Every few months, success of a person of Indian origin in a western country creates a huge frenzy back here in India. Why? No one quite knows why. Unfortunately, a lot of home-grown stars have perished in many a by-lanes of India in abject poverty. As they say, success is relative. The more successful you are, the more relatives you have. Right?

What is it about us Indians that makes us ridiculously foolish about achievements of FOREIGN people of Indian descent? Why do we make them sound unimaginably huge and extraordinary? Is it because we see a bit of white skin in one of our own? Do we still suffer from an inferiority complex? Or is it just a pure, innocent and warm feeling of oneness with a fellow DNA?

The answer can be both, none of the aforementioned and a bit of all of them.

What is interesting with regards quite a few of our ‘Indian-American’ (or ‘Indian-World’) heroes is that on more than one ‘opportune occasion’, they have tried to distance themselves from their Indian identity!

During Oscar Award nominations, Manoj Shyamalan had to repeatedly call himself an American (”I’m an American”) to endear himself to increase his chances of getting nominated as for the award of ‘best director’. Bobby Jindal used to call himself a born-again Christian (and American) during the election for governership in Louisiana. God forbid if he were to be taken as an Indian. Heck, he is a representative of the right-wing, white-American dream of political ideology, the Republican Party.

So why do we go out of the way to not only extol their American-system-aided success but also try and pull them hard towards our shores. Congratulate them as you would congratulate any citizen of this world and leave them alone. Believe us, even they would want to be left alone by our misplaced nationalism.

What India should rather concentrate is to foster deprived talent of the million by-lanes of the nation’s landscape. Being a part of the victory of an underdog is always more intoxicating. Especially if you are the coach of the underdog. Go India, go for the home-grown talent.


Author. Entrepreneur. Filmmaker. Journalist.

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