do our part. Even then, we are still treated as we do not belong.

What can we do to change that? Should we do something to change that? These are open questions.

Will the near future change all this? Will NRI stand for Now-Required Indians? New Resplendent Indians?

There are too many people, and too few human beings. ~Robert Zend


4 thoughts on “N.R.I – Non-Respected Indian”

  1. My definition of NRIs will be 'New Resurgent Indians' and in that way we are everywhere. We can live in India but work for Americans or live in US but start a business in India. And I think this is the NRI that the world is not used to and hence the backlash.

    Although, I have a strong opinion that NRIs (Non Resident Indians) should not meddle in politics of India because we are neither living in the realities there nor we are affected by the consequence of the same.


  2. I can relate to some level what you are saying… but I feel with the kind of action that the students in Australia are taking, we are making ourselves heard… i was appalled to hear that we r soft & easy targets.. n thts why such things happen…
    But I like the way Ricky is thinking…


  3. @ Ricky : what is your definition of 'meddling in Indian politics'? I think its not easy for the Indian diaspora to remain detached from what goes on in India. Irrespective of the fact whether we live there or not, most of us have family living there. And its only natural that what they go through will reflect in our opinion. I don't think we can sit at a distance and ignore what goes on. While it is not possible to go back and live there for whatever reason, I think most of us feel and should feel inclined to make our voices heard. No matter what your adopted country citizenship you have, physically the first thing people notice about you (like it or not) is your ethnicity.

    @ Prasad: We've always been easy targets. The reason why there are so many probs with our neighbouring countries are STILL not solved after all these years.


  4. NRIs should not be allowed to contribute financially to political parties in India, for example. We have all seen the effects of meddling by Tamils in Lanka, Sikhs after Operation Bluestar and Gujaratis after Godhra. I recently emailed you an article by Ramachandra Guha about NRIs, how they feel marginalized in Western political system and hence try to meddle back home (to feel connected) by pumping in the money.

    Unless you live in a country you can never know what an average person goes through every day. If you haven't lived in India for more than few days in say last 5-10 years, you will never know the issues faced on a day to day basis.

    Contributing to non-political causes is a different matter, like you working for C.R.Y is commendable and that really makes a difference back home.


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