April 15, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Should We Stay In India?

The past few days and weeks I’ve been thinking a lot on this subject. Should I (or anyone else for this matter) stay on in India and continue to work and make our living here (pay our taxes, etc.), or simply say enough is enough and head overseas for greener pastures. Consider the alternatives for Australia!

The Cons -

  • Get beaten and attacked racially (but this can happen in India too from fundamentalists and terrorists).
  • No family or friends (or at least find and make new friends).
  • Do your own work (no maids or very expensive maids).

The Pros –

  • Great place to live.
  • Good pay.
  • Great civic services.
  • Clean and green place to stay.
  • No power cuts.
  • Good roads.
  • Clean water.
  • Cleaner air.
  • Latest in terms of technology, goods, services, medicines, essential commodities.
  • And a lot more thrown in terms of food, clothes, public transport system, cost of living, cleanliness, and general standards of living.

Similar parallels can be drawn for any other “developed country” like the United States, United Kingdom, Japan or many parts of Europe.

Now consider what we have in India. Garbage on the streets, litter everywhere, no drainage system, no roads, no water (yes I buy “mineral water” to drink and also water in a tanker for the rest of the activities), no power, and then consider the money we spend in terms of tax, 40% in direct taxes and then so much more considering everything from a toothpick to anything and everything you buy in the market in taxed.

The last two days there was no power at home from 6:30 pm to 11:30 pm the first day and then from 7 pm to 2:30 am the next day. On hot days when the temperature is at 41 degrees Centigrade it seems the government does not even want its citizens to sleep. What is the use of having an AC at home when there is no power to power it?

I agree the tax in say a country like the United States is more than what one would pay in India, but at least the tax money is spent on its citizens and they do enjoy clean air, clean water, good roads, power supply at all times and other great infrastructure in terms of their public transport system (there are no roads to talk of in India), goods, products and services.

If you think I’m being unpatriotic then let me correct you that I’m a patriot and that is precisely why I’m still hanging around in India when all the people I grew up with are in countries like the United States, Australia, United Kingdom and so on.

Now I’m having second thoughts on what is the use of being a patriot? Just consider the alternatives in terms of governance for my state of Andhra Pradesh.  On one side is a grandfather who should be playing with his grandchildren, Konijeti Rosaiah, who is past his prime, and the other contender is Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy who does not know anything about politics or governance but wants all power citing his father’s name. I can only shudder at what the future holds for the people of this state.

Now coming to the country. It seems the IPL and the money it generates is more interesting to the politicians than the country and its people.  At last count there were 2 Union Ministers, Minister of State for External Affairs Government of India Shashi Tharoor, Lalit Modi, 2 women (Sunanda Pushkar and South African model Gabriella Demetriades) and mind you none of them play any cricket!!!

Rajiv Abraham