[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: indians & citizenship

Administrative Note:

Week's Agenda: Political & administrative reforms

Liberty Institute  (Barun S. Mitra) wrote:

.> . .As Tagore had pointed out in one of his poems, no one who came left India.

>This apparently stopped only in the 18th and 19th century, and coincided with
the rise of >nationalist sentiments, first in Europe and then in India, during
that period. I wonder what >some of you may have to say about this.

IMO, the rise of nationalism and India being considered an unattractive place to
live is purely incidental and not a connected.

I would offer the theory that upto the 18th century India was still one of the
richest nations in the world, and hence an attractive place to live.

The source of the wealth was the Indo-gangetic, and other,  river basins which
were huge sources of agricultural production. Economies were still agriculture
based then [India's economy largely still is, witness the dependence on
monsoons]. We might also note that the strategic raw material of the time was
cotton and a great deal of world trade as based on cotton cloth, some historians
have called cotton in the 18th and 19th centuries the equivalent of oil today.
The US annexation of Texas in the 19th century was primarily motivated by a
desire to control this strategic raw material, and deny access to cotton to the
British, but I digress. India was a leading cotton producer, and Indian textile
manufacturing was on par or ahead of most of Europe. India's impoverishment
began with the British hobbling of Indian textile industry by restricting
trade/exports which was possible because Britain was able to control
international shipping lanes with the power of its navy.

IMO, people do not choose where they live, or the passport they hold based on
some abstract notions of patriotism or nationalism but primarily on the basis of
what gives them a better life. Changing nationality does not preclude wanting to
make a difference, for the better, for our family, friends, and country of our


This is a posting to India_Policy Discussion list:  debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/