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Why India's Expats Soar Past Its Stay At Homes (Int'l Edition)

International -- Readers Report


I enjoyed reading your fair and objective article "Passage back to India" (Cover Story, July 3). One vital question all the contributors failed to ask is: Why doesn't India--vaunted as the second-largest reservoir of technical and scientific manpower and a place where a university degree is essential for any white-collar position--account for success stories as spectacular as its diaspora does in all the continents?

There are a variety of answers. The one most often trotted out is the strict, regulatory family structure, which spills over into an equally stifling hierarchical governmental system based on distrust that inhibits creativity, initiative, and daring. These encoil the decision-makers like a boa constrictor, and once they are liberated from them, their achievements vault sky-high. Second, there is no denying the immense facilities, in terms of infrastructure of every description, that are available in other industrialized countries and immeasurably enhance productivity. Third, every field in India is crowded to suffocation, and it is difficult to find an opening to muscle one's way in and maximize one's potential. Nonresident Indians are able to exploit the ever-expanding vistas of opportunities in countries such as Britain and the U.S. and make a niche for themselves. The fourth explanation is that in brainpower, intelligence, resourcefulness, grasp, and resilience, the average Indian is superior to his counterpart elsewhere and, given a chance outside India, is able to make the most of it.

B.S. Raghavan

Amsterdam, N.Y.

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