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Courting PIO Leaders COMMENTS
Even many lifetimes out of India can’t take the India out of the PIO. So hoping, the government woos eminent PIOs for brand ambassadorships.


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Feb 20, 2012
Born in the USI?

As an Indian living abroad, I think the whole idea of Pravasi Diwas (Ask What You Can Do, Feb 6) is just to maintain a delicate link to our roots. I have also met Mauritians of Indian origin, and they don’t really expect anything from India. All they want is to keep in touch with their great country of origin; being reminded of their roots brings them solace and satisfaction.

Dharampal Anand, Townsville, Australia

With 25 million PIOos, India doesn’t need lobbyists.

Ashok Lal, Mumbai

Although it’s quite true that India doesn’t really remember us, we wear our Indianness on our sleeves. Many Indians living abroad are more Indian than Indians themselves, so it is wrong to say second-generation Indians abroad have lost all touch with Indian culture. The big question for us is: Does India want us? And if India wants something of us, just tell us what you want done and it will be done.

Ashutosh Kaul, Toronto

Devesh Kapur, quoted in the article, is right in believing that India’s ability to take advantage of the Indian diaspora is limited. The nation can benefit from the presence of Indians abroad only if the government recognises the strategic value of India having an identifiable, strongly delineated culture.

Raja Panwar, Edmonton, Canada

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1/D-103
Jan 28, 2012
06:38 PM

 The truth is that besides these occasional visits and pleasantries, none of the descendants of Indian indentured labourers have any real affection for India. This is particularly true with the younger generation. While they may be observing some Indian customs and traditions, they are otherwise very well integrated with the lands their grand and great-grand parents adopted as their own. For instance, the PIOs in Mauritius speak Creole, which is an offshoot of French, and not any Indian language. Surinameese PIOs speak Dutch, the language of their colonial masters. They have even done away with traditional Indian evils like the caste system, and freely interact and even intermarry with the other communities that live in their adopted homelands. One wonders why the Indian government is bending backwards to appease these people now, particularly when most of their forefathers were forced to leave India because of the caste system and povery. 

G.Natrajan
Hyderabad, India
2/D-136
Jan 28, 2012
11:05 PM

When we have 25 million PIOs, who needs a lobbyist ?

ashok lal
mumbai, India
3/D-13
Jan 29, 2012
04:55 AM

Although it is  quite true that  India does not really remember us , we wear our Indianness on our sleeve. As a recent immigrant it is absolutely clear to me that a large part of my being is forever connected with India and I do not agree with 1/D-103 that third or fourth generation Indians have no affinity for India. As part of my Job I come across such Indians from Fiji , Mauritius and others. They are more Indian than Indians themselves. They observe all traditions ,display correct Indian etiquate and behaviour patterns that India has long given a go by to. I do not know how many Fiji Indians the author knows, but when I arrived in Canada , I had to take driving lessons before they 'ld let me drive  here and my driving instructor was a fourth generation Fijian lady. First day first driving error and she addressed me in such chaste Hindi that I alomst hit a street pole with shock. Having lived most of my life in Delhi I had never heard such exquisite classic usage and control over  the language. Since then I have met dozens like her. They  also run the most efficient, culturally aware and socially progressive  Indian temple in town.

That's not important.  We are the children of India  and we will not forsake India ever. At least never in our minds and thoughts and prayers. The big question is does India  want us ? Just let us know what you want done and it will be !

Ashutosh Kaul
Toronto, Canada
4/D-63
Jan 29, 2012
04:43 PM

The relation between India and PIO is simple.I don't think that New Delhi expects PIO to come back to India just to serve and invest and it would be too much for us NRI/PIO, that if, whenever we go back everyone should be given red carpet welcome and we wiill be doing favour to India by returning. If anyone expects this treatment better stay back in your adopted country.recent migration is due to individual choice of better materialistic life.New Delhi neither encourage nor discourage it.In recent global meltdown, many of NRI returned back.They were wlecome and everyone knows that they will move again when favorable time comes.India of today is too big to take notice.

The whole idea of Pravasi Diwas is just to maintain a delicate link to our root and if at all New Delhi is doing us NRI a favor and not the other way round.PIOs, who migrated as labor may have a different case, but while my stay in Mauritius, I found Mauritian Indians never expect any thing from India but they find solace and satisfaction by just being reminded of their roots  in that Great Country!!

Dharampal Anand
Townsville, Australia
5/D-26
Feb 02, 2012
04:38 AM

Devesh Kapur is correct in stating that India's ability to take advantage of the diaspora in matters cultural, economic, and other soft power related issues.  This can only be addressed by the Indian Government (of any stripe!) in assessing the strategic importance of a global Pan-Indian cultural identity to India now and in the future.  I too have met may individuals from the diaspora, who generations later, feel more than a passing kinship to India. Indeed, there is sense of quiet pride in the accomplishments of today's India. However, unless there is a strategic global initiative (which could include setting up language and culture institutes in diaspora rich and other major countries, sponsorship of Indian Studies in Universities, work exchange programs, etc), and the removal of bureacratic hurdles, little of substance can be gained from this opportunity.

Raja Panwar
Edmonton, Canada
6/D-27
Feb 02, 2012
04:39 AM

Devesh Kapur is correct in stating that India's ability to take advantage of the diaspora in matters cultural, economic, and other soft power related issues.  This can only be addressed by the Indian Government (of any stripe!) in assessing the strategic importance of a global Pan-Indian cultural identity to India now and in the future.  I too have met may individuals from the diaspora, who generations later, feel more than a passing kinship to India. Indeed, there is sense of quiet pride in the accomplishments of today's India. However, unless there is a strategic global initiative (which could include setting up language and culture institutes in diaspora rich and other major countries, sponsorship of Indian Studies in Universities, work exchange programs, etc), and the removal of bureacratic hurdles, little of substance can be gained from this opportunity.

Raja Panwar
Edmonton, Canada
7/D-28
Feb 02, 2012
04:39 AM

Devesh Kapur is correct in stating that India's ability to take advantage of the diaspora in matters cultural, economic, and other soft power related issues.  This can only be addressed by the Indian Government (of any stripe!) in assessing the strategic importance of a global Pan-Indian cultural identity to India now and in the future.  I too have met may individuals from the diaspora, who generations later, feel more than a passing kinship to India. Indeed, there is sense of quiet pride in the accomplishments of today's India. However, unless there is a strategic global initiative (which could include setting up language and culture institutes in diaspora rich and other major countries, sponsorship of Indian Studies in Universities, work exchange programs, etc), and the removal of bureacratic hurdles, little of substance can be gained from this opportunity.

Raja Panwar
Edmonton, Canada
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