Self-righteousness Redux

Sandhya Jain’s implacable resentment of Indians settled in the West surfaces time and again in her writings. In her letter to Swami Joytirmayananda (Divisiveness in the Name of Dharma by Dr. S.Kalyanaraman, Medha Journal) she says:

“Two generations of Indian students were instigated by their own parents to study and work abroad, seek Western citizenship, to enjoy the fruits of life and progress denied by a socialist Nehruvian India…Meanwhile, the rest of us liberated the economy… and continue to live here…”

Now this might come as a revelation to Ms. Jain, but most professional journalists would know that one of the key factors contributing to the well-being of the Indian economy in recent years has been – are you ready? — Overseas remittances.

Indians are the most generous expatriate community in the world. They sent home US$ 52 Billion in 2008.[4] An article in the Indian Economic Times[5] as quoted by a British website named India as the largest recipient of remittances from overseas workers of Indian origin. It added: “India has been enjoying the top position in home remittances for more than a decade and recorded 7% increase last year compared with the previous year.”

According to a Wikipedia entry [6] : “Although India is still a net importer, since 1996–97, its overall balance of payments (i.e., including the capital account balance), has been positive, largely on account of increased foreign direct investment and deposits from non-resident Indians…”

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI ) inflow increased markedly in the last few years.[7] It more than doubled from an average of US $5-6 billion over 2003-2005 to around US $19 billion in 2006-07.

In short, overseas Indians, or “Jai Chands” ( traitors) as Sandhya Jain terms them, have shown themselves to be more capable of generosity in action than she appears capable of with words. President Pratibha Patil certainly seems to think so. Welcoming expatriates to the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, [8] in 2010, she invited them toshare in India’s growth story.”

But Ms. Jain does not just stop at reducing overseas Indians to a hedonistic, self-serving caricature. In the letter referred to above, she scoffs at their efforts to address the anti-Hindu bias in the West, questioning their integrity and their motivations. According to her, “they were asked to pretend to be concerned about Hindu dharma” but they proved ill-equipped for the task.” They are “running scared on the issue of the California textbook battle” no doubt because she believes they undertook it in the first place only to “establish their credentials and also acquire some self-esteem.”

Clearly where this issue is concerned, Ms. Jain sees no virtue in objectivity and fact-driven analysis.

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