Indian Origin?No,Thanks!

Sunita Williams, when set out into the space in the Expedition 14 and 15, was hailed as the embodiment of what Indian women can achieve, or, Indian-Origin, if you please. Only catch, Sunita Williams was not born in India.

Bobby Jindal’s election as the Governor of Louisiana State, was celebrated more in the Indian media than in the US media. Again, yet another ‘Indian-Origin’ individual shines in a land away from India.

These are just two famous examples of  ‘Indian-Origin’ achievements which are hailed and celebrated by Indians.

My questions:

  • Why? Why bring in the country of origin into picture when in most cases, the person in question knows as much about India as our Indian Government knows about proper governance?
  • Why take credit, or try to nudge in that pseudo-nationalism into someone else’s achievements?
  • Why behave like a small country desperate for attention? Which I believe we are, definitely not small by any means, but desperate for attention, a screaming yes.

This mentality amuses me a lot. We are a country of billion plus, with intelligence levels ranging from intellectuals like Manmohan Singh to caricatures like Raj Thackarey, and we still do not leave a chance to take borrowed credit! I am sure this small country mentality is here to stay for a long time, and will only fuel in more pseudo-nationalism.

We are such shallow minded people that we do not wait a second before claiming the person is of ‘Indian-Origin’, but have problems  accepting Sonia Gandhi as an Indian. Irony.

I have only one question to all those people sending scrappy email forwards about ’30% of NASA employees are Indians, 25% of Doctors in USA are Indians’. 100% of ISRO employees are Indians. 100% of Doctors in India are Indians. 100% of Engineers in India are Indians. WTF did they achieve?

This led me to think, what if other countries take credit for Indian-nationals achievements?

> Japan: Erm, how about they taking credit for Saina Nehwal’s ranking? She uses a Yonex, after all!

>Pakistan: LK Advani, Manmohan Singh among many others were born in Pakistan.

>England: Ok, this is a serious one. The Indian Railways. The Railway’s total route length as of today is approximately 64,000 km, out of which approximately 53,000 km was built by the British Raj before 1947.

>Finland/Sweden: They can collectively take credit for most, if not all, of the phone calls made in India. Nokia is the market leader in mobile telephony, and Ericsson provides the equipment to BSNL.

>Russia: I’d preferably call Indian Navy as Russian Navy.

And most importantly,

>China: Huh! ‘Made in China’- You know the value of that tag better than i can explain over here.

It is lame and stupid to take credit for others achievements! It’s like saying the guy who used to sit on my bench is now the college topper, and it’s because of me. I know its a lame point, but basically you get the drift, right?

So the next time anybody of ‘India Origin’ gets thrashed down under, or wins the Nobel, or an Oscar,Just let it be.If you figure out that there is something worth to derive an inspiration from their achievements , look upon the way in which they excelled in the field.


6 thoughts on “Indian Origin?No,Thanks!

  1. Important things to take away are:
    1) It shows what Indians are capable
    2) What kind of environment is needed in India to enable natives to excel in the same way

    • Well,Indians are capable.But most of these cases present no direct Indian links.It was only a matter of their ancestors being Indians.And coming to environment or how to set things up right , I’ll definitely blog about that other time.Thanks for the feedback! 🙂

  2. Hey Karthik,

    Firstly, nice post. Seeing it is the first one, I thought you wouldn’t mind some discussion so here I go. Don’t take any of it in the negative sense.

    It is VERY easy to find mistakes in a system because one commits hundreds before sleeping. You must realize that you can blame the system only when you weigh out the positives vs the negatives and find out that the negatives outweigh the positives. Have you actually tried to see the positives? While many of your points are insightful, I must disagree with some.

    NAVY: I’ve worked in the defense R&D sector while interning (DRDO, ISRO & Indian Navy) and they have every right to be proud of their achievements unlike what majority think.

    ‘WTF did they achieve?’ -> Do you actually know what they have achieved and what they have not? Or is it that you are guided blindly by media?

    Railways: Agreed the British build the framework of the elaborate system. Have you given a thought as to why the system held without falling after their rule and how it succeeds to serve transport needs of the poor in the country?

    Similarly unfold most of your other points too. All I say is, how can we point out the shortcomings of the system when you and I have not made any personal effort in the other direction? There are thousands crying ‘WRONG!’ at the government but hardly any speaking what’s right or how to do something right. No one is ready to help but everyone is ready to sit back and crucify. The very fact that you are good at writing (and hence convincing) makes you highly responsible :).

    The most noble of your sentences is the closing one. I agree with it completely! But that doesn’t mean you should not identify with your country. Why are MIT and Stanford so reputed today? Because people who are successful passing out of them identify themselves as with the Institute! 100 bucks, the situation is the exact same there too. We just are not aware of it!

    • Cool.Thanks for that response Sasi 🙂

      Naval and defense R&D had might had achieved a lot is maintaining a bright prospect of unleashing a new dimension of the Indian Weapon technology.But the outcome,as seen by me,hasn’t really been ‘Bright’.For example,take the IAF,except for the fighter aircraft Tejas,Helicopter Dhruv and few other minor aircrafts,we really don’t have any significant chunk of fighter machines to our names.And for the record,these Indian made were introduced into the system only a year or two ago.Your close sight of this work while interning might had shown you the sparks,but i like to see a constant light and we are very much capable of that.

      Let it be the Indian Railways or any other system,We are simply sustaining it.Considering the massive demographics of our country,it is no less achievement.But,is that all we can do? Where is the innovation for a faster transport? Why can’t a network like Delhi metro be implemented at a rapid pace in other cities? The other side,what we need is connectivity with more penetration into the rural areas which crave for development,forget about Hi-Speed trains.53,000km to 64,000km.Is that all we made in the span of 60 years? ( I agree,there is a lot of gauge conversion and electrification done which cannot be remained unnoticed ).

      All i can say is we are Sustaining , not exactly creating.When it comes to our personal effort,We are getting prepared for that ‘Creation’ aspect.Pointing the loopholes would somehow make us aware of situation-What exactly it demands from us? I’ll definitely make some suggestive notes upon that in my later blog posts.

      People pass out from an institute and later identify with it,no need to get the Ivy-league into the picture,we can say the same with much other reputed institutes.It is because they had learned their skills and harness the same in process of their personal and national uplifting.But what does a country got to do with these achievers when it didn’t really make any contribution in imparting those skills? The only catch , their ancestors were from this land.Does the MIT or Stanford take credit when a second or third generation children from their alumni makes a notable accomplishment?

      And i must agree,i was a bit pessimistic in my approach to address the real factor,I’ll definitely make a better sense next time 🙂 And your line- “The very fact that you are good at writing (and hence convincing) makes you highly responsible”,I don’t know whether you intended or not,but i must say that was a very clever way of demanding an answer 😉

      So lets inspire from their process of perfection , and make an effort to reflect the same environment which supported their endeavor.And do keep discussing on my later posts too,I would be very happy for that.

  3. With all due respect, neither MIT nor Stanford is Ivy-league! I do have some disagreements with your reply but then, neither of us is right nor wrong so I’ll keep them to myself :). Keep blogging!

    • My bad! Yeah,they aren’t the Ivy League.Come up with your points if you wish to , I’ll be glad to see the positives.And i won’t take the debate further,rather i prefer the learning end from an IITian 😉

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