Dear Non-Resident Indian,
I have a simple message for you: Now is the time to consider returning to India both for a better personal life and for helping build the New India. India is changing, at least one part of India that constitutes urban India. There is an optimism in the air. Opportunities abound. India is Rising. The time to think about a return to India is Now.
For many like you who left India for the prospects of better opportunities abroad, the image of India remains frozen at the time that they departed. Subsequent short, annual visits have probably only given fleeting glimpses of the changes that are taking place. So, the status quo of the image persists. Landing at one of the airports does little to erase the impression of an arrival at a third-world country. Pollution, traffic jams, poverty may be visibly all there. So what really has changed about India?
In one word: Attitude. The last few years have seen Indian self-confidence rise. It is a mix of various factors. The growth of the Indian software services industry in the face of a worldwide slowdown, the boom in business process outsourcing (rarely a day goes by without a new announcement of another global major deciding to shift some of its services to India), the rising incomes in urban India, a stable government at the centre for the past 4 years, Vajpayee and Kalam at the helm, smart performances by Indian sportsmen (and not just in cricket), the malls and multiplexes, the expressways starting to link cities, Indian companies fighting back the MNCs and the Chinese onslaught, the USD 82 billion forex reserves. Or maybe it is just the pessimism in the rest of the world. Whatever it is, there is a growing feeling in India that the game is ours to win or lose.
For the first time, I sense a feeling among Indians that tomorrow will be better than today. For a long time, there was a feeling of resigned acceptance that what is will be. This is changing. There is a growing feeling that what we make of tomorrow is in our hands, that the opportunities are there. What tomorrow brings is more in our hands than divined by destiny. Optimism in the people is not an easy thing to inculcate it is something which one sees all around, and mirrors it back.
There is a long way to go. But one cannot help feeling that the Indian train is finally moving after decades of standing at the station. There is a sense of purpose and determination a drive to reach the destination. It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. India and Indians have begun that journey. Perhaps, it is time for you to begin yours.
Tomorrow: Opportunities Unlimited