NRIs have ‘gobar’ in their heads
By Justice Markandey Katju
Recently I gave an online interview to Ameena Saeed, an NRI (Non-Resident Indian ) who lives in the Bay Area of California. In this interview I said that while NRIs are usually very proficient in their technical jobs ( which is why they were in the USA ), they are zero when it comes to understanding political, economic and social issues in India :
I may explain this.
Work visas ( H-1B visa ) are issued to persons having specialised technical knowledge, who wish to work in USA. These often get converted later to green cards ( permanent residentship ), and ultimately citizenship.
So it is obvious that NRIs are usually proficient in their technical skills, otherwise they would not be in America.
However, the fact is that they usually have no understanding of political or social issues ( though they claim to be ‘gyanis’ ). The proof of this was the extent of polarisation on religious lines of NRIs living in America, which I myself witnessed when I was there ( from September 2019 to March 2020 ).
Most Hindus living there had become solid supporters of the Bhartiya Janta Party ( BJP ), and it was almost impossible to argue rationally with them, and explain how the communal propaganda of the BJP was damaging India.
When the Howdy Modi function was organised in Houston Texas in September 2019, it was attended by 50,000 NRIs.
In this function Prime Minister Modi said that everything is fine in India ( sab changa hai ), and he repeated it in several languages. Not one out of those 50,000 NRIs gathered there had the moral courage to get up and say ” Mr Modi, what you are saying is not correct. The Indian economy is sinking, and millions are losing their jobs. So how can you say everything is fine in India ? “.
How does one account for this ignorance among NRIs and their stupid behaviour ? How does one explain how NRIs in America having Ph.D or Master’s degree from Harvard, Yale, Berkeley or Stanford have ‘gobar’ ( cow dung ) in their heads so far as knowledge of political and social realities in India are concerned ?
This can be explained by the fact that one may be an expert in one’s own field of specialisation, but ignorant, and even stupid, in other matters. Thus, Einstein was a great scientist, being highly specialised in theoretical physics, but he often spoke nonsense when he delved into world politics.
However, for NRIs, there is another reason. The truth is that though they live in America, the white people there do not ordinarily socialise with them ( except for work-related matters ). So they are nostalgic and need to psychologically identify themselves with the country of their origin, which is India, where they still have relatives and friends. Since most NRIs are Hindus, they think patriotism lies in identifying oneself with the political party in India claiming to represent Hinduism. They forget that India is a country of tremendous diversity, having several religions, castes, languages, races, etc, because it is broadly a country of immigrants, like North America ( see my article ‘ What is India ‘ online ).
Hence communalism, which the BJP thrives upon and spreads ( as that gets it votes in elections ), goes against the very identity of India, and destroys its social fabric, and will only lead India to its doom.
That is why I say NRIs have ‘gobar’ in their heads when it comes to understanding political and social realities in India.