2ndlook

Emerging India – ‘Immi-grunt’ supplier to English speaking world

Posted in Business, Current Affairs, History, India, Media, politics by Anuraag Sanghi on October 31, 2010

The Komagata Maru in Vancouver harbor, surrounded by police boats. (Picture courtesy - bhagatsinghthind.com.) Click for larger picture.

The Komagata Maru in Vancouver harbor, surrounded by police boats. (Picture courtesy - bhagatsinghthind.com.) Click for larger picture.

Brave, new world?

On May 23, 1914, a Japanese tramp steamship, S.S. Komagata Maru, steamed into Burrard Inlet, near Vancouver, Canada. Chartered to carry a few hundred Indian immigrants into Canada, it arrived with a list of some 376 immigrant-passengers – mostly Sikh. The Canadian Government decided that these Indian-immigrants were not White enough – and disallowed entry into Canada.

When asked to sail out of Canadian waters, mutinous Indian passengers relieved the Japanese captain of the command. The Canadian authorities engaged a tug-boat, Sea Lion to tow the ship back into international waters. Sent back to India, the ship departed from Canada on July 23 and landed at Kolkatta (then Calcutta) on September 27th – only to be harassed by the British Raj. 26 of the passengers who returned to India were executed by the British.

Indians in Canada and USA, from the Ghadar movement, like Barkatullah, Tarak Nath Das (of letter to Tolstoy fame), and Sohan Singh publicised the incident giving momentum to the Ghadar movement for a massive uprising in India – against the British Raj. More than 90 years later, the Canadian authorities apologized.

Photograph of the SS Komagata Maru

SS Komagata Maru - Image via Wikipedia

One of the passengers on Komagata Maru was Jagat Singh Thind. His brother was Dr. Bhagat Singh Thind – an Indian-immigrant to the USA. Bhagat Singh Thind further tested immigration laws in the West – this time in the USA. Bhagat Singh Thind’s bid for US citizenship-by-naturalization finally landed at the US Supreme Court. The US Supreme Court rejected Bhagat Sngh Thind’s claim saying,

It may be true that the blond Scandinavian and the brown Hindu have a common ancestor in the dim reaches of antiquity, but the average man knows perfectly well that there are unmistakable and profound differences between them today … Our own history has witnessed the adoption of the English tongue by millions of Negroes, whose descendants can never be classified racially with the descendants of white persons notwithstanding both may speak a common root language … What we now hold is that the words “free white persons” are words of common speech, to be interpreted in accordance with the understanding of the common man, synonymous with the word “Caucasian” only as that word is popularly understood.

whatever may be the speculations of the ethnologist, it does not include the body of people to whom the appellee [Thind] belongs. It is a matter of familiar observation and knowledge that the physical group characteristics of the Hindus render them readily distinguishable from the various groups of persons in this country commonly recognized as white. The children of English, French, German, Italian, Scandinavian, and other European parentage, quickly merge into the mass of our population and lose the distinctive hallmarks of their European origin. On the other hand, it cannot be doubted that the children born in this country of Hindu parents would retain indefinitely the clear evidence of their ancestry. It is very far from our thought to suggest the slightest question of racial superiority or inferiority. What we suggest is merely racial difference, and it is of such character and extent that the great body of our people instinctively recognize it and reject the thought of assimilation. (excerpts from judgment on United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind 261 U.S. 204 (1923); delivered by Associate Justice George Sutherland; parts excized for brevity; text within [...] supplied for clarity.).

Escaping to the West is an option ... for some!

Escaping to the West is an option ... for some! Click for larger image

In the post-War world

After WWII, with more than 50 million dead in Europe, European immigration to the US dried up. Without much ado, USA changed its immigration policy. Simultaneously, African-American activism created a market for Welfare Reform. The expanding Welfare State in the USA, created labour shortages. Many among the poor in USA, on welfare, soon stopped full-time work altogether. Faced with acute labour shortages, the West needed to something – and fast.

Back home, in India

Coinciding with this on the opposite side of the world was JN Nehru, trying to build ‘temples of modern India‘.

IIT-Chennai and Kharagpur with German collaboration were kick-started; IIT-Mumbai with assistance from UNESCO and the Soviet Union. The Anglo-Saxon Bloc jumped onto this bandwagon. They decided to ‘help’ India by setting up more IITs and IIMs. IIT-Kanpur, with US-aid in 1960; and IIT-Delhi with UK-assistance in 1961 followed. IIM-Calcutta with collaboration from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. More recently, to keep this flow coming into the US, American companies have tied up for virtual classrooms.

The Resident Non-Indians are a part of the problem.

The Resident Non-Indians are a part of the problem. Click for larger image.

And where do graduates from these centres go? Need I answer!

The Anglo-Saxon Bloc pushed disguised labour-recruitment programs as development aid. For instance, the Colombo Plan was pushed in the sub-continent – by the US, UK, Canada and Australia to bring English speaking populations of the Indian sub-continent up to scratch, for use by the Anglo-Saxon Bloc.

Ten years after … the Colombo Plan, … the four advanced countries who are members of the Plan, namely, the U.S., the U.K., Australia and Canada … member countries, which have good training facilities to offer, are willing to make them available to others that still lack them. Under the Colombo Plan Technical Cooperation … training is provided at the cost of the host Government. (via This day that age-The Hindu; parts excised for brevity and clarity.).

The USA overturned Thind vs US Govt judgment by the US Supreme Court. As a result of this policy tweak, Indian students suddenly were welcome to the USA. Earlier, the US Supreme Court, in Thind vs US Govt supported US Government immigration policies which barred Asian immigration.

Suddenly Indians could land at USA shores and airports as immigrants. Soon, for Indians, USA became: -

  1. A liberal, egalitarian, non-racist society – based on meritocracy. A land of opportunity.
  2. Eager, grateful, hard-working, no-questions asked, English speaking, qualified, low-cost employees became available to US industry.
  3. US gained brownie points on global platforms in a world fighting the Cold War. A leg-up to USA propaganda.
  4. On the slippery slope of post-colonial India, the IITs and IIMs gave USA diplomatic traction in India.
  5. Net result – The most apparent result. 2.5 million Indians have come to occupy 10% of high-income, high-end jobs, professions, positions, careers in the USA, making them the richest sub-group in modern USA.
  6. All this at zero cost to the US taxpayer. The entirely amount was to the account of the Indian taxpayer.
  7. The Indian taxpayer is left with a 7% fiscal deficit. And Government debt equal to 60% of GDP debt.
  8. It provided USA with a steady stream of workers. US got it work-force from India. The expat and immigrant Indian workforce has become the richest sub-group in India.
With sucess at home, NRIs are not as hot as they once were!

With success at home, NRIs are not as hot as they once were!

Immi-grunts

Many ‘desi‘ Indians who migrate, believing that they can expect ‘superior’ systems in the West. All that these ‘desi‘ ’immi-grunts’ have to then do is take ‘advantage’ of opportunities in the West – they believe! Is it surprising that these ‘desi’ Indian ‘immi-grunts’ hit ‘glass-ceilings’, encounter ‘racism’?

Nation-building is a tough job – and someone’s gotta to do it! We can’t ‘escape from backward’ India to the ‘forward’ West. Not without becoming second-class citizens. The Indian ‘immi-grunt’ has seen some level of acceptance – after India itself achieved some modicum of success.

Importance of Indian immi-grunts to the US of A

Each year, India loses more than 1,00,000 doctors, engineers, other post graduates to the US alone and another 3,00,000 to other Western countries – commonly, referred to as ‘brain drain.’

To get a real handle on this number, project this number to the 25-65 age group in the USA. India currently sends 100,000 students and professionals, every year to the USA. With lesser numbers earlier, there are nearly 2.0-3.0 million Indians – mostly highly qualified, between the ages of 25-65 – holding up the US industry.

Opportunistic use of 'immi-grunts'!

Opportunistic use of 'immi-grunts'?

To get a perspective, assume that a worker is a tax paying worker. The IRS of the USA processed under 100.5 million individual tax returns – from a US population of 300.5 million. Thus, these highly skilled Indians are 2 million of the 100 million tax-paying workers – approximately 2% of the total US working population.

If we further gate people typically, white-collar workers, high technology work force, earning more than US$ 100,000 per annum, we are at about 20-30 million Americans (24% of US taxpayers). Put that way, Indians comprise an estimated 8%-12% of the highly qualified and (highly paid) workforce in the US. What would the US have done without this skilled and qualified labour force? Is it surprising that Bill Gates lobbies for H1B visas for Indians?

This message is not lost to others. Businessweek reported how even “the French and German governments, faced with declining numbers of engineers, are trying to attract grads through exchange programs.” More recently, Australia recruited, under a migration scheme of the Australian government, nearly 450 technicians (plumbers, masons, carpenters, electricians and heavy and light-vehicle mechanics) from the Industrial Training Institute (ITI) at Pune.

Give me your tired, your poor whites, Your huddled white masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched white refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the white homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp for these whites beside the golden door. - The real meaning of Emma Lazarus words.

Give me your tired, your poor whites, Your huddled white masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched white refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the white homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp for these whites beside the golden door. - The real meaning of Emma Lazarus words.

Remittances

As an article pointed out, India does not gain from these high-skill workers. Unlike

“less skilled workers, highly educated professionals tend to account for little in terms of remittances. Skilled Indian professionals in the U.S. have also failed, by and large, to contribute large levels of foreign direct investment (FDI) required by India. In contrast, China, which along with India is the largest exporter of students to the U.S., has greatly benefited in this regard from its skilled emigrants. The Financial Times (January 18, 2003) noted that China “has managed to attract 10 times more FDI than India on the back of strong in-flows from the Chinese diaspora.”

Interestingly, the IITs and their web sites are coy about the number of alumni who go abroad to study and work. Despite receiving substantial budgetary allocations from the Central government, the failure to collect systematically data on the sensitive point of the brain drain suggests an attitude of non-transparency. IIT managements and alumni networks tend to avoid initiating a public debate on the destination of IIT graduates and who benefits directly from the IIT system. (From The IIT Story: Issues and Concerns By KANTA MURALI; Frontline magazine.).

India is proud of its English language heritage - while English language itself is a declining force.

India is proud of its English language heritage - while English language itself is a declining force.

Chains made of words

What is making this easy is the subsidy given to higher education in English by the Government of India (GOI). This system of English language education turns out near-perfect candidates for absorption by the West.

Will India’s new generation get the perspective?

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19 Responses

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  1. A fan of your blog said, on November 1, 2010 at 4:00 am

    Great article. And so true. Why do we keep losing all these people educated on Indian tax money to the West? We should stop immigration of all kind for people who are educated in Indian government institutions. Or ask them to pay a bond amount for their subsidized education if they want to “escape” to the West. Also, why do these apparently “brainy” people who are the cream of the crop want to go live in the U S of A as second class citizens? Have they no self respect? Beats me!!

    We should also stop accepting all the outsourcing from the West. Who needs their money? There is plenty of money to go around in India. Look at the Ambanis. Together, they are the richest in the world. Also, why rely on western technology? We have enough brains to create our own. I agree that we should stop adopting really bad western innovations and systems of governance. They are no good for us. We can take care of ourselves. We did for thousands of years. We can do it again.

    • Anuraag Sanghi said, on November 3, 2010 at 1:31 pm

      it is not a parochial or a patriotism issue.

      One variety of NRIs claim that they are economic ‘refugees’. In the West only for money. If that is true, there is something seriously wrong with opportunistic ‘allegiance’ to a foreign nation for economic advantage. How long will the host nation tolerate this opportunistic ‘allegiance’? Conversely, how much should India ‘depend’, believe, trust such ‘fair-weather’ citizens? Their claims of emotional attachment to India should be seen as ‘insurance’ premiums – amounts paid anticipating future negative ‘events’. These NRIs are getting ‘free’ insurance at the cost of the Indian tax-payer.

      Then there is the second variety who believes that the West is best. Good for them and us. Let us both forget each other. Why bother with each other.

      I am quite happy with the like of Arcelor-Mittal types who is clear everywhere in the world that he is an Indian – and in that country for ‘business’. I am happy with the H1B visa types who are going to the West for money – and clear about it. I love the Mo-Patels of America. Most I respect is the Gulfee, who is taking a lot of bad stuff, who is loyal to India – and gets no respect, reward or recognition in India.

      • Amit said, on November 4, 2010 at 3:04 pm

        “Most I respect is the Gulfee, who is taking a lot of bad stuff, who is loyal to India – and gets no respect, reward or recognition in India.”

        *

        Are these the same Gulfees who have pumped money into Kerala to build mosques and radicalize the Muslims?

        • Anuraag Sanghi said, on November 9, 2010 at 2:29 pm

          No .. they are not the same Gulfees … just like most Indians are not bigoted, sectarian, parochial, racist, communal.

          But then what about the few Indians who are … bigoted, sectarian, parochial, racist, communal.

      • Hariharan said, on November 17, 2010 at 3:33 am

        a. One variety of NRIs claim that they are economic ‘refugees’. In the West only for money. If that is true, there is something seriously wrong with opportunistic ‘allegiance’.
        b. I am happy with the H1B visa types who are going to the West for money – and clear about it.

        a contradicts b. Plain simple logic.

  2. samadhyayi said, on November 2, 2010 at 3:10 am

    i dont understand. why do we need foreign money.
    please explain. don t we have food or something.
    do we need foreign pathetic medicine. why we need foreign money. dont we have stuff in our india.

  3. A fan of your blog said, on November 2, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    While we are at it, we should disallow foreign corporations coming to India to do business and setting up R&D centers. We don’t need their stinking jobs or their money. We are self sufficient. We will develop, manufacture and sell our own internet, cell phones and medicines. We have the smartest software engineers in the world. We practically run America. Half of the people working at NASA and Microsoft are Indians. Who needs the west for anything?

  4. A fan of your blog said, on November 3, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I agree with you Anuraag. The ones who escape to the West because West is the best are gone. They won’t care to even visit so why worry about them? No one needs them.

    The Gulfees are the best. Even though they go to Gulf for just money, they owe allegiance to India and pump their money in the local economy. Besides, the sheikh’s won’t let them own much or really have a voice anyway. So they can only lean on India for everything.

    What about the sons of the soil who immigrate to the US, but still care about India? They plough in their money in schools for villages in India, bring scalable water purification technology at few paise a liter, write books on India’s history that sheds new light on India’s place in world history and bring new business to India that transforms the economy. Should we care about them? Or should we reject them just because they left India for better opportunities and did not share the burden of “nation building”? Is their contribution to India any less than the guy who never left India but contributes nothing to society?

    Majority of Indians in India do not contribute a dime to social causes nor do we volunteer our time, money or effort to uplift a challenged group. We are happy to live in comfortable apartments when there is filth on the streets. And we expect our government to take care of the filth when we do not even bother to vote.

    Why this discrimination based on immigration status and profession? For me, an India lover, whether a citizen of a country, brown-skinned, white-skinned or yellow-skinned, is enough to accept and love. So long as they contribute to our country, how does it matter what passport they hold? Have we Indians living in India really invested in our own nation building to reject these people? Let’s be honest with ourselves.

  5. samadhyayi said, on November 9, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    @ a fan of your blog

    >>>>
    Majority of Indians in India do not contribute a dime to social causes nor do we volunteer our time, money or effort to uplift a challenged group. We are happy to live in comfortable apartments when there is filth on the streets. And we expect our government to take care of the filth when we do not even bother to vote.

    will this self loathing stop please

    that we are not this. we are not that
    get some positive thinking.
    what is the difference between the bad guys and the good guys. both are whining that india is not this. not that.
    stop the whining please. get some positive thinking

  6. A fan of your blog said, on November 9, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    This is not about whining. This is about identifying issues and doing something for the betterment of everyone.

  7. samadhyayi said, on November 10, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    yes sorry. that is not whining . but it is self loathing.
    and definitely not identifying and doing something about it

  8. [...] Brave, new world? On May 23, 1914, a Japanese tramp steamship, S.S. Komagata Maru, steamed into Burrard Inlet, near Vancouver, Canada. Chartered to carry a few hundred Indian immigrants into Canada, it arrived with a list of some 376 immigrant-pass … Read More [...]

  9. saurav said, on January 23, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    If you take their language, u take their thinking,if you take their thinking, you take their government, if you take their government , you take their country.

    Perfect example of India post 1947 till date.

  10. Deshdaaz said, on November 22, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Anuraag ji,

    There is something tricky about google books pages…Not all are allowed to view the same pages also at times u may b able to view page on day one but same page is blocked for u on day 2…For instance I am unable to view page on the link “Indian-immigrants were not White enough”…..Kindly take snapshots(print screen) in the future and embed them in the articles.

    BTW, yours is the most phenomenal blog I have read in the past 10 years! AMAZING! I will come & find you whenever I come to Bharat.

    Jay Hind.

    • Anuraag Sanghi said, on November 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm

      This print screen thing is something that I have done at times. But in many cases … it is too time consuming and space-heavy. Anyway, let me see what this page is about.

      • Naras said, on June 29, 2012 at 8:24 am

        Some free “screen scrapers” are available free. Try MWSnap, for instance. Its Windows only, not Linux…

        • Anuraag Sanghi said, on June 29, 2012 at 8:42 am

          The screen-scraper is not the issue.

          To do each link properly is about 15 minutes. Discarding irrelevant links; filling in hover-card details’. If I did this too, each of my posts would take days – instead of hours.

  11. admin said, on November 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm
  12. HinduIDF said, on March 1, 2014 at 6:17 am

    Reblogged this on Hindu Internet Defence Force and commented:
    The best Explanation ever Given …Hindus read it


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