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Sri, Nri and all that!

Thanks Sri for your clarification on Nri.

A Nri is a nr INDIAN first and foremost.

Let me assure you that this bold effort was started entirely by NRIs who
are Indians not residing in India at the moment for various reasons,
including doing their studies (like me, for instance). 

At the same time, this 'disease' of debate has spread quickly into
India. There are many Indians living in India on this list, too. All the
Board members live in India (except Antony who shuttles between KL and
Bangalore). I estimate that at least 40 out of the 140 members on this
list live in India right now. We have been adding about 15-20 new
members each month (net: after subtracting those who unsubscribe), many
from India. Many who unsubscribe write to me assuring me of their
support and they check out the debates on the web.

I am personally very happy to report to everyone on this list, that my
regard for Non-Resident Indians has gone up very highly. I have been fed
on the same suspicions about NRIs that come up from time to time on this
list. Without meaning to generalize too much, I would make the claim
that many NRIs are concerned, genuinely about India.

NRIs have opened up many, many organizations which discuss India, and do
something for India. I would refer to India Network Foundation (KV Rao),
BDP (Utkarsh), Asha, IndiaTogether, IndiaPolicy, etc. etc. as showing
great concern for India. The pain that we share about India is made more
acute when we realize that the causes of this failure are primarily man
made, just like Amartya Sen found that the causes of famine are mostly
man made.

Prof. Roy was himself a NRI for about 15 years. TN Srinivasan, Jagdish
Bhagwati, Deepak Lal, and many many other eminent Indians are
non-resident Indians. Even Amartya Sen has almost always been a
non-resident Indian. Out of the handful of Nobel prize winners we had,
Khurana, Chandrasekhar and Amartya Sen have been NRIs for most of their
lives. These few folks who leave India's shores have grossly
outperformed the rest of India on a per capita basis. Even Gandhi and
Nehru outperformed those Indians who had never seen the rest of the
world. In other words, I would recommend that each Indian be a
non-resident Indian for at least 3 years of their lives. See the rest of
the world. Learn how people live a smooth life outside. How they manage
their democracy and how they participate in governance.

In the end, the issue of NRI is a non-issue. There is no alienation
here: I have not seen anyone yet who talks out of frustration alone.
There is deep concern. We all want to see India rich; its poverty
eliminated, its capacities flourish. It is true that in a discussion
like this, emotions sometimes overtake reason, but that is the purpose
of this forum. To allow people to vent their grievances and then to get
them to think only of solutions.

Thanks, Sri, for your promise to recruit 10 folks living in India. I
would urge others to send off a request to their friends across the
world to join. This is one way to reach the goal of 1000 members by
April, 1999 that I had set at the time of starting this list.


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